Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I have seen many friends walk through the process of adoption. Each family had to make adjustments to their houses in advance of welcoming a new member. These adjustments range from purchasing a new bed to purchasing a larger vehicle. There are not any families in my circle of friends who have adopted a sibling group, so I have little to which to compare our own preparations. However, as I look back over the last two months, we have made some SERIOUS changes around here.

For those of you who don’t know, my family lives in Vermont, where my husband is a church planting pastor as well as a full-time IT team member for our local school system. We have two children. We homeschool. We live in a 1400 square foot home that was built in 1830. We have ONE bathroom.

The closet after the wall and old plaster were removed.
When our adoption is complete, we will have 5 children. Two boys and three girls with ages spread from 6 years to 14 years. I currently have three bedrooms and an office in my home. We knew we wanted the three girls to share a room as they are all pretty close in age. We also knew that this would require the largest room in the house—our master bedroom. So began phase one—moving all of our daughter’s furniture out of her room and into our room and moving all of our furniture into her room. At the same time, demo started on the closet in the master bedroom. Many closets in these old New England houses were simply afterthoughts, stealing a bit of square footage from the room to put in a wall that runs the length of the room. This produces a closet where you can really only see the clothes that are closest to the door. The rest hide in darkness.

The closet after new sheetrock was hung and mudded.
So we blew out the entire wall. I’m so thankful for a husband who reminds me of Neo in “The Matrix”. He can watch a Youtube video and know exactly what to do from demolition to hanging sheetrock. Within two weeks, we were able to create a new closet system that would work for 3 girls who are on the cusp of the teenage years. We also painted the room lavender. A set of bunk beds was given to us. I hit Kohl’s and got a tremendous amount of bedding for 50% off with a 15% off coupon!

Then we turned our attention to our Jeep. It seats 5. This wasn’t going to work for a family that would have seven members. So we traded it in for a 7-seater van. The cash register that lives in my head was really starting to go off at this point, but every bit of money needed was provided.

Next was the project of turning an office into a bedroom. Our church had recently moved into a storefront property in the heart of our town which left the other building empty. A perfect place for an office! So we moved two bookcases, several boxes of books, and a desk out of my house and into the old church building. We were once again given a loft bed. We are still getting this room ready, but in the next week, there will be a fresh coat of paint and a new dresser in that room, all ready to welcome our oldest son.

In the midst of all this came the need to reconfigure the homeschooling space. I had my own little classroom set up in what traditionally served as a dining room in this house. I knew I couldn’t put 5 children in that room and keep my sanity. So I took over my kitchen. We purchased a bench to increase seating at our kitchen table and I moved most of the homeschooling supplies into the kitchen. The old homeschooling room is now used for the two computers that our children will use to complete some assignments. Again, I’m thankful for my “Neo-like” husband who can build computers from scrap parts.

The funniest thing about all of these changes is where all the adult clothes have ended up. As we moved into our daughter’s old room, we were given a “closet” that is really nothing more than a hole in the wall. Just enough room for my jeans, pants, and Trey’s dressier suits that he never wears up here. The remaining clothes are in drawers in our son’s closet, in a storage bin under our armoire, on a PVC pipe-created rack, and in the nightstand next to our bed.

Now about that ONE bathroom…