Yes, because life isn’t crazy enough- we added “build a house” to our to-do list. Truthfully, we just ran out of room in this house. We bought 17 acres in April of 2018 with plans to build in a few years. What we didn’t know the day we signed the papers on the land was that we were pregnant. And not just with one baby, but with two. Then when the twins were 5 months old, we added another baby. As of this moment, we have 3 babies in the nursery, Jessie and Bryson in the boys room, and 3 girls in the other room except Brynlee has moved back into OUR room. We did not expect to build a house this soon, but we need room to breathe.
I’m sure building a house anytime is crazy, but building with 8 kids 3 of which are infants is nuts. It feels like we blink and another week is gone. No doubt, the craziness will be worth it, but the nights that turn into early mornings for Justin are rough. He never complains though- just me.
The new house has 6 bedrooms and a bonus room. The bonus room will have a “big” kid side and a baby side. On the larger side, there will be a TV, sectional, gaming systems, etc. Basically it will be their living room. On the other end of the bonus room is the “baby” side which will essentially be a play room. There are 3 full bathrooms- something we are super excited about after sharing a single shower the last 10 years.
Upstairs, all of our children will have their own rooms except the twins. They will continue to share in the downstairs nursery which is connected to our master bedroom. This is one of the features I’m most excited about. Having a doorway right into their room will make caring for any future babies in the middle of the night much easier while also allowing us to keep our bedroom just for us. We’ve had a lot of babies in our room over the last 2 years. I’m excited to take back our space in the new house.
We are not creating a dedicated foster bedroom. Instead we will take each case as it comes and decide who should go where. This may mean that a one of our children will have a foster child move in with them or it may mean 2 of our children will room together so our foster child can have their own space if needed. We have 1 very introverted child who needs her own space- something we’ve learned recently. The others have all adjusted to sharing their spaces in the past so I’m not too concerned. As it stands right now, Jessie will have his own room. Bryson will have his own room. Bella will have her own room. If our current placements are still here when we move, our foster daughter will room with Brynlee and our foster baby will continue rooming with the twins.
In our current home, our kitchen, dining, and living area are all one space- and it’s not a large space. I’m super excited to have a dedicated dining room in the new house. The current trend is an open dining area like we have now, but I really enjoy sitting around the table with my family. The fewer distractions, the better. We turn off screens when are all eating together. We won’t have to compete with screens or the distractions of an open space in the new house while eating. Not sure why I’m so excited about this, but I am!
Over the last week, Justin and Jessie have started hanging the drywall and the vinyl siding. We have a long way to go, but it’s definitely coming together. Every little bit of progress fills me with joy. I still can’t believe we are actually building a house, but there it is. I love that Jessie and Justin are taking on most everything together. It reminds me of how Justin and my dad worked together to remodel our current house 10 years ago. Our kids will always have the memories of their dad pouring himself into a house built just for them. That thought seriously gives me butterflies.
Fortunately, we don’t have a deadline to be moved in. We aren’t in a hurry. Honestly, things have moved much quicker than I ever expected. I was hoping to move in next summer and it looks like we are going to exceed that goal by several months. Leaving our current house is going to be bittersweet. We brought all of our babies other than Bryson home to this house. We’ve welcomed 21 foster kids and counting in this house. Celebrated and grieved, rejoiced and mourned. We’ve hit rock bottom and grown stronger. We’ve rearranged bedrooms over and over. It has been such a good little house. Our plan is to renovate a few things and then rent it out.
I can only imagine how many children we will welcome into our new house. All of the memories we’ll make. I hope we fill the house with children and then grandchildren. There are trees that were created just for tire swings. 17 acres and a creek for little ones to explore. A future pond to fish. I am just filled with gratitude.