My daughter had a friend over to play recently, and this was the question shyly asked about our fourth bedroom upstairs.
I had to laugh, because looking in the room, it was a completely fair question. I explained that the room used to be an office, and now we were turning it into a bedroom (for our eventual adoption), so right now it was sort of “in-between.” It was an honest description of the situation. That being said, it’s been an “in-between” room for a really, really long time.
There are remnants of “office” in there: a (completely empty) computer armoire, one kitchen chair used for a computer chair, a rocking chair, and a side table. There’s also a child’s desk and a doll’s “baby care center,” pulled from bedrooms to go to the basement playroom, but somehow stalled out upstairs. There’s also our stepladder. At some point, I needed the stepladder upstairs to do something, but it was so long ago I actually don’t remember what it was. (I’ve seriously thought about this for three days…I have no idea why that stupid thing is up there, it was that long ago.)
Admittedly, lots of things are “trapped” because I need help moving them down the stairs (even the child’s desk I’m not too keen on tackling by myself). But the room has been in transition for so long that I’ve reached the point of absolutely no excuses. I won’t even mention the file cabinet and stacks of papers in the closet….
It’s hard to commit myself to working in the room; the uncertainty of what to expect weighs on me as I think about getting started. Who are we getting the room ready for? Boy or girl? How many? How old? What will they need? Instead of anticipation, it’s a feeling of almost frustration–why am I cleaning this out now? It almost seems like it would be easier to wait: wait until we could be getting a room “ready for someone,” instead of simply “cleaning it out.” Building on an attitude of excitement, instead of simply the reality of the unknown.
But here’s the thing: I know, without a doubt, one thing any child will need will be an EMPTY ROOM. A room standing ready; able to be filled with them and their things. Wouldn’t it be easier, wouldn’t it be so much less stressful, to start moving forward on a child (or children) feeling like we’re ready to welcome them in; into a room completely cleared of everything and ready to make their own?
Maybe, just maybe, the next time someone asks me “what’s that room for?” it will be because it’s empty; ready to be filled.