Sunday, July 3, 2011

A tough day

This past Thursday was one of the toughest days that I have had as a mother. At 4:30am we loaded ourselves and 3 suitcases into a van for a trip to the airport.
Destination: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Passengers: our 3 children

A few months ago, the grandparents decided that they needed to spend some time with the grand kids over the summer time. Now out of kindness they invited Eric and I to come as well. We could not take not time off from our classes, however as we are in the middle of our second trimester. NO problem - we'll fly the grand kids home for 6 weeks was the reply. So tickets were purchased and an extra fee paid for an escort since the kids are minors.

For the past several weeks we have been preparing the kids for this journey. Preparing them for the goodbye at the gate and going over every possible scenario, arming them with phone numbers and identification. I put on several different ID tags on the luggage and ribbons so that they could be identified. Not to worry about that! When we arrived at the airport it took us 45 minutes to fill out paperwork and more paperwork. Red and white bands were placed on the kids and on their luggage along with 3 other tags. No worry about being able to identify the luggage! It stood out!

So after checking in the woman who helped us informed me that they do not allow non-passengers beyond security - only in the United States. This threw a monkey wrench into our planning and our goodbyes were not what we had pictured. Kids were crying and so was I. It was messy!

We waited at the airport until the plane left and spoke with the stewardess who delivered them to the plane. She said she almost started to cry herself but instead she stopped by the gift shop and gave each of them a free sample of chocolate. We discovered later that the chocolate was a chocolate covered coffee bean - something the kids gagged down to be polite. :)

We returned to our classes. Everyone knew not to ask me about the kids leaving since I was on the verge of tears all day. It was a blessing to have a team from the United States at out school for the week and each day they had led a chapel hour and an hour of worship time each day. We returned in time for the worship hour. What a blessing to focus on worshiping our Lord and leaving behind the worry of the kids.

The kids arrived safely, without having to even touch their luggage or their tickets or passports. Everything was taken care of for them. They just had to follow the stewardess. Grandma was waiting to spoil them (of course) in Grand Rapids.

We took the kids out for pizza the night before they left.
Our family at 4:30 am. On the way to the airport.

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