Happy new year friends! Took a little hiatus there after returning home from Africa to a flooded house. Here’s the quick recap of activities over the last month:
- Endured challenging return flight(s) home after saying goodbye to our children
- Surveyed the damage to our house and decided to spend two nights there despite the condition
- Food poisoning? (lost a day and a half to violent, violent illness)
- Realized we couldn’t stay at the house and moved in with friends for a week
- Found temporary housing
- Recovered from jetlag and time zone issues
- Moved all furniture and home contents to temporary place after insurance approved it
- Welcomed seven members of my husband’s family for a week over Christmas (yes! We all fit quite comfortably in the temporary place)
- Celebrated the birth of Christ!
- Met with many subcontractors, general contractors and our insurance adjuster regarding repairs
- Lost a chicken (no trace of her…she just vanished). The others are fine and producing eggs like crazy.
In the midst of all of that, we have enjoyed the amazing love and generosity of our friends. They have housed us, fed us, comforted us and let us do our laundry at their homes. But most stunning of all is how THEY have been planning and preparing for our children. And not only them, but our whole community it seems. Over the past few months a network of wise moms have been putting the word out for hand-me-downs for our kids. And the most beautiful thing is that they have organized the collection of all of them, so that in the midst of our house chaos and moving, we have not been inundated with boxes of children’s stuff too. I can’t express my gratitude enough!
About a week after we got home, seven awesome women and I gathered at the home of my friend Kara for a SORTING PARTY. Each drove in with additional boxes and bags that had been dropped at their houses by other moms.
Between these ladies there are sixteen children, including the wee one in M’s belly on the far right (her baby girl was born a few weeks ago!!). We started by having some snacks, we needed to get our stamina up to sort through all that stuff. Below is a fraction of what we were about to tackle!
We separated into two different areas with one group sorting boys clothes and one group sorting things for baby girl. Then at the end we sorted toys and games. It was so much fun! And so much less daunting than if I had to do it on my own. I mean, I wouldn’t have had a clue. Here are a few shots of the girls doing the baby girl sort (which I must admit was more fun than the boy clothes sort!).
Awww, my dog Noah was so helpful! He has noooooo idea how his life is about to be turned upside down. Have I already said that? I just think it’s going to blow his mind when the kids come home. poor baby!
But I digress; back to the sort. The things that were too small, duplicates (we had four of the same plastic puppy on a rope, for example) or just not what we wanted, we put toward giveaway piles to be passed on for other families, but the vast majority of stuff we sorted into bins labeled by size. How organized is that? The resulting wall of bins represents to me some tiny smidgen of preparedness and I can’t tell you how it warms my soul. I don’t actually have a photo of the bin wall, but trust me, it’s impressive! The sorting party really went a long way to make me feel better, especially since at that point my living room looked something like this:
Sorry, I know it’s painful to look at the guts of a house! It does look much better already today, I assure you!
Since we were in the process of moving, my friend K graciously permitted me to keep the bin wall of kids’ clothes in her spare bedroom, and only a week or so ago I was able to pick everything up and start taking responsibility for our family’s stuff! There are still a few things coming in, and it’s been great to have organized places to put the clothes of each size.
In adoption news, I was discouraged to receive our official court date for the children: February 7th. When we were in Ethiopia we were sure it would be sometime in January. If all goes well on Feb. 7th, we hope to receive an embassy date (when we can pick up our kids) for sometime before the end of March.
With the dry-out equipment phase done and the move completed, house repairs started a few weeks ago with an aggressive agenda. We’ve certainly got our work cut out for us, but the house is going to be ready for those kids!