Today we hired a company to come in and do the clean-up and after that do the construction and restoration of our house. It felt good to see men coming in with shovels to scoop up the insulation and stuff and get it out. They got the carpet pulled up and fans are set up to dry out the subflooring.
It sounds like the entire house will be taken down to the studs on all 3 levels, with the possible exception of B and K's rooms where the wall sheetrock might be saved. Ceiling must go in them, though.
The entire roof truss system must be replaced, as well. Thankfully, Blaine saved the roof truss diagram which will save a lot of work and time. He also has the blueprints which were used on the job site the first time around.
Every appliance is shot on the first level, including my new washer and dryer. The frig and freezer on the lower level might be ok.
Today, I did a walk quick walk through with our lead guy in charge of determining what is and is not salvagable. He asked me what absolutely had to be saved. We went around the house and literally found maybe 20 items at the most that were irreplacable to me. Most of them were items we picked up in Ethiopia for less than $1. It was weird to have your stuff reduced to a table with 20 items on it.
Tomorrow, I need to be at the house to help itemize and catalog each and every item in our house. It will take a few days and should be done by next Thursday.
All my Christmas items are going to be ok, thankfully. We found the boys greencards (YEAH), all the passports, all important papers made it with the exception of my calendar (so if I have an appointment with you I won't remember it!) and most thankfully of ALL things, the boys' life videos we received in Ethiopia which contain their time in the orphanage and an interview of their Ethiopian mother survived!! The originals are melted but the copies I made and planned to take to the safe deposit box made it. Praise God! There are so many positives in this situation and they are nothing short of miracles. Each one has God's fingerprints on it.
When I look at the house, I seriously don't feel sad or heartbroken. I can honestly look at my charred dining room table and say, "Oh, there is my table. Oh, well. Don't care." A week ago I would have told you that I "loved" that table and chairs. It was special to me and it was my dream table and chairs. But "love"? Nope, not love at all. I guess I really liked it and it served its purpose for my family but I wouldn't shed a tear over it. Puts "things" into their proper perspective.
Losing your home is definitely NOT the worst thing we've ever been through as a family. Losing a person is the worst and losing a house doesn't even come close to it. It's not even in the same universe.
The difficult thing in this loss is the emotional toll it takes on people, specifically our kids. It's hard to be a teenager and have your own stuff and space then lose it. My heart breaks for Mihiretu and Misganaw, who once or twice in their short lives have literally lost everything only to loose it once again. I'm sad for them. Misganaw begged me this morning not to go. He held onto me and said, "Mommy, don't leave me. Please don't go, Mommy. Mommy don't leave again." When I left, he lay at the bottom of the stairs, face down with his face in his hands. So sad. Katie found him yesterday lying under some big toy, just quiet. He never acts this way and I know he is sad and grieving. He said the other morning very sadly, "I don't like fire. I don't like fire in the house." The kids watched from the Jeep the flames coming out of the roof.
Please pray for the kids, strength and stamina for us and protection for all of us. We have been blessed beyond measure by the generosity of our friends, neighbors and family, and yes, even complete strangers. Once again, we are blown away by this and pray that God will bless each one of you greatly for your kindness to us.
We are thankful for all of you.
May God richly bless you,