The Big Purge

Hello, friends. Brandon here.

The home study process has been preparing our hearts and minds for our future child. One big project looming in our future is preparing our home for a child. The catch is there’s only so much we can do. Our case worker and other people who know such things have discouraged us from buying baby furniture or decorating a nursery until after we bring our little one home from the hospital. The reason is, even if we are chosen by  a birthmother while she is pregnant, she has a few days (72 hours, I think) to make her final decision regarding whether or not to place the child for adoption. In other words, if we were to paint the nursery and stencil little O’Brien’s name on the wall, there’s a chance the birthmom could change her mind. I’m sure there’s nothing more depressing than an unused nursery.

So, we can’t decorate the room. But we need to have everything in place so that when we do bring junior home, we can turn the guest room/office in a nursery (probably nursery/office or nursery/guest room/office…) pretty quickly. That means going through all the junk under the bed, clearing out the closet, culling books (mostly my books, I’d like to add) to make shelf space, and otherwise trying to turn 100 square feet into 200 square feet.

But cleaning of this magnitude is never limited to one room. We realized early on that in order to make room in one closet, we’d have to move stuff into another closet–and that means making room in that closet, too. So this morning, Amy and I began the big purge. We pulled stuff out from under our bed, emptied our closet, organized, simplified, de-junkified. By the end of the afternoon we had filled several garbage bags full of stuff to either toss, recycle, or donate.

Of course in the process, we piled a bunch of junk in the guest room to deal with “later.” Now the guest room–the room we are trying to empty–is in worse shape than before. But I suppose that’s how these things go. They get worse before they get better.

As much as I hate cleaning the house, I have to say that it is good for our souls to eliminate clutter, simplify, and organize our home. It’s something we’ve been needing to do anyway, but I need a reason to spend my Saturday looking through (and throwing out) college term papers and trying on pants that haven’t fit in three years.

In a sense, this purging process feels like a metaphor for our spiritual and emotional preparation, as well. The home study process has us thinking about our pasts (individually and together) and planning our future. It’s forced us to think about priorities and traditions we want to maintain and habits we should stop. I think we have the opportunity to be much more intentional about preparing ourselves for parenting than people do when they have their first biological child. So we’re “cleaning house,” inside and out.

Amy has been good about posting pictures. I’m not. But I’m sure we’ll post a pic of the guest room when we have it nursery-ready.

Thanks for reading.

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