Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Gift of a Very Intentional Year

It's so weird to think that, this time last year, we were planning for a deployment. 

We had planned to celebrate our anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and both of our birthdays...separated.  We were resigned to this; because, as hard as it would be, it would provide us with the finances to purchase our first home and cover the cost of our adoption.

But then, in true Army fashion, the deployment got cancelled.  And while I was grateful and relieved, I was disappointed in some ways.  It did not seem financially possible for us to do either of those things--let alone both.

And, yet, if you've been following along with us, you know that it is HAPPENING!

I've been hesitant to talk too much about the purchase of our home, because it looked like it was going to fall through at every possible turn.

Everyone kept telling us to find a house that we "could live with" and not to get caught up in a house that we "are in love with."  Well, I can tell you that I would not have fought this hard for a house that I only sorta liked.  Man, we are in love.

This house is made up of everything that Adam and I have dreamt about, both out loud and quietly in the secret places of our hearts.  This house has things that we didn't even know we wanted.

This house was picked out with one very intentional purpose.  Filling it.  I don't know how other people go about picking out homes, but we did it by imagining it with (at least) four extra little people in it.  We pictured future holidays and bedrooms and dinners around a table and bath time and birthday parties and shelves to hold games and puzzles. 

I think we both agree that the best thing about this house is that it has so much space, both inside and out.  Technically, it has 6 bedrooms, though two of the rooms are tiny, and one will be converted into a master bathroom, since we only have one full bath and one toilet in a closet quarter bath.

The house sits on slightly less than 4 acres.  Now, despite the fact that neither one of us knows how to operate a riding lawnmower, this is actually ideal.  We've already marked out the space for the garden, fruit trees and bushes, and we have ample space left over for things like swing sets, practicing t-ball, and room to just run around.  Did I mention there's a pond, perfect for observing all sorts of wildlife?

We have three outbuildings:  a pole barn, an old carriage house, and what looks like an old chicken coop.  Right before we found this house, I had been looking at additional office space to open an office that offered counseling and space for some creative art stuff.  Well, the carriage house is absolutely perfect for that, if I would decide to follow through on it.  Perfect.

This journey has been full of so many nerve-wracking moments:

1.  We had to be below a certain income to qualify for our loan.  Several vendors would only look at our total income, which was over the limit, but since I'm self-employed, you have to look at the adjusted income, which is just barely under the limit.

2.  We qualified for only slightly more than the exact amount of the purchase price of the home.

3.   Adam's work history got called into question, since he's in school and working part-time.  This led into a conversation about "worst case scenarios" and "cancelling the loan," which honestly made me want to throw up.  Fortunately, my business is up 70% (amazing!) from last year, so it was enough to satisfy the lender.

So we're looking to close on the house before the end of April and then moving in by the end of May or beginning of June.  Which means...we can start the adoption process toward the end of the summer!  Wow!

So, in the course of this very intentional year that we weren't supposed to have together, we paid off a ridiculous amount of debt, saved up a bunch of money, and bought the perfect house.

And the best part?  We got to do it all...together.  


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