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what do we do now?

Friday, January 30, 2009

One of the things I have been struggling with since we moved to Grab-Your-Lasso, Wyoming was not wanting to be here.

I didn't really WANT to move. I felt like we HAD to move.
It was a matter of family...doing what was best for everyone.
Not really the best of motives if you think about it - doing something begrudgingly. I tried, but never did quite find 'my better attitude' about the move, so I quietly endured.
Fast forward six months and I'm to the point where I'm liking Grab-Your-Lasso. Its a relatively quiet town, even with a ton of college students living nearby. The schools are pretty good - except for that whole liberal thing - but its giving us an opportunity to teach the kids how to stand up for what they believe in.
I have everything I really need at my fingertips. A 24-hour Wally World is just a 5 minute drive away, we have fast food restaurants (which we've never-ever had in any town we've lived in) and there's even a bagel shop - its not a Panera...but it fills my bagel cravings nicely.
We are seeing the grandparents on a pretty regular basis now. Once a month we try to get down to the parents, and they usually return the favor - coming up for the kids programs, sporting events and just to hang out with us.
We've made some pretty good friends. Friends who are at the same point in life...and surprisingly, about our same age. We're all in our late 30s and 40s with kids in elementary. All of our oldest kids are boys, all in the same grade. We all go to the same church. All of our kids like sports, so we end up at the same events. And we get along GREAT!
Its been good.
So, I've grown accustomed to life in Grab-Your-Lasso.
Still...the financial part of life never has come together.
I haven't found a job - haven't even had an interview - after applying to nearly 30 jobs. I'm doing a bit of freelance work, but its not enough to make much of a difference.
The job Shad came here for, and that I followed him for, has been alright - but the owners have reneged on a bunch of the stuff they promised us...and we were naive enough to trust their word.
The health insurance we were promised...that we negotiated that they would provide for the whole family...turned out to be the catastrophic kind. It only kicks in after the first 3,000 of a hospital bill. Not exactly stellar. We have to put aside money for office visits, ER trips and that first 3,000.
The continuing education they agreed to pay for, has turned out to have a ton of strings attached...he can only go to state meetings, regardless of what the topic is (usually clinics will provide a certain amount to cover your expenses...but not limit you on where you actually go.)
The reduced on-call schedule has completely vaporized. He was supposed to be on call only every fifth weekend...and one day a week. He's on call every third...and sometimes on two to three nights a week.
The money is still there - thank goodness, but in another six months he will go on a production (commission) type of pay scale which could be devastating.
Oh! And have I mentioned that they didn't pay for his MALPRACTICE INSURANCE?!!!! Heaven forbid something happens.
So for the past few weeks (actually months) we've been debating...
Should we stay or should we go?
(Anybody else have that song running through their heads?)
We have gone around and around...talking about every conceivable option, ad naseum. We're so sick of talking about it that if one of us brings it up, the other usually leaves the room.
Then this morning I got the news I've been dreading.
We don't qualify for our home loan.
Not because we have horrible credit...
Not because we don't pay our bills on time - somehow we've managed to pay everything on time, even without my salary.
Nope. Its because four international adoptions, four years of veterinary school, no job for me, a house that won't sell in Kansas, and the mortgage crisis all add up to LOAN DENIED.
I feel sick.
Seriously...physically ill.
Not only are we in jeopardy of having to move...again. We're facing the real possibility of not having a decent place to go.
Oh, we could find a dump of an apartment and stuff all the kids in one bedroom...but who really wants to do that?!
The problem is, Grab-Your-Lasso, Wyoming is an incredibly expensive place to live. REALLY. EXPENSIVE.
We knew this was a possibility and thought we were reasonable with our housing choice. Its a 1960s bi-level. Three bedroom, two bath.
Not exactly a palace.
We thought we were conservative in our housing choice.
We thought we were being responsible.
We got pre-approval from our former mortgage company and blissfully jumped right in to a contract.
Our provisions?
Six months before closure...sooner if the house sold.
We were sure in that six months one of two things would happen.
A - I would find a job.
or B - The house in Kansas would sell.
Should be enough time for one of those things to happen, shouldn't it?
But then the mortgage crisis hit...and everyone changed their rules.
In the meantime, our pre-approval expired.
So now, we're stuck.
Our debt to income ratio is too high for us to get approved...I can't get a job to help that situation...the house in Kansas won't sell...and our contract is set to expire in March.
I called our Wyoming real estate agent (who happens to also be long-lost family) and told her the news. She has a call into the owners to find out if they'll have mercy on us and extend the contract until June just in case one of those two miracles happens.
And if not, to find out if A) they would be willing to rent to us and B) how much they would want per month.
I'm not expecting good news. I seriously doubt the owners will continue to rent us this property at the current rate (way below market value)...and anything more is impossible.
When we made this move six months ago, we thought we had God's blessing. He seemed to be opening doors, moving things, paving the way for us to move. So even though I didn't want to, I followed where I thought He was leading.
Now we have NO idea what He wants of us.
It seems as though He's left us high and dry.
I know it's not true. I know He's still taking care of us...
But it FEELS a whole different way.
I guess that's the difference between faith and sight.
One is done by our senses - feelings, sight, intuition.
The other is done by stepping out without a net.
What is it the Bible says?
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'
I'm trying to take that step...honest, I am.
Whether God wants to miraculously move by selling our house...
Or whether He is wanting us to move back to Kansas, I don't know.
I do know He is in control...because I've put Him there. (well, that and because what choice do I really have in the matter?)
But I hope he starts moving quick, because right now things are looking incredibly bleak.
Do we stay, or do we go now?
We just don't know.

20 salty messages:

Debbie January 30, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

Oh, this is a conundrum! I have no ideas for you...but you could move here! OK, I know that doesn't help. Wow. Are you renting out your Kansas house while it's on the market? Hmm... You're now on my prayer list. If I come up with anything brilliant, I'll let you know. But I pray God lets you know before He strikes me with brilliance!

Tami January 30, 2009 at 6:50 PM  

No, we're not renting out the house because A) we're hoping it will sell, and B) we've had REALLY bad experiences with renting out our houses before and were hoping to avoid it.

Diana January 30, 2009 at 8:05 PM  

No words of wisdom here, either. You already spoke them all. But, I do know that sometimes God does expect us to step into the dark (and then stay there for awhile to make sure we still trust Him) before He displays his magesty.

Hang on tight and keep on praying. The light will come.

AdoptaMama January 30, 2009 at 8:37 PM  

Tami, I have no guidance or insight for you, but I can tell you that your family will be in my prayers. I can't imagine what you're going through right now. Hugs and prayers coming your way from 'Milk-Your-Cow-Wisconsin.' ;)

~Patti

Tina in CT January 30, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

Doesn't sound like there are enough reasons to stay. What about vet opportunities in CO as isn't one set of parents there? Any better prospects in another location that isn't too far from the family that you moved to be closer to?

What stinks is you and Shad are both well educated people and hard working. With this crappy job economy, it is so difficult.

Don't understand the liberalism relating to the public school. I know you have conservative views but the public schools can't (and shouldn't) be delving into those areas.

I can imagine that this has been so hard for you and Shad and wondering what is the right decision. Wish I had some good answers to send your way other than I'm thinking of you.

Troy and Rachel January 30, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

What a tough situation. We'll be praying that the house in Kansas sells right away (and for the job situation). Sometimes, it is hard to feel like God is out there, but that's what we have to keep remembering, that He is. I hope you can extend your contract or possibly rent the house for a while. Please keep us all informed.

Rachael January 30, 2009 at 9:11 PM  

Hoping and praying that all will be revealed to you soon.

jessy January 30, 2009 at 9:28 PM  

Tami,

It is unbelievable how God has us both in the exact same place right now! We, too, felt so strongly that we were following God's plan to move, but it is as though His hand has been against us since that time. We were very disheartened today to hear that a housing situation we just "knew" was going to work out, won't. Very soon, we will be 1)homeless-I'm seriously considering asking what the qualifications are for our local shelters. 2)seperating our family-my family has a lake house (trailer) that we could live in, but it is a two hour drive away. John would have to live here during the week.
I think you can see why neither of these options is appealing to me! But our God is never late, right? Right?

kate January 31, 2009 at 5:51 AM  

Hang tough. The housing crisis that's keeping your Kansas house from selling would also, likely, keep your current house from selling. Let's hope your landlord's favor the bird in hand.

If not, ditch the lasso and start looking.

NO fun!! Boo.

Katie January 31, 2009 at 6:28 AM  

I don't have any guidance, but I will pray for you and your family. What a frustrating situation to be in!

I know that when I feel like I'm on shaky ground, I think about just how amazingly blessed we are compared to so many other people in the world. It doesn't take away my problems but, somehow, it helps me to keep them in perspective.

mrsbroccoliguy January 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

You know I understand how you're feeling - being as how I wrote the "what is God doing?" post on this same topic last month - but wow, this latest situation takes things to a whole new level for you. We upped the stakes by buying our house here, but if we didn't own this house, and Hubby's job went south, well, we probably would move back to Washington. But that's in a hypothetical world and we're still trying to feel "settled" here, whereas your family seems to have done very well settling in. Have you asked your church family for prayer and/or guidance? They may have ideas you haven't considered or God may use this opportunity to cement you into your new community.

I read something in my new Bible study the other day that really helped me, maybe it will help you too:

"When you are in a situation that has an outcome that seems not to be according to God's will, wait to see what happens next. The story is not over. ...
As God's power and provision flow through your life, blending one circumstance into the next, you will find that the story is never over. Don't put a period where God has put a comma. There is no end. What looks like a defeat is the ground from which victory will grow." (from "Live A Praying Life" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean)

Praying for you and Shad as you seek God's leading.

Delahne January 31, 2009 at 2:15 PM  

Tami,
I'd always heard, if the door opens,it must be God. If not, it's not meant to be. A few weeks ago I heard something that seems a lot more in line with the way the devil will try to hinder us following God's plan- If you know God said to do it and there are 4 padlocks on the door, keep believing and pressing on until it opens!
God is for you, stay on His side trusting Him, and watch what He'll do for you.

pam,  January 31, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

tami sorry to hear of your situatiion,maybe now would be a good time to start playing the lottery(just kidding). do you have any jobs lined out if you were to move back to kansas? and if even if you got your house in kansas sold would you still be denied a home loan in wyoming? if so i realize that you all want to be close to your family and that's understandable, but at least if you moved back to kansas you would be living in a house that you owned versus renting one in wyoming.why are they going to change the way they pay shad is it because of the economy (it really sucks by the way),and is there maybe another office where he could find work in his field,that would treat him better. it sounds as though they have gave you guys the shaft on some things .well i wish you the best of luck!! but just remember this to shall pass.

pam,  January 31, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

tami this is pam again,and there is some advice i can give you,it keeps me going and gives me a laugh everytime i think i'm going completely nuts .just keep swimming! if you've ever watched finding nemo you know what i'm talking about.

Bethany January 31, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

I'm so sorry. We have felt so blessed lately, we're not feeling the economic crunch as badly as so many other people are right now. But, I have been in your shoes before. I have seen the blessings that come when we do what we should (even, make that ESPECIALLY, when we don't know why.) Maybe try praying in a different way. Something that has helped us in the past, instead of praying, "what should we do?" already make a decision, and then pray, "is this the right thing?" Often, He really does want us to make a step, and not wait to get pushed. It's so hard, and I will add you to my prayer list. Oh, and may your Steelers win, so at least my birthday will go well for you!

Anonymous,  January 31, 2009 at 10:59 PM  

Tami -
This may sound stupid, but MAYBE the house in Kansas hasn't sold because God is saving you a home to return to. Maybe doors will open & you'll go back to jobs there and you'll have your house to move back into. Just a thought.

-Michelle

Sarah Halter February 1, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

I just wanted to encourage you that you really DID step out on God's direction to make the move. Don't let the circumstances now pressure you to question whether you heard him right before. Sometimes he gives the go, and then changes where we thought we were going. Sometimes he gives the go and the enemy slams the door. But don't let the father of lies convince you that you made a mistake or that you didn't hear God right. Trust him for each step, which you HAVE done so well in so many different areas. Hang in there!

Elaine February 1, 2009 at 9:26 PM  

Oh yikes! I wish I had magic words for you, but I don't. Given the housing crisis I would think your current landlord would just be happy to have good, responsible people renting the house, so hopefully that will work to your favor. I totally understand why you are reluctant to rent your Kansas house. Will keep you in my prayers. One way or the other, things will work out. They always do. But the waiting and trusting and having faith until everything works out that is so. dang. hard!

Annie February 2, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

My heart really goes out to you. Although we own our home, I know what you mean about the adoption debt holding you down....and the "What is God asking?" My husband is in Korea, where he loves it. I'm here and just when I was thinking "Korea"...it looks like I might have my job - a job - after all.....

The waiting is hard. Acting without assurance is hard. All we can do is to try to do His will, and I guess that IS doing His will.

Nataliya February 4, 2009 at 6:25 PM  

Oh, Tami, I hear you. Both my husband and I have been without jobs, and once both of us were laid off at the same time, so I understand your situation. I truly hope something will work out, please wait for a little bit longer, and it will come!

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