So I got the sweetest, most fantastic bit of news yesterday.
That's right, friends. Alicia, she's a coming home!!! =)
We finally, finally have a date for Alicia's discharge. If all goes smoothly and as planned, Alicia will be out of the hospital on next Friday, September 30 - the day after she turns 4 months old.
It is actually a bit hard to believe that we're finally at this point! For four months, we've patiently waited and endured, hoping and ancitipating this day's arrival. And it's finally here! Of course, this means that we're about to transition into a whole new phase of life, and a whole other journey. Am I excited? You better believe it! But in some odd way, it's like I've been waiting and pushing for this news for so long, it feels more like, it's about time! =)
It's like the many long road trips I've been on in my life - 5 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours. You leave and you drive, and you drive. After hours of nothing but highway, finally you take an exit, and you know your destination is approaching. Then, especially if you're returning to a place you know well, you start to recognize familiar surroundings and your spirit starts to breathe a sigh of relief, we're almost there. Then you finally arrive and it's like all the stuff you've endured for the past several hours - the uncomfortable seats, the lack of facilities, the cramped spaces, the broken AC, etc... - all of it just fades into a distant memory.
We're circling around the block friends! Soon we'll be pulling up to our driveway and starting our new life as a family of three. So exciting, but definitely daunting. It's not someone else's kid we're messing around with anymore. =)
The past few days have been all about preparations. Linda's been spending most of her mornings at the SBR now learning how to care for Alicia. This weekend when I go down, I'll be getting my own training. We'll need to learn basic things like how to change her diaper, how to bathe her, when to give her medicine, how to feed her, how to tell if she's breathing, etc... =) OK, maybe that last one isn't so basic. =) haha. But you get the idea.
The funny thing is that there's been a shift in the way the medical staff talk about Alicia's condition. In the beginning, if you'll remember, it was all about, she's unstable. We need to keep her here. Don't move her. She needs help. Now it's like, she needs to go home. Even if she isn't 2200 grams yet. She needs to go home. It's similar to how many expectant moms at about 37 or 38 weeks switch over from, please stay in, please stay in, to let's get this thing out of me!
Some of you, like we did, might have some concerns about whether or not this is too rushed or too soon. But Alicia's primary doctor has said that Alicia is old enough, big enough and stable enough to do well on her own without a lot of medical care. And also lately there is a virus going around. So she feels that in the long run it will actually be better for us to take Alicia home so she doesn't catch something from the other kids.
In fact, they're most likely going to keep Alicia in her incubator until discharge as a precautionary measure. =)
So the next week will be all about preparations and getting ourselves and our house ready for Alicia's grand homecoming. Lots and lots to prepare, but it'll get done.
I really can't believe we're here. Like I said, we've been on this journey for almost 4 months now. It's kind of crazy to wrap my head around the idea of having her home with us. Seriously? Are we really, really at this point? Can we really have her for our own? It's almost too good to be true.
God is amazing, isn't he? This journey has been insane. I'm a bit overwhelmed at God giving us the opportunity to care for such a precious, precious life. This girl has an powerful destiny here on this Earth, and to be entrusted with raising her is an incredible privilege.
Of course we have our trepidations. Can we really take care of this baby all on our own? I mean, we've never done this 24 hour thing before with any baby, let alone one that was born under such special circumstances. But in the end I'm reminded, God isn't going to bring Alicia this far just to let things fall apart when we take her home. She is going to thrive, and we are going to thrive as a family.
And also, we've got you guys, our cloud of witnesses, our faithful friends, family and prayer warriors. God has used your corporate prayers, love and encouragement to sustain us over this journey. We'd appreciate the continued prayers as we transition into life with our precious daughter.
I look forward to introducing her to many of you very, very soon!