For those of you that keep up with www.sneadventure.blogspot.com (our relatively new family blog) and www.caringbridge.org/visit/josiahsnead (Josiah's current CaringBridge site), it's likely Shelly will keep CaringBridge updated and I (Art) will keep the blog updated while we're here, so there will often be different information on both. However, there will also likely be occasions when we simply copy one to the other. As it's been a long day and it's late, tonight is one of those occasions. By the way, if you're a glutton for punishment (or just want to learn more details about Josiah's health issues leading to this point), you can check out his original CaringBridge site at http://www.caringbridge.org/nc/josiahclete/...this one was started when he was still in the NICU after birth 5 years ago and was his primary site before we migrated to the new CaringBridge format a year or so ago.
We left Glorieta at 5 AM this morning for the ABQ airport. Silas flew to Florida with his Nana (and is having a blast with his FL cousins already), while the rest of us headed to Cincinnati (via Atlanta). Something unexpected and cool: One of our church's staff members (Kari Reeves, Director of Christian Spirituality and Art) was on our 1st flight, and she prayed for Josiah once we reached ATL. Also during our layover, we received a call from the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House. They informed us a room had opened up for us to use...this is a great blessing because the hotel where we were booked was approximately 10 minutes away, whereas the RMH is right across the street from Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Also, the RMH has a library, activity rooms, other children and families to meet, and a great dinner prepared and served each night by community volunteers...truly an awesome ministry to families of children with serious health issues. We previously stayed in the one in Chapel Hill, NC, when Josiah was born, but he doesn't remember that. This one is huge...supposedly the 4th larges of all RMHs with 78 rooms. It's pretty much full but it's so big it doesn't seem crowded. After settling in and getting some equipment exchanged (there was some confusion with our equipment order), we enjoyed homemade tacos. Then Josiah and I headed to the library to read a myriad of books. Now he and Shelly are asleep while I'm getting some work done.
Josiah's surgery is not until Wednesday...we traveled 2 days early because winter weather has begun and it's Thanksgiving travel week, and we didn't want to take a chance we'd get delayed and not be in Cincinnati by Wednesday morning. Tomorrow we'll likely drop by the hospital for a brief visit, and then possibly head to the zoo to enjoy some time outside before several weeks of inside confinement for the Toaster. If weather isn't good, we'll possibly do a museum instead. Although we understand what the surgery will entail and accomplish, we're still a bit in the dark on details. It should last 5 hours, but we don't know if they'll wake him up afterward or wait a couple days. He will spend 1 week in ICU and will likely be sore (both in his airway and his side, due to the rib cartilage they'll use in reconstructing his airway), so we'll be reading books, doing puzzles, watching videos,...anything we can do to ease his discomfort and keep him from fidgeting and damaging what the surgeon's have accomplished...will be tough for a 5-year old boy, so please pray for patience and peace (for Josiah and us!).
We know there are many who have prayed over the past five years for this day, and many who will be praying on Wednesday and the upcoming weeks of recovery. We treasure your prayers, not simply because it means you're thinking of us, but because you are communicating with Almighty God on our son's behalf. Yesterday the Glorieta community had a special prayer time for our family at a Thanksgiving celebration on our campus. They also presented us with 3 identical packages of notes (1 for Shelly/Josiah, 1 for me, and 1 for Silas), so our family could each read the same scripture and words of encouragement even while we're at times separated during the next few weeks. One note for each day, each contributed by various members of the Glorieta community...we read our 1st from Mary Kay while on the plane today (Josiah actually remembered and asked about it). Such support means a great deal. One additional item I'll mention: Josiah loves it when people sign the Guestbook on his CaringBridge site or post comments to him on our blog...during our last trip to Cincinnati, we read them to him at least daily while in the hospital, and we plan to do the same again this time. If you get a chance, write something for him on one of these sites and we'll make sure he gets it.
Shelly and me? We're excited. Although there's much about Wednesday's experience we can't predict, we're looking forward to it with great anticipation. This day has been so far off for so long, and we've been so busy preparing for it the past few weeks, the impact of it hasn't hit us yet. I think at some point on Wednesday the emotion is going to overwhelm us as we get squarely reminded of what God has accomplished in Josiah's life over the past 5 years, and what He's going to accomplish that day. I'm not fully prepared for it, but I'm ready for it to happen.