From the outside, I know we must appear to be completely nuts. As if adopting while we already have two under three isn't enough, here's the housing situation...
We own a home. We have had it on the market twice, rented it out once, and are preparing to move out yet again in July. What's crazier is that we have nothing against our home. I would go as far as to say, I actually really like it.
We initially listed our home mostly due to concerns about major changes for the surrounding area. A couple of months in to the listing we had someone ask to rent it, so we moved out and they moved in for the last several months of the listing contract. During that time Snuggs served as a Courtesy Officer in an apartment complex and we got an AMAZING deal on rent there. It wasn't a great place to live. Just imagine what would cause us to create the word "cricketfrogs." Better yet, imagine me, 8 months pregnant, chasing said "cricketfrogs." It was less than desirable, but financially it really benefited our family. We paid off A LOT of debt, and moved back into our home 7 months later with only our car payments left to pay off. We also decided, at that time that selling our home simply wasn't going to happen, and resolved to just make the best of whatever changes were to come.
Within about two months of moving back in, we began to understand a lot more about Buttercup's needs. We actually used our master bath as a nursery for several months because it was the quietest place in the house. She can not stand the sound of white noise, and hears EVERYTHING, so getting her as far away as possible from all of the household sounds was worth the loss of use of a bathroom for a while. Over time, due mostly to her sound sensitivities, we have discovered that this house is really just not the best situation for our family. Pair that with the desire to add another child, and we are motivated, once again to change the situation.
We just concluded another listing period, only to have the house not sell yet again. We have found a family that is committed to renting our home for three years, at a minimum. So, with everyone thinking we are totally wacko, we plan to move in to an apartment again. Snuggs will work as a Courtesy Officer yet again, though the financial benefits aren't quite as extreme. However, the exchange is that it is a MUCH nicer complex, and we will still be cutting our "housing" expenses in half with no "cricketfrogs" to chase.
The plan is to completely pay off our two relatively new Priuses (Priui?) by the end of 2014. Yes, we are a Dave Ramsey family. Yes, we have two relatively new, relatively nice cars. The explanation being that we run a family business that is dependent upon reliable and fuel efficient travel, and as silly as it may sound, the way our vehicles look really does matter to our clients. It's a hefty hunk of change, but we are praying that God will provide the means for us to do this. As soon as the cars are paid off we will begin saving for our down payment on a home. We plan to have 20% down in order to avoid paying PMI.
All of that said, we don't really know what we will do with the home that we currently own after the renters term is completed. It is doubtful that we will move back in, although it isn't completely ruled out. If we are to move back in, we will do some MAJOR renovations to make the home more appropriate for our family, especially Buttercup's sound sensitivity. It is more likely that we will try to continue renting it out, and if we can't we will try to sell it, again. (For the record, being a landlord(ess) was NEVER on my radar for "life plans.")
It's odd, to be "grown ups" and have such a variable housing situation. It's odd to own a house that we like, but also can't really stand because it torments our child. It's odd to have a "plan" knowing full well that it probably won't go that way at all. We've had enough "plans" at this point to know that we shouldn't put much stock in them.
What we do know, without a doubt, is that God will provide for our needs; that we are commanded not to worry about tomorrow. We know that all of the "stuff" doesn't really matter at all, as long as we have each other and our God. But, I will admit that all of the funny looks from our friends, followed by even more intimidating lines of questioning, do make me feel like we must surely be off of our rockers.