Saturday, December 6, 2014

Our Adoption Story: Part 8

David flew home on a Thursday night, and we rushed around trying to pack everything that we would need for three kids to be out out of town for several weeks. It was a crazy night! The sweet nurses at the hospital FaceTimed us that night so that we could see and talk to Francie. We hated that she was by herself for a few days, but we knew she was in excellent hands.

On Friday morning (not as early as we had hoped), we loaded up and began our long drive. When David and I originally were talking about taking our kids to Baltimore for part of the time that we would be there, we assumed we'd fly. But we quickly decided that flying with all of the kids would be a two parent job. So that meant that David still would have had to fly home to then turn around and fly back with the kids and me. That's a LOT of plane tickets to buy! Then when David and I were in Baltimore by ourselves, we realized how limited we would be in what we were able to do with the kids without a car. I wasn't comfortable with taking cabs everywhere with no carseats, and renting a car for two weeks on top of all of the flying just didn't seem like a good option financially. So, we finally decided that the smartest thing to do would be to drive. I'll be honest - neither of us were excited about this option. It's about a 16 hour trip from our house to Baltimore, and David and I figured it would be a miserable 16 hours with our three kids stuck in their carseats for so long. We knew that we'd stop somewhere and spend the night to break up the trip.

So, on Friday we drove and drove and drove.... all day long. The trip was actually much better than we expected. The kids watched a LOT of movies and there was definitely some whining and crying, but it really wasn't miserable. It was kind of nice to be able to visit with David in the car after not seeing him for so long :) Around 9pm on Friday night, we stopped in Bristol, Tennessee to spend the night. Our night in the hotel wasn't bad, and it gave us hope for the rest of the trip.

The next morning, we woke up to SNOW. I couldn't believe it when I looked out the window and everything was white. Thankfully, the roads were fine, so we continued on our way and the snow actually completely melted as we got further north. Weird, I know. We finally arrived in Baltimore just in time for dinner. It was nice to get settled in at The Children's House with the kids. After we ate, we walked over to the hospital to introduce the kids to Francie. I was really curious to see how this would go. I wasn't sure how the kids would react to seeing Francie hooked up to so many things with her little feet straight up in the air. But they weren't phased a bit. They absolutely fell in LOVE with Francie right away. It was so precious and sweet to see all four of my babies together finally!

We ended up spending two weeks in Baltimore with the kids. They were really fun weeks with some really stressful and not-so-fun times thrown in ;) For the most part, it was a great time with our family in a new city. There were definitely challenges involved like all five of us sleeping in one little room. We had some long nights. But we adjusted after a few days and did manage to get some sleep. The Children's House has passes for all kinds of fun things in Baltimore, so we tried to do as much as we could with the kids. We went to the zoo, the aquarium, a train museum, the children's museum, played hospital bingo several times, walked around the Inner Harbor, met several therapy dogs, and of course we spent a ton of time visiting with Francie, too. We ate dinner at The Children's House every night, and a lot of times they had fun activities for the kids after dinner.

On Wednesday, November 12th, exactly four weeks after Francie's surgery, she got to come out of traction!! It was such an exciting day. David and I were so happy to be able to hold her again, and the kids got to hold her for the first time. We knew then that it was only a matter of time before Francie would be discharged to go home, so we started making plans to travel home!

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