Thursday, September 22nd, 4:22am – The bright lights on my bedside clock confirm that I am up way too early for a day that I don’t have to work. As I often do upon awakening, I let the fog dissipate for a moment and realize why I am off today. Today is the big DAY, the day we have prayed and believed for, for over five months now. Barring any complications, you are busting out of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for your long anticipated homecoming! Of course after I remember all of this, there is no way I will be going back to sleep, work or not. I might as well enjoy my favorite time of the day.
Teeth brushed, I meander to the kitchen and get a cup brewing and moments later, warm cup in hand, I settle into my chair, careful to find glasses first and crank up heating pad. My tummy is full of butterflies as I being to pray and thank God for this day and your continued progress.
Nervous energy continues as I text a few close friends and family members. I am having trouble deciding what to do next. Do I go to town and buy balloons and food first? Do I go down to your house and do some cleaning and finish organizing your room and hang the “Welcome Home” banner?
Mommy spent the night with you last night and when she facetimes me, Nana realized you are not a morning person yet. We will see what we can do about that. I wonder how you felt last night with Mommy in the same room, right beside you all night for the first time since you were delivered on April 13th. I know Mommy was thrilled and so excited it was hard to sleep.
Nana is so emotional today and I heard that your Grammy is too. I think of your sweet face all situated in your car seat, or imagine the goodbyes of the doctors and nurses that have taken such good care of you, or what you will think of sunlight and grass and flowers and how mom and dad will feel driving away with you settled securely in the car with them, and I cry.
I remember the beginning of your journey and your tiny body being wheeled away and loaded into a helicopter and friends and family holding hands in a circle and praying and I cry again.
I think about the surgeries and the complications and the good days and bad days and the crazy roller coaster ride of the past few months. Emotional doesn’t even seem to describe it, I feel overwhelmed with joy and thanks. I feel like dancing and singing and doing cartwheels, all while praising God. So I do all of these things, except the cartwheels. I do want to be here well and uninjured when you arrive J
Throughout the day, Mommy calls and Nana helps her call pediatricians; we have to find one that can get you in on Monday in order for you to be released. What a feat, but it’s done. We will do anything to get you home!
After going to town and getting a Welcome Home cake that you can’t even eat yet, Nana arrives at your house to finish what Mommy had started in your room. Did you know that you have been so blessed by friends and family that you have too many clothes and shoes and bows? Nana spends a lot of time just looking at all of your cute stuff.
Oh Cali, you are so loved! People follow the reports on your progress and pray for you daily. They have been more than generous with donations to help mom and dad spend more time with you and pay for gas and hotels and food. They have offered words of hope and advice and encouragement to all of us who call you our own. We have been abundantly blessed and we are all so overwhelmed and grateful.
As the last ray of the afternoon sun casts a warm glow through your bedroom window, I got the text I had been dying for all day long; you were on your way! Mommy posted a picture on Facebook of you nestled in your car seat with a big smile so she could share the news with all of the people who love you. You looked like you knew exactly what was going on.
After that, the hardest part of the day began; the waiting. Nana paced and checked my phone over and over again for the latest report of where you were on your journey. Mommy and Daddy hit the 5 o’clock Miami traffic and then had to stop and feed you along the way. Oh, would you ever arrive?
When Papa and I got the message that you were close, we went outside to wait on the porch. My stomach did flip flops when I saw the headlights come around the corner. You were finally home! Papa was concerned you might get a bug bite so he reminded your daddy to rush you up the stairs. The time had finally arrived and not one moment too soon.
We were all exhausted at the end of the day, but it was a good kind of tired and our hearts were filled with joy. We are anxious to watch you grow and learn and thrive. Cali girl, you are our little miracle and such a strong little girl. We love you❤