Mikki and I are in the air, halfway through our flight to pick up Luke.
The past 36 hours have been flooded with chaos, and my emotions are spent, so I’ll not bore you with the details. Basically, many urgent issues arose which needed completion before booking our flight. [5:30pm – Wednesday]
By the time our ducks were in a row, my blood sugar experienced a sharp decline, so we headed to dinner at Ming’s. [6:30pm – Wednesday].
Finally finished with dinner, Mikki and I hurried home to pack the remainder of our clothes and Luke’s feeding tube system into our suitcases. Mary clung to me all day as if she sensed our impending departure. My FIL decided to bathe Mary before we left, hoping it would calm her and help her sleep, but the contrary occurred. Bathing Mary sounded more like bathing a velociraptor than a toddler, and ended abruptly. Soon after her bath, Mary toddled into our bedroom repeating “Ah-BAH, ah-BAH”, to indicate that she was ready for her bedtime bottle.
Our hope that the bottle would lull her to sleep quickly shattered at the sound of Mary’s crying. With the truck finally packed, I approached Mary and gently ordered her to get back in her bed, which she did with great excitement as if proclaiming, “Daddy is here”. She sprang into bed where Mikki and I kissed her goodnight and goodbye and said our last tearful prayers before fetching Luke. After we left the room, Mary returned to her protest at the gated doorway to her bedroom. “This isn’t going to end well”, I said to Mikki.
I collected myself and returned to Mary’s room. “Go get in your bed”, I said gently. Again, Mary bounced onto her tiny mattress. Daddy was here again. I rubbed her little back and covered her with her blanket. Mary finally drifted off to peaceful sleep. I kissed her one dozen last times and walked out, closing the door behind me. There was no protest. It was 7:45pm.
Finally out the door at 8pm, Mikki and I began our four hour drive to Dallas for our early morning flight. A family friend offered to host us for the very short night, and we arrived at the stroke of midnight. My last thought for the night was, “Heavenly Father, please multiply my sleep, bring me peace and preserve my health”. It certainly didn’t hurt my cause that comfort of the guest bed and down comforter rivaled that of being wrapped in a cotton candy cloud.
Four-thirty arrived far too early, but the excitement of events to come effectively overpowered my fatigue.
Having grown up in the Dallas area, I so dearly missed 635 near DFW’s north entry that I decided to take a 30 minute out-of-the-way tour, for old time’s sake. We finally arrived at the airport, checked our luggage, and queued for the TSA screening which resembles more of a group juggling act and Chinese fire drill than it does a viable method of safety. Thank God we both decided to wear non-laced shoes. (For the sake of prolonging the chaotic spirit of the previous day, I suggested we trade one shoe so we each wore one cowboy boot and one Ugg. Mikki declined.)
In two hours, Mikki and I will meet our son for the first time. For the past six months, I have seen Luke only in pictures, and have followed his life and development through emails and phone conversations. That life is over. Beginning today, I will be able to hold my little boy, hug him, watch him grow, and love and encourage him.
From this day forward, he is my son, and I his father.