I am beyond blessed, my friends, to have a lovely group of volunteers coming to my home tomorrow to begin remodeling my apartment. There are some changes I've been hoping to make before Samantha gets home, and God has sent people to help! Every month, my Community House helps to host Servant Sunday in our inner city neighborhood. These Sundays often consist of several churches getting together to help us help our neighbors. We've had volunteers paint houses, put up drywall, fix porches, mow lawns, trim trees, you name it! Tomorrow, a group from the University Lutheran Chapel will be blessing me and Samantha. How wonderful is that? And once they have finished the first phase of work, a very good friend of mine has offered to help me finish. I could not be more excited! So, here's what's happening.
I currently have a fully enclosed kitchen. As it is right now, I am not able to see or hear people in the dining or living rooms. So, we are going to cut a large window out of this wall. And, if I can find a cheap countertop and cupboards at the Eco Store, we will install them below the window, which will provide the kitchen with some much needed work space. This improvement is so important, as I know I'll need to be able to keep an eye on Sam and talk to her while I'm cooking and doing dishes.
Here's the newly naked wall in the dining room, where the wall is ready to be cut. I think it'll look pretty cool opening into the orange kitchen.
Next we plan to relocate the door to Samantha's bedroom. Currently, her bedroom opens into the kitchen. This space will be filled in, making room for the refrigerator, which fits here perfectly.
We will then cut a new door through this wall, which currently leads into my bedroom. This is not the permanent color of Samantha's room. I was on a pink kick not too long ago, but now I've been seriously thinking about Turqouise and Yellow. (Mom, don't worry! A pink blanky will be lovely in any color room!)
Samantha's door will open on the right side of this wall in my bedroom. Unfortunately, my new tree will not survive. But that is a small price to pay :) This is just the first phase of the project.
The second phase will be to remove the door to my bedroom and extend the hallway all the way to the end of the room. So from this angle, you would walk down this hall and my bedroom would open on the left, and Samantha's would open across the yellow hallway on the right. And at the very end of the hallway, I hope to put a floor-to-ceiling closet with shelves which will be useful for storing Samantha's things, as her bedroom does not have a closet.
Sometime soon I'll have to write more about the Community House where I live and the ministry that I am part of. Without the people here, my church family, and my birth family, none of this would be possible. God has ordered my life perfectly, in such a way that I am able to give a child a loving family and a home, even as a single mother (which I never thought I would be). Because I have an abundance of loving and supportive people in my life and in my home, I am able to do things like remodel my apartment for only the cost of the supplies. I am allowed to work part time, so I'll be home with Samantha, and yet I'll still receive incredible benefits so I can be confident that after years of being neglected in an orphanage, Samantha will have the medical care she needs. I am able to live very inexpensively, as my friends and I all share the mortgage in this big ole house. And if I ever need ANYTHING, all I have to do is walk downstairs or next-door, and I have friends who are truly "in this" with me. Praise the Lord for His provision; spiritual, emotional, physical, relational. Praise Him for setting me in a family (both biological and otherwise). Praise Him for ordering my steps; I have been on THE best, most exciting and fulfilling journey...all of which I now realize was leading me to Samantha. HE is good. He really does love us, doesn't He?