Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another rebuilding week

Where did this week go? From the house rebuilding standpoint it was a good week though. Some weeks although we know and have watched work being done it doesn't seem like much has changed to morph the house from construction site to home. This week there was such a difference from Monday to Friday it was amazing. The skim coating/sanding on the drywall was finished by the beginning of the week so the finish carpenters, Dave and Mike, were in all week putting in window framing, door frames, molding, base boards etc. They also hung the stripped doors and it makes the house feel and look so much more put back together. They are almost done. Such a nice feeling after spending so long walking round the house either so smoke dirty or so bare bones. The other great change was our new kitchen cabinets not only arrived but were installed!!! They are beautifully made by a father/son team and I wish I could do work like they do. The kitchen had been painted and the cabinets look really nice in contrast to it. It's such a relief because when you have a fire you have no time to spend months thinking how you want to redo the kitchen, collect magazine pictures etc. Because there are no walls or floor coverings it is all designed rather quickly in your head so you hope it all comes out like you're imagining, and like you hoped it would! I'm also so relieved that we are about 7 weeks into construction and we LOVE our contractors. Good news not just for this house, but also in case we need them for our next one! The biggest stress of the week was dealing with the Servpro franchise we hired to pack all our belongings to clean and restore them and compile an unsalvagable list for our insurance company. For over a month now we've tried to get an accurate and consistent list of the losses from them but it keeps changing, items getting left off etc., and it's been really hard to get the owners to return phone calls. So frustrating and worrying. This week my patience ran out when one of the owners e-mailed me telling me our list wasn't a priority because of the additional flood clients they had taken on in the last week, and we should have compassion for their new clients instead of bugging them for our list. In the meantime we are paying out of pocket for all new kitchen appliances and other items since the list isn't to our insurance company. Deep breaths..... I have to admit this weekend I'm pretty burned out and would love a weekend away so I could have a few days of someone cooking and cleaning up for me!!! Next week the interior of the house is to be painted. Definitely looking forward to that -- hope the new colours work together. Thank goodness it's only paint as opposed to tile, granite or floors if it doesn't! Before I forget, there are 2 important lessons we learned from the fire. Three if you count learning that a house fire should most certainly be a once in a lifetime thing! The first is that most people do not update the value of their home owners insurance often enough. Make sure a good builder tells you how much to rebuild your house from the ground up with the finishes/appliances that you have. We didn't do that and were lucky we didn't burn to the ground. Let me take a moment to give a shout out to Safeco Insurance Company who have been amazing through this so far and really nice people to deal with. The second thing I learned was that though smoke detectors and plug in carbon monoxide/gas detectors are life savers, if no-one is home to hear them you still have the fire. I won't live in a house again that doesn't have the detectors hooked up to monitoring company like ADT. If you have a fire then they will call for the fire department. Our detectors went off, neighbors heard them , but the fire kept burning. Live and learn!
Poor Johns been so sick with the flu this week. He's never missed a day of work before Friday. Thursday he came home early and I think he's slept ever since. I'm hoping he wakes tomorrow feeling better so by Monday he'll be able to make it through his crazy days for the week. Our little one (ok, she's 11 so not so little, but the phrase sticks still, perhaps will have to change after the adoption! Grandma still calls her the baby!) and I got to go out for sushi together Friday night. She's a total sushi maven (with her own roll she designed and is named after her,) and loves sitting at the sushi bar! It was a fun Mummy/Bean evening -- she great company and does make me laugh.
Monday I decided we needed a break from the house so I surprised the Bean and John with a visit to Pottery Barn kids. Oh my goodness they do have cute stuff! It's tough not knowing if we're going to have girls or boys, but I'd seen the cutest Peter Rabbit melanine dish set, small napkins etc that would work for either!! The Bean thought everything was cute and should be bought then and there. She was showing John a light green bedding set in case it was a boy and I was cracking up because he was explaining that if it was a boy it all had to be blue. Trains, boats -- you get it! I can't blame him -- two daughters, a wife, female cat, dog, AND rabbit. He needs some blue, but it was so funny listening to the conversation between them. Perhaps we'll have one girl and one boy to satisfy both for blue/pink purchases! Though we have so much to do in the next few months it does seem to feel so far off that we'll get the referral. Though we know an infant right now is approximately 8 months, we know the wait for young siblings (0-12 mo and 0-42 mo either gender, or twins 0-12 mo's, waitlisted 1/26/10) can be much longer. We wonder whether we will have heard by this time next year....There are several sibling families ahead of us on the list so we're keeping our fingers crossed for them that their waits will be close to the infant wait.
I'm hoping to replace my computer soon and will be able to download then upload photos. So many things to replace! I'll get around to it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I have been meaning to start this blog since November, but sometimes life intervenes. Just after we'd finished with all the paperwork and were just waiting for the visa to be approved, we had a house fire. it was the night after Thanksgiving and we were back East with family when we got the phone call in the early hours of the morning that our house was on fire. To make a long story short in many ways we have been very lucky. A problem with the floor heater started the fire under the house and it burned in the foundation for about an hour and had just started coming up into the house when the firemen broke in. The firemen went above and beyond to save our belongings and we are so grateful. Although we lost one cat because she hid, a fireman ran out with our other cat with his own mask over her face trying to revive her which he did. There are some wonderful brave men in this world, and thank goodness so many of them showed up at our house that night. The outside structure of the house looked good except for the roof. Two rounds of demolition later the burned foundation has been replaced, we have new wiring, new plumbing, new roof, will have new floors, walls, kitchen, bathrooms etc. etc. It will all be better than ever when it's done! JUST IN TIME TO SELL!!!! Yup, before the fire we were just about done doing those odds and ends to put the house on the market in the Spring to be able to buy a larger house for when we bring home the babies. That's still our plan, now the house will be even better than ever for the next owner! So when Gladney says find something to do while on the waiting list, we have! Building a house, moving back in, selling it, finding a new house, moving again, fixing up whatever we need to, then we hopefully will time it well to get our referral. Perhaps a vacation in there?
It has been nice as things settle down a little to look forward to the next year and the upcoming adoption. Our 11 year old is so excited. She has been asking for siblings since she was 5, and wants to know often why it can't just happen now! I am so happy about her enthusiasm. She is a lovely, kind, bright, caring person and will be a wonderful sister and role model. I am so happy for her that she will have the opportunity to be an older sister, and how lucky for the babies to have her in their lives. Sometimes people have commented how lucky these children are to be adopted which is kind, for John and I though we feel profoundly fortunate and blessed to have these children be part of our family and our lives. A family will have had the courage and faith to put their children up for adoption and will entrust us to raise them. Being a parent that is so humbling.