(This is part 6 in a series of posts detailing the events leading up to our move from Ithaca to Dublin. You can read the whole series here)

When we left off last time, at the end of December, Ireland was off the table.

So in January, we began looking at new homes to buy.

Our realtor made some appointments, and we took a Saturday afternoon to look at some places in the Trumansburg area.
First house…blah.
Second house…meh.
Fourth house…ugh.

But house #3…I loved it. Brenna loved it (the other kids were out of town). Love might be too strong for Liz, but she thought it would work.

Our realtor was amazed at the price.

(The house had been on the market for about 4 months at that point. Liz & I had actually visited it during an open house, but the price was crazy. They had just 3 weeks earlier, lowered the price by $40,000. However, in those 3 weeks since, it was still on the market.)

Since we were all on board, we looked at one more house, and then drove right to our realtor’s office to draw up a purchase offer.

When we arrived we learned that there was a possibility of 2 other bids coming in that day, so we made our offer for a few thousand over the asking price.

And we were the highest bid!

The next highest bid offered cash.

The owners took the cash.

We’d been looking for homes for a few months prior to our trip to Ireland, & had a series of similar experiences.

On the day we thought we sold our house the first time, we went to the same realtor’s office to sign all of the papers to sell our home, and then were going to make an offer on a home in T-burg that had been on the market for 9 months. Our realtor got a call while we sat in her office saying that house had just gone off the market.

There was another home we loved, and made an offer on which was refused. Eventually, they dropped their price and we made another offer, contingent on us selling our home…which wasn’t selling. They got tired of waiting and eventually moved to London and rented it out to someone else. (Our house sold shortly after).

Then there was a house with a weird layout, but an amazing master suite that had been on the market for over 3 months. We weren’t crazy about it…but they finally lowered the price enough that we decided let’s go for it. We were sitting in Maxies Supper Club when I took out my phone to email our realtor that we wanted to make an offer. There was already an from the realtor saying (as you guessed it…that house just went off the market.)

Our realtor eventually asked us if we would be willing to make offers on all of the houses she was trying to sell, because with the market like it was, the only thing that seemed to get houses moving, was us wanting to buy them.

Of course, we eventually bought a home in Tburg & were working with a contractor on some upgrades, but then the sale of our house fell through.
So when this latest housing sale fell apart, I was frustrated/sad/etc.

So with all of that as background, and nothing on the market in our price range, I was frustrated. I asked a number of friends, as well as some leaders & prayer team people at the Vineyard to pray. God seemed to be saying something. We just had no idea what.

Church Stuff.
At the same time, there were some situations at the Vineyard we were trying to resolve. Some of the ripples were still there from the staffing issue we’d gone through. And a couple of people even decided now would be a good time to try and bring the whole thing back up again. Ugh.

Baby Stuff
Somewhere in the midst of this whole process, a major crisis came up.

We’d had a sonogram in November to determine how the baby was doing. At that appointment we learned:

  • We were having our 4th daughter.
  • That she looked perfectly healthy.
  • And that there were some concerns about the position of the placenta.

(I should also point out, that even with all his fancy gizmos, I was closer on the due date than on of the top neo-natal doctors in the area…just sayin’)

We rescheduled another sonogram in early January. That is where we first heard of Placenta Previa.

Basically, that means that if Liz went into labour, the baby’s head would very likely sever the blood vessels between the baby & the placenta and she would bleed out in a matter of minutes. Long before we could get to a hospital.

That meant of course that a home birth was out of the question…but beyond that, that this was now considered a high-risk pregnancy. So the plan was that once the baby’s lungs were healthy enough they would do a C-section. Starting around 34 weeks, they’d be doing an invasive test each week to determine her lung capacity, in the hopes that they could remove her before Liz went into labour.

Bottoming out
I’m not sure when it happened, late January I’d guess, but I went into a pretty deep funk…maybe you’d call it a depression. Saturdays were my day off…I’d get up, make breakfast for the family and then go back to bed and pull the blanket over my head for most of the afternoon.

That went on for a few weeks.

One Saturday as I went out to walk around Tburg & pray about all this stuff (before I went back into bed to hide under the covers…progress!)

That was when the idea of Ireland came back in a major way. I felt it as strongly as I did that day we were driving to church in the North.

I went home to talk to Liz, who now was on bed rest because of the Placenta Previa & an injury to her leg.

I had a captive audience as I began to talk about Ireland.
Over the next few weeks, we just dreamed a bit.
Where would we live?
Could we get into the country permanently? (since Liz was a citizen, that one was easy)
How would this work? Could we raise support? What about the Ithaca Vineyard? What about the kids? When could we even do this?

To be honest, Ireland still seemed like a very very long shot. But clearly something was beginning to stir.