Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dilemma-- house

Okay, I know I haven't been writing as much as usual but honestly have been trying to get organized in this home and Warren had to do some installs on the computer since our computer crashed in December.  Have to do Turbo Tax!  That will hopefully help some with costs of the adoption.  Umm, no we are NOT getting $20K back from the government though so still have to fundraise--LOL.  Wishful thinking right?  I am going to copy & paste something I wrote on a local board so that I may get opinions from some of you maybe.  I can tell you this, Warren and I never thought or dreamed in a million years we would have 10 children.  never.  And after that first plane ride home when my exact words were, "I'm NEVER doing this again!," we surely didn't think we'd end up here.  But, we are.  We have to move forward and make sure the decisions we make today are the right ones for our entire family.  Not just one or two kids.  There is much to think about and I don't think some adoptive families think of the future but the here and now.  Well, we are not like that.  Again, we have 6 that have FAS/FAE.  7 kids, all with some form of disabilities.  It is one thing fighting for them in school, it is another once they reach adulthood.  A few of ours we already know will not be able to live independently.  Some that can, will need supervision.  For this very reason, we have contemplated moving for the past 2 years.  Yes, 2 years.  You all know though what the markets in America have been like.  Not the best.  So, we have now reached a more than critical dilemma.  Let me copy here what I wrote somewhere else:

Okay, this is definitely the place to get opinions--LOL. I know some on here know us personally and some do not. For those who don't, we are a family of 9 people currently, later this year, to be a family of 12. This is where I need the opinions. We moved into this home originally when we had 2 children knowing we'd eventually adopt more. Okay, the house we moved into orginally had 1900 sq. ft. w/ a 1000 unfinished upstairs. It was sized for a family of four as far as all systems go. We now have approximately 3100 sq. ft. finished. We did finish out upstairs, and added a back area onto the house that serves as our dining hall. Now, dilemma. We need to make a decision and rather soon. We have to add on for the other kids coming home. What we would do is lose the garage we have and convert it into bedrooms. we are contemplating whether it would serve better to sell and move or to stay and finish all the work. Here are some concerns if we stay: 1) septic system load (it was originally sized for family of 4. How will it handle 12?!) 2) No hot water (don't have any now as it is. Need to add a second tank. Largest we can have is a 38 gal. lowboy due to location of tank) 3) electrical system overload. 4) we would be "stuck" for the rest of our lives as it would be too "customized" that it would not sell.
or the rest of our lives as it would be too "customized" that it would not sell.

Has anyone ever made a house too large for the systems? We would have to add another panel for sure to the house. We just think it is going to be too much system overload as it is now. Let alone, adding 3 more people in the home. In addition, my sister in-law stays a few days a week b/c her husband is out of work & we're helping them out. So, would you add on? Our main concern is indeed the septic system. County has inspected it & it is fine and we get it pumped every 2 years versus the recommended 3 years. The hot water is huge problem now and trying to solve it is maddening. I'm looking at suggestions of what others may have done. I know there are probably not that many big families but maybe some of you added more than you thought you would, etc. or work in the industry and have a good grasp of whether it wood even be feasible to do this. We are going to get estimates but do all work ourselves (except plumbing & roofing) to save money. DH used to work on houses. Anyhow, ideas as we have gone back & forth on what to do. My biggest fear is adding on and having a major system failure. A house that is originally sized for 4 people and will soon house 12, is worrisome to me. Trouble is, we LOVE our neighborhood and location. Thoughts?

Okay, this picture is NOT where I had the cursor.  This is a partial view of our house nonetheless.

Costs would be a wash either way.  We stay here, we can most likely refi a bit into it to cover & yet still have the same payments(possibly less) than we do now as our fixed rate is currently higher than the going rate.  However, homes are selling much cheaper now than they were around here.  We could get a much larger house & awesome deal.  Selling ours is where I'd be concerned.  7 kids and a dog equals one chaotic mess most of the time.  Emotionally, the kids would be totally distraught if we moved.   They are already prostesting.  Ever seen the movie 'Moving' w/ Richard Pryor??  It would be totally like that.   URGHH.  Decisions are tough as parents, aren't they?  We really love our home.  We've made it what it is today.  Not many homes nowadays can seat a family of 12.  I know many say do not move during an adoption process.  Yes, we know that but don't listen. We moved into this home just a few weeks shy of getting Yana and Alex.  It was not planned.  We had 2 days to find a home AND be in court in Russia that same week.  So, yes, we know it can end up crazy.  We would love to build our own home but given our bunch, it is not humanly possible.  I swear someone would end up messing w/ some nail gun and off to the ER we would go.  Being that IRina can't feel pain, this is all too possible folks.  I'd show the picture of a nail in her knee from the summer but feel you would not appreciate it.  Anyhow, this is a huge decision.  We'd love to move out of state.  It is not at the moment possible to start a new career with the current economy.  So, we must stay put.  Warren has a great job and a stable one.  He has a wonderful company he works for that has FANTASTIC employee benefits AND health insurance.  So, we know we'd stay in the area.  We are currently looking at land & some options.   Keep in mind, we don't really want to move.  Frustrating at best.   As a parent, you have to make the tough decisions.  This will be one of the toughest as it will be permanent.  Has to be done though.  So, trying.  I'll see if I can find some shots of our house.  We love the fact that we have a path worn down to nothing but dirt from where the kids walk to school up the hill.  We love how it smells like honeysuckles in the spring.  All the flowers that bloom in the spring and summer.  I have endless bouquets....literally.  I love being able to sit at the table working while I watch the kids swim outside.  I love that my kids can make weaponry(swords, knives, arrows, etc.) from sticks right in our own yard.  I love seeing the trees change during all the seasons.  We love being able to see our kids at the bus our own driveway.  We love the community we live in.  I mean, I could go on forever here.  You get the picture.  It would be difficult to leave.  Right now though, we are finding it near impossible to stay.  I used to say nothing is impossible unless you try shampooing a porcupine.  So, it is possible to stay.  Well, we are looking into it.  System upkeep is top priority on our list.  Last thing you want is a septic or electrical failure. 

This is a view of the swingset.  They are always on it.  Notice how our entire backyard is surrounded by trees?  They hike and explore in there, they really enjoy the outdoors.  This is part of the yard we'd miss.  Some more views:

Took this when we were going to have a summer like meal.  Notice this is our dining room table and how it overlooks the pool outside.  We can watch the kids swim.  Those hydrangea flowers on the table come from our yard.  I have a never ending supply all summer long.   Also, notice the entire backyard is surrounded by trees.  Very private for swimming & kids playing.

This is a picture of part of our front yard.  Grass hadn't come in quite yet.  We let the kids romp & play all over the yard.  Ask our neighbors, we could careless about how the yard looks--LOL.  We keep it mowed.  Okay, well, Max keeps it mowed.  There are no limits for the kids as to what they can play or how.  Only rule is don't mess w/mom's flowers!   Kids have lots of space here to play as you can see.  Would be hard to leave that.  Of course, there are other houses and  yards to play in that I'm sure are just as great as this one. 

In the front yard again.  We had made "foamerators" this summer.  All the kids had fun w/ it.  Again, lots of green, lots of room.

Entrance to Chaos Manor.  Looks friendly, calm and simple, right?  It is our home, we love it and are now faced with the decision if it is best to leave it and start a new in another home.  Whatever we decide, we really want done before the kids come home.  PLain and simple.  So, this post is long enough.  Any ideas or suggestions, do let me know.  We're very open.  Which reminds me, anytime anyone is in NC, do stop by.  It is always loud, always something going on, always something to do, and always something on the floor.

Ooh, guess what?!  New camera is ready.  More pics in the next few days I'm sure.  Kids are off school tomorrow and Friday.  Supposed to rain.  Lovely.  I'm sure we'll think of something to do.  More pics tomorrow and at least 3 mroe posts tomorrow to play catch up for the last few days.  Okay, hoping for that many posts.  Kids will be home remember.  New fundraising info.  Enjoy your evening. 

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