Friday, June 22, 2012

The Post that Almost Wasn't

Sometimes it seems as if the days are all flowing together into an endless stream of meetings, classes, and activities. The funny thing that gets me is that I have sat down to type this out at least five times, but I get so overwhelmed and feel so tired that I simply close my laptop and go to bed.

Last Thursday was our last day of language school. We completed a two year long program that studies Arabic full time. It was exhausting, frustrating, and, ultimately, very rewarding. The finality of the end of term was a little surreal, but also a little anticlimactic. All of our classmates scattered to the four corners of the world (wow, literally. The US, Germany, South Africa, and China,) while we remained here, doing our normal thing. I'm still going to class every day, but it's not the normal program, so it feels different. 

Amidst the joy of finishing the program, that very weekend we spent three agonizing long days in the car. We drove to Abu Dhabi to house hunt first thing in the morning, only to find out that no one would show us houses until after the siesta time, around 5 pm at night. We were unable to check into our hotel until 3 pm, so we ended up driving around, scouting out neighborhoods and houses on our own for 6 hours or so.

We checked into the hotel, took a nap, then met up with a realtor at 5. Realtor should be used loosely, because in this case, it was a man who knows a neighborhood really well. He would drive us to a house that was for rent, and on the way there, he would be furiously making phone calls in order to find someone who knew someplace else that was for rent and then he would take us to that one. And on and on and on.

We saw nearly 10 places that first night, and hunted until 10 pm. Many of the places weren't really an option. We were looking for a 3 bedroom with a family room but our guy kept taking us to 2 bedroom places and saying he family room could be a bedroom and that the hallway could act as the family room. Two of the apartments were still under construction and they were really whole houses that would be parceled up into apartments. We would try to envision where we would put walls and such, but seeing as we need a place in a couple of weeks to be ready, those weren't options.

That first night we found 2 homes that would work, and we were really excited about them and their locations. House #1 seemed PERFECT and I could envision every detail of how I would decorate it. House #2 was huge, but we would have a nice little community around us. I was over the moon with excitement that we had found anything!

We slept in, ate breakfast at the hotel, went for a swim, took a nap, and headed out at 5 again to see more places. Grace was a peach during all of this time. I pretty much just handed her food in her car seat the entire time to keep her happy. She learned to say "Thank you," after each pretzel stick!

The second night we looked in a different area of town with a different "realtor." We found one town home that could really work but the location was questionable and one large apartment that we loved but was outside of our budget. We saw another 10 places that night.

My prayer all weekend was that God would close the door to houses that He did not want us in and that He would lead us by the hand over the threshold into the house and neighborhood that we were supposed to live in.

The third day we woke up, I took Grace to the pool (my poor, pale skinned husband had gotten slightly burnt the day before,) and then met up with one of Ian's supervisors. Since his company is paying for his (our) housing, they have to approve of the house and make sure it is within budget and such. We met up with our first "realtor" only to find out house #1 had been rented the night before. I surprised myself by being remarkably calm with that bad news, reminding myself that God was closing doors and for a reason that He understood. That really only left us with one option and we were sure it was going to be too big and too expensive!

Surprisingly, it wasn't! We got the first round of approval and I walked out of there in a daze. Ian paid the realtor a deposit to take it off of the market temporarily, and we drove home. We sent out an email to another supervisor for the ultimate approval waited nervously. If this was turned down we would have to do another long, tiring weekend in the car again! Just 24 hours later we got our response- yes! Was this us being led over the threshold into a new home?

Ian called the realtor and had to jump through 24 hours of nerve racking hoops. It turns out that the owner had mortgaged the four villas he rents out because he had gotten behind on payments. The bank had to approve the bartered down price and then wanted the entire year of rent at once, half in cash, half in a post dated check. Cash is no problem, because Ian's work could get that for him, but check would be an issue since we did not have an in country bank account with a physical check book.

God's hand was on us once again, and it all was smoothed over and worked out. The very next day, Ian traveled back to Abu Dhabi, signed a contract, and paid our rent.

I am so excited but also so grateful for the peace that God gave me during this time of waiting. I did not become attached to a home and then upset when the option was taken away, which could only be from God, because I am such a planner, dreamer, and designer!

We have a couple more weeks left here until we get to move, but the home is ours, and we can start taking car loads of our things over at a time. It's quite the drive but Ian doesn't have school and already has his visa so he can get there much easier and cheaper than I can. No pictures yet, but I hope to send my camera with Ian sometime this week and share where we will live next! And, as I said, I've already dreamed and designed the entire house! I can't wait to get started!

AND (as if that isn't good news enough,) our crate from the USA arrives in just one or two weeks! This has all of our household goods that we packed up and stored over THREE YEARS AGO! I honestly don't remember everything that is in there. Please just imagine the excitement it will be to have matching plates and silverware that doesn't bend when you use it! And our books! Oh our books. It's going to be like Christmas in July for the Galloway household!



Jessica said...

Congratulations! That's so exciting, and I'm sure you're over the moon excited to receive your crate! Can't wait to see pictures of the new place :-)

Emily Powell said...

Thats awesome! Cant wait to see pictures.

Tami said...

Oh Brittney! I am so thrilled that you guys found a home! It really sounds like God lead you right where you need to be. What area did you guys end up in? I am so excited that y'all will be there when we get back! Yay for getting your household goods. That will be the best day ever! We had to leave about 75 percent of our stuff in storage when we moved almost 3 years ago and I always tell Jesse that it will be like Christmas when we get it. I have no idea what's even in there! Good luck with the move. Can't wait to see pics!

Cara said...

Hooray for your house and for BOOKS! :D

Alison said...

YAY!!! So excited for ya'll! Can't wait to see pics of your new house!!!

The Barker's said...

So exciting!!!! I am so anxious to see pictures! So fun!

Callie said...

That is so exciting, it sounds great! I can't wait to see pictures!

Lyndsey said...

Wow! That is so exciting, I can't believe y'all are moving so soon! I can't wait to see pictures of your new home!

Kelley said...

yay yay yay!!