Who in their right mind would go through the hassle of a move with four young kids at home? If you said no one, you're absolutely right. Deciding to take on this endeavor meant that we had to take a little break from sanity, but after Edith was born we knew. Our sweet little home on Smith wouldn't hold up to our growing family any longer. We found a beautiful 30 day St. Joseph novena and began to pray it every day to cover the entire process... We didn't keep count but I'm fairly certain we were well over 30 days. I truly credit his intercession for allowing me to keep my wits during many stressful, trying moments.
The first step was getting the house ready to show. We packed away 70% of our belongings, using any available basement or garage space graciously lent to us by our friends. I mean, even if our potential buyers knew that six humans occupied this teeny three-bed, one-bath home, it sure couldn't look like it! Homeschooling basically disappeared for the summer, replaced with life lessons like "How many books can you fit in this box without breaking your back when lifting it?" and "How do you flip pancakes when you accidentally packed away the good spatula?"
Once the house was ship-shape, we took our photos (which made our house look beautiful, by the way!) and waited for the showings to start rolling in. My parents were gracious enough to let us crash at their house for two whole weeks so our house could stay spotless and available at a moment's notice. The first week was packed with showings, and our spirits were high! We would have a buyer at any moment, we just knew it! But no bites, and then the initial flow slowed to a trickle. Then not a single showing for five days. Ugh. We decided to move back home. I mean, what was the point of taking up space at my parents' house when there was nothing going on at our own home? We readied ourselves to settle in for the long haul.
On a Wednesday, the kids and I packed everything up to head home after lunch. But early that morning we received a notice for a showing! A slight change in plans, and we would get home late afternoon instead. An hour later, another showing! This one for early evening, so we decided to do dinner out and stick to our plan. Then a THIRD showing was scheduled between the first and second, meaning we couldn't get into our house until after 7:00. Wow! So we made a family evening of it, heading to the library and then to bike and have a picnic at Harriet Island. As we got ready to leave the library, we got a call from our realtor with the great news... two offers were coming in on our home! We were giddy with excitement and relief. We headed to the park with light hearts to wait out the third showing.
Thursday we met with our realtor and accepted an offer, the first of many signatures we would put on paper over the next few months. The couple buying our house was engaged but would be married before they moved in, and they wrote us a letter to tell us how excited they were to start their life together in this house. That same evening we went to two showings, one of which was the house I am now sitting in to write this post! The moment we walked in, I fell in love with the open layout, the natural light, the room behind the garage that just screamed "school room!" We talked it over and then went back for a second showing and decided to put in an offer.
I had been under the impression that the showing of our house would be the most difficult part of the move, but ohhh was I wrong. My first emotional breakdown came during negotiations with the sellers of our new house. The house was in the top of our price range and we had hoped they would come down a bit. We negotiated back and forth for days! Each time we countered, we had to wait for what felt like years to hear a response, and they eventually refused what we had decided was our best offer, raising it by what amounted to $300! We were floored. We started wondering... Is this a sign? Are we not supposed to buy this house, even though it's only going to be $300 more than we were planning for? Do we have to walk away? It just seemed so strange and surreal.
But then a wise friend told me, "Just keep walking forward until God closes the door." God was not the one who chose our upper limit, so after praying about it we didn't feel like He was closing a door, but instead asking us to choose whether to keep walking or not. So we kept walking, and we signed the final purchase agreement. The beautiful home I had been trying not to dream about was really going to be ours!
To be continued...