We have arrived home safe and sound. I was pretty nervous going into our travel day home. I don’t like to fly anyway, and I was nervous about all the things that could go wrong as we tried to get Joel home to the Denver airport. Before we could leave the hospital, they tried to draw blood from Joel’s line and it didn’t work. We tried re-accessing his port two times, once with a longer needle, and then we gave him TPA (a drug that helps dissolve clots in the port, and nothing worked.) They finally gave up on getting his counts and let Ryan and Joel leave anyway, but I imagine we will need his port working, since he is likely to require pain medicine before too long. Tylenol is working fine for now, but we want to be ready, and part of being ready is being sure we can administer iv drugs if we need to.
.
Once Ryan and Joel left the hospital, Joel perked up a little. On the walk back to the hospital Joel pointed at a few dogs they passed. They arrived at the family house just five minutes before our shuttle arrived to take us to the airport, but I didn’t have time to stress out about it, because the kids and I were only ready to go ten minutes before the shuttle arrived anyway.
.
We had four suitcases, two boxes, and three car seats to check, but it went smoothly and easily. Security was a breeze, and we got to the gate three hours early. (We didn’t want to take any chances.) As we waited for the plane Joel was very calm. I was just so relieved to see that he was not getting upset or anxious, even when Ryan left a time or two.
.
With about half an hour to take off we got a big surprise, the entire flight crew came out to meet Joel and us. They brought Joel a crown made of airplane peanuts, a toy airplane, and a basket of snacks and toys and activity books for all the kids. They took photos with us, then they escorted us onto the plane and gave us all ice cream bars. They let all the boys go up into the cockpit of the plane. Just sitting on the plane Joel perked up. He was looking all around and really paying attention to what was happening. He seemed so excited about everything, then Ryan took him up to the cockpit too, and as soon as he sat in the pilot seat he reached for the steering stick (not the official name, I’m sure.) He really loved seeing all the lights and monitors. As the plane began to taxi he really watched the lights on the runway. For the entire first hour of the flight he was very engaged and energetic. It just amazed us.

I honestly could never have expected that our flight would go so well and that we would be treated to such a special surprise. My boys felt really special. Then our pastor and worship-pastor picked us up from the airport in a super slick bus from Summit Limousine in Fort Collins, who has blessed our family abundantly again and again. As we pulled up to the house and I stepped off the bus, and saw our van already waiting for us, I marveled at how, in the end, the entire trip home was completely stress-free, every detail was worked out for us, and we were just taken care of so completely every step of the way.
.
Then we stepped into our home. Everything was so clean, nicer than we left it for sure, and as we walked around we saw that our bathroom had been painted and re-decorated, our cupboard, fridge and freezer had been filled with food, our table had fresh flowers on it and giant basket of treats. Then we went upstairs and discovered a nursery for Zoe. The room had been painted, there was a brand new crib (our old one, used when we got it, was not likely to make it through one more Green baby, as it was in pretty sad shape) decorations and things I had bought years ago for Zoe (who turned out to be Isaac) had been found and set up, along with new decorations that just delighted me. Zoe’s clothes had been placed in the closet. It was amazing because with just six weeks until Zoe comes I have really had no time to focus on getting anything ready for her.
.
Then we went in the boys room and found that all their clothes had been organized and put away and there were new pictures on the wall, and things set up for them. Our room too had new surprises, a dresser from our basement had been brought up, and our closet was completely re-organized with all our clothes in-order and established. I don’t remember who saw our basement first, but they called me down and it was amazing. We had left our basement a complete disaster. When we left, there was so much dirty laundry and things were just an all-around wreck, and when we returned every single thing from our crazy basement was in a labeled bin. All our clothes had been washed and put in rooms or bins in the basement. I looked around amazed because it looked like the product of 100 hours of work, and it was something I never could have hoped to do. The boys ran around the house gasping and declaring their amazement at every new change they found. Caleb was overcome and kept saying, “it’s so nice, it’s all so nice, they did everything, I just want to cry.” Today they have loved finding their bike helmets in the “sports” bin and costumes in the “costumes” bin. They know exactly where to put their things away, and they’re excited to help their messy parents keep things nice. My understanding is that many people helped do this for us, and I am still in complete awe that our home can feel so settled, and pretty and organized. Several of my friends from church and other areas of my life worked so hard while we were away for two months, knowing that whatever conditions we returned home under, having a stress-free, clutter-free home would be important.
.
They have done something for us I can never re-pay or even express enough thankfulness for, and the truth is, it is not the first or even the second time my amazing friends have done something like this for us. Ryan and I have always been so messy, and as the years have gone by, God has done an incredible, and very slow work in us, as we have learned little by little how to maintain our home better, and teach our children to live an ordered life. It is still a struggle for us, and we go through rough patches where the mess gets overwhelming again, but when I compare our life now to ten years ago I see victory everywhere, but only because our friends, many of them these same ones, have again and again, and again, so many more times than we deserved, helped us, cleaned our home, taught us little by little how to keep up with tasks we both dislike, but know are important. I’ve never seen sacrificial love on display more powerfully than the way our friends have loved us through our disfunction, always having grace for us, never growing weary when we need help again. We returned home to the most amazing gift, and I look around my home and see love and support on every wall, in every organized drawer and bin.
.
We went to church this morning and it was hard to walk in the door. Everyone loves Joel so much and their emotion over him made us emotional. We cried through the first half of church and gave an update about where things stand now. When church was over people gathered around us to pray for Joel, and they lingered so long, continuing to pray, not wanting to quit, and it was such a picture to me of all the people who have persisted along side us, praying for Joel, never quitting, ready even still to persist further in faith for Joel.
.
We are loved more than we deserve, and it just doesn’t stop. Our church has lined up meals for us for the next two weeks. People we have never met have deposited money into our paypal account, an amazing help since Ryan has not worked for a week now and we are unsure how long it will be before he starts working again. We are loved at every turn, provided for before the needs can even present themselves. We left for San Francisco, having received such an outpouring of blessing from everyone around us, and I never imagined we would return home the same way. God has provided abundantly for us, through the people in our community, our children’s schools, our church, our friends, and people around the world who follow Joel’s story through his website or his facebook page. I am amazed at how big our God is, it is easy to believe that nothing is impossible for Him.
.
Joel remains about the same as before we left from San Francisco, we noticed a new muscle twitch in his forehead yesterday but we don’t see it today. He was not tolerating his feeds, but now we give him zofran before them and that seems to help. We have begun to work with our local hospice, but so far tylenol still seems to be enough for managing pain.
.
Ok here are a million pictures of our flight and the nursery, I thought of also posting photos of our basement, but I know that doesn’t have the same crowd-pleasing cute factor of a nursery, and peanut crown.
.
IMG_1725
.
photo 2 (3)
.
photo 4 (3)
.
photo 3 (2)
.
photo 5 (1)
.
photo 2 (4)
.
photo 1 (7)
.
photo 2 (2)
.
photo 3 (1)
.
photo 4 (2)
.
photo (56)
.
photo 5

Comments

There are 7 comments for this post.

  1. Lynn Orr on March 10, 2014 7:55 am

    I have been following your site for quite a while, and check a few times a week to check on sweet Joel. Please know we have been praying for Joel and all of you throughout this journey. Please share your paypal information. We would love to make a donation. God Bless! Lynn Orr

  2. lisa Fisher on March 10, 2014 8:41 am

    Amy and Ryan:I did OK reading through the whole post though my face got a surprised look on it when reading of all the beautiful changes in your home,but when I got to the first picture of you all and the flight crew I lost it!!!Just tears from all the beauty! God is so good and so obviously writing your story ,and Joel’s!
    Lord Jesus,we thank you for this beautiful family,Lord we place them in your hands Father,see to their every need both temporal and spiritual.Father we thank you for the wonderful outpouring of support you have given them and for the work that you allowed Amy and Ryan and especially Joel to do in San Francisco,showing others that we serve a mighty God.Now Heavenly Father place them under your wings,In Jesus name Amen.
    Love and continued prayers from Lisa In San Diego

  3. Dee Brady on March 10, 2014 11:26 pm

    So relieved to read that you are all home safe and sound. God bless Joel, your family and everyone who has helped or supported you first in prayer, but also in other ways too numerous to count. God is so good.

  4. Dee Brady on March 10, 2014 11:28 pm

    Was so relieved to read that you are all home safe and sound. I ask God to bless Joel and your entire family as well as all the people who have been supporting you in prayer and in other ways too numerous to count. It restores your faith in humanity. God is good!

  5. Lisa Olin on March 11, 2014 10:51 am

    So thankful the trip home went smoothly – what wonderful friends you have! While I know you and your family – and Joel in particular – are going through tremendous trials, it is awesome to see the support you have. You remain in my prayers.

  6. William Dane on March 11, 2014 3:26 pm

    I’ve just cried and cried reading this. You have wonderful friends, and SO much support – it’s just wonderful. I’m sending love and prayers like you can’t imagine. I continue to be so inspired and amazed and, frankly, just so proud of you, Amy. And all of your boys. Truly amazing.

  7. Cindy Wright-Jones on March 12, 2014 9:56 pm

    So glad to hear all your awesome friends gave you and your house such a welcoming touch. Somehow in all the trauma I missed you were due soon! Praying double duty!

Write a Comment

Let me know what you think?