Thursday, August 21, 2008
The trip in pictures
These are the shoes SaraGrace thought would be a good choice for the trip. I caught her clomping out to get in the car. She had begged for them the day before at a garage sale. She LOVES these shoes - but we didn't let her take them on the trip!
"Are we there yet? I'm running out of ideas for these pipe cleaners."
Hours into the trip, we realized that we would be driving very close to Niagra Falls, so we decided to make a detour and let the kids see it. We arrived just before nightfall.
The kids stick their toes into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time
The Mayflower II -- an exact replica of the original Mayflower. It has even been sailed the identical route the first Mayflower took. I doubt that they convinced 100+ people to join them the second time though! It was such a SMALL ship. ugh... I can't imagine being trapped on it for two months with five people, much less over 100. I have even greater respect for the brave pilgrims who made the voyage.
Who could resist this luxurious stateroom on the Mayflower?
Here is where our trip took a very unexpected turn. While we explored the ocean and the Mayflower, I began to feel very sick. By afternoon, lying down during the boys nap became an intense longing. Jeff took the kids to the pool but when he returned, I was no better. They went to dinner and I stayed in bed, kicking myself for eating undercooked hamburger two nights before. I figured I had food poisoning and would be fine in a few hours.
By the kids' bedtime, the pain became very centrally located and I had my suspicions of what it might be. However, our insurance company will not pay for a visit to ER unless it's a life-threatening condition. Well, how do you know if it's life-threatening? I guess if you die, you'll know you should have gone to the hospital. My fear was that the doctor would just say, "You have a bad stomach ache, Dummy," and send me home with a huge bill to pay.
Let's just say that the night hours were not the stuff that dreams are made of. I waited until 7AM and then woke Jeff up and he took me to the hospital. In triage, they luckily did a few tests that alarmed them enough to bump me into priority, so I was able to have pain meds fairly quickly. What a relief! A CAT scan confirmed that I needed an emergency appendectomy, and by afternoon I was in surgery. Poor Jeff was running back and forth between the hotel and the hospital, trying to comfort everyone. The older kids were awesome! They took over and just handled everything. I was so worried about them having to give up their vacation to babysit, but they were great about it. They did have some time (later)to go out to eat and do some shopping and they insist that they still had a fun vacation. Have I mentioned lately that I love them!? The little kids stayed calm - although Molly had a slight meltdown right before they took me for surgery. She was so worried about her Mama. She was my little prayer warrior. :)
They kept me overnight and discharged me in the morning. I am thankful that everything went well - and SO grateful that it didn't happen in China. I can't imagine being in the middle of an adoption and needing emergency surgery.
Jeff's employer offered to fly someone out to help us, but Jeff decided that it would be best for me to fly home. So, I came home on Wednesday and Jeff and Ryan drove the car and van home. They made the entire trip in a grueling 14 hours and arrived home at 2:30AM. We are all home now--a few days early--but safe and on the mend. Poor Jeff has the brunt of everything - trying to take care of the kids, me, AND do his job. He is a bit stressed but handling things very well. I love that man and am so thankful for him!
When I had some time to pray, I asked God why He provided an all-expense paid trip for us and then we didn't get to have even one day of vacation together. He quietly whispered to my heart, "Because I had something different to teach your children than you thought you wanted to teach them." I don't know what God plans to teach our kids through it, but I know He will be faithful to do so. Any growth in them is definitely worth an unexpected surgery (but God owes me the big bowl of clam chowder that I didn't get to eat!! haha - just kidding).
Saying good-bye at Logan Airport
Tearful good-bye for SaraGrace
My Mom picked me up at the airport and took me home to her house, where I spent the night. I am so thankful my parents were home. They were out of town last week and will be out of town next week. God's timing is perfect - and they were available this week to rescue me.