{SQT} Bedrooms, Choosing Hard Things, And A Fun Lenten Quarantine

Let’s talk about something that’s NOT contagious…at least for a bit, shall we?

1.This past weekend we got all the kids bedrooms switched around. The girls moved into the finished attic bedroom, and Byron moved across the hall into the girls old room. I disassembled the loft bed Byron used in the room he shared with Fulton and Teddy, and shifted around some shelving. Now Byron has his own room, with a double bed on it’s way, and the girls have a large room upstairs with three beds; two for them, one for a future (adopted) Mantoan. Without the loft, the boys room feels bigger and Tony is bumping his head less. I plan to put more storage in the room, but we’re finally getting around to laying hardwood floors in there so I’ll wait until the floor is down before putting in more furniture. (We pulled up the carpet right before we moved in thinking we’d lay the floor then, but we wound up needing to put more money than we expected into the old house to prepare it for renters, so the subfloor has had to do since then.)

2.I know everyone wants pictures, but all the rooms are a mess so you’ll have to wait. I’m planning to do a new video home tour once the new beds are delivered, everything is put away, and ideally the floor is down. Plus, I’m hoping to make good progress on the basement in the next few weeks so that’ll be something exciting to share; books! on shelves! Finally! Maybe I’ll even bust out some dance moves.

3.Random thought I had this week: Addie is now the same age Tony and I were when we started dating. :O

4.I got a comment this week from a reader who was curious to know why we’re looking into adoption when we seem to already have so much on our plate. I thought I would try to answer that in a post (quickly if possible) since I assume other people have probably wondered the same thing. I’ve thought about adoption for a long time, but when the Lord blesses you with five kids in eight years, and two with special needs, you tend to put those thoughts on the back burner for awhile. When I learned about orphan hosting, I thought it might be a good way to test the waters. Tony was not on board initially, and I let it go. It wasn’t cheap and I wanted him to support the idea so I waited. Eventually, we had a little extra money and Tony suggested we could put it towards hosting. The hosting experience taught us we could bring kids into our home who weren’t our biological children and we could love them as they were, even with all their trauma related issues. It was a stressful experience, but our whole family came away from it wanting to move forward with adoption. Our old home could not be approved due to old house quirks, and international adoption was off the table for other reasons. Once we moved, everyone agreed we wanted to try to start the process to adopt from foster care once again, so here we are.

5.When you have a lot of kids, and ones with extra needs, you quickly learn you are capable of much more than you ever thought possible. To Tony and I, an adopted child is just one more child. With everything else going on, what’s one more child? (Big families know what I’m talking about.) I’ve often thought, the question isn’t “Why us?”, it’s “Why not us?” To everyone else, we have lots of reasons not to adopt, but if not us, then who? It seems like there’s more people who have reasons not to adopt, than families willing to bring more kids into their homes. We have experience doing hard things we didn’t always have a choice in, but because of what we’ve learned, we can now choose to do hard things because we know the good that will come of it. We’re willing to add adoption to our plate because it’s a good thing worth doing, regardless of the additional work involved. I won’t judge anyone who doesn’t choose to adopt, but if we can inspire a few more folks to think about it (the way some of our friends have inspired us) I’ll consider it a nice bonus.

6. I’ve set a new writing schedule for myself. I’ll still be posting here every Friday, but I’ll also being writing new posts at Accepting the Gift on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month (vs just sharing previously published posts from this blog). I’ll also be sending out a blog newsletter twice a month, on the second and fourth Saturdays. The first will focus on more behind the scenes stuff happening here, the second will be more of a reading list with related thoughts. (Sign up HERE.) And beginning this month Accepting the Gift will begin putting out two newsletters a month on the first and third Saturdays featuring our latest posts, updated resources, and important links of interest to special needs parents. (Sign up HERE.) I’m going to be shifting away from sharing on social media and focusing on writing better posts, newsletter content, and developing books/ resources for Accepting the Gift. ( I’m still incessantly checking Facebook, but I’m working on creating more than just statuses.)

7.Now some Coronavirus updates! In case you missed it, I wrote this viral post on Wednesday (snicker). I’ve been having lots of online chats with people about the ramifications to our family of this outbreak. One friend asked what our “plan” was and outside a few things, I didn’t really have a “plan” and she was disappointed because she wanted to steal it for her family so, I finally thought I should create a “plan” to help me make decisions going forward rather than constantly second guessing myself. First, Fulton and Teddy are on quarantine and are not leaving the house. No more church, or activities at church (like stations, or scouts). Our school district has not yet cancelled any classes, but thankfully was totally on board with me keeping the boys at home. If classes aren’t cancelled, we’re going to work on getting homebound instruction, and if they are, the boys will do their schoolwork online like the rest of their peers. So, I get to try homeschooling them again for a week or so after all! Otherwise, Addie and Byron’s college classes are on break this week, with everything moving online after that for at least another week. I’m moving all my shopping to online (meaning placing my order and picking up rather than my usual stroll around the store). We’ve cancelled most social plans and Tony is working from home exclusively now (his use of public transportation was the greatest risk). We’re stocked up on medical supplies and everyone is washing their hands and sanitizing the hell out of every surface. Teddy has some non-Coronavirus cold symptoms so I might sew him up a surgical mask so he doesn’t infect anyone else stuck at home but, otherwise, I think we’re as prepared as we’re going to be. It’s going to get SO Lent-y up in this place. The extrovert in me is already screaming and clawing her eyeballs out!!

Now it’s your turn! Write down some Takes and link them up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!

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  1. My former priest up here is a chaplain at one of the nursing homes that has had a COVID-19 death up here, and we were talking about how Lent-y it is these days when I was on my way home from Seattle on Tuesday. (My Quick Takes are ALLLLLLLLL about living in an episode of “The Walking Dead”, also known as “Western Washington with COVID-19”.)

  2. Your plan seems like a sensible one. I am feeling like we’re all caught up in a tidal wave of despair, but your post helped me feel a little more calm. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing – my state’s governor cancelled all schools until March 30, one son is home from his school until Easter, another one has all online classes now, and the Diocese cancelled all Catholic schools for at least a week. I’ll be homeschooling even though I never planned to!
    It seems every email and phone call has another big change! I am standing firm and still having my son’s birthday party Sunday. His friends and he have been around each other all week – if anything’s been transmitted, one more time meeting won’t change it. I might put hand sanitizer and toilet paper the treat bags though.
    I love your reasoning about adopting – “why not us?” was the first thing my husband said when we found out our daughter has DS. It shifts the perspective positively to put it that way.
    I hope your home renovations proceed apace, and that all viruses avoid your home!

  3. Kelly, I misread “video tour” as “video game” and thought you were designing a video game based on your house renovations. I was all in. Perhaps one of your kids will have time. Thanks for posting even in the busy-ness. I find your perspective so encouraging. Blessings, Annie

  4. I’m just now learning about your plan to adopt and I’m excited for you! In case you haven’t found it yet, there is a Facebook group called “Catholic Foster/Adoptive Parent Support” that you might want to join. Having a community that understands the unique challenges of adoptive parenting can be very helpful.

  5. You mention sewing up a surgical mask. Do you have a specific pattern you use, or is that just googleable? I’ve been wondering if should make some for if (when?) one or more of us get sick.

  6. Thanks for answering my adoption question, Kelly :). I think that is such s wonderful outlook: to see the good that can come from hard things and difficult situations.
    Very applicable to the current quarantine as well, by the way, but I digress…
    Thanks, and all the best!

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