Sunday, May 18, 2008

Overwhelmed

We have been overwhelmed with love and support from our friends and family this week.

My friend Kate collected encouraging messages from people in our address book and made them into a beautiful album we can take with us to the hospital. I couldn't stop myself and read most of it already. It is so sweet and I love it! Many of you reading sent messages, so thank you for loving us!

On Thursday at our last life group meeting before we leave, my friend who works as a Child Life Specialist at the hospital brought us a cardiac prep book they use for kids having heart surgery. It follows the story of a little boy having heart surgery from the time he checks into the hospital until he is discharged. It has real pictures and is a great tool for preparing Drew. She also got him a special dinosaur pillowcase to use at the hospital and a dinosaur pillow in the shape of a heart to use as counter pressure on his incision when he needs to cough after surgery. AND she got us a donation from the Children's Heart Fund to go towards our expenses while we are gone.

Then, I got an email from Leslie, one of my Alpha Phi sorority sisters. She had contacted 15 other sisters, some of whom I have not seen or spoken with since graduation, and they all contributed towards a financial gift to help with our hotel for the first few nights. We are so thankful!

Today we had not planned on going to church, in order to keep both kids out of the nursery and away from germs. But, they had planned to show a slide show of Drew and pray for us before we leave, so we just went for the beginning and kept the kids with us. It was wonderful. Our life group and close friends came to the front of the church and prayed for our family. And they presented us with a gift basket full of treats for Dan and me, a backpack of quiet games, toys, activities and snacks for Drew, a bag of fun things for Ava to do, and a scrapbook of cards that the kids from church made for Drew. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful people surrounding us. Thank you.

Needless to say I was brought to tears more than once this week because of the kindness of other people. Even though we are preparing for a very hard situation and I know there will be difficult days ahead, I do feel calm, at peace, and safe. I attribute this to the power of God and to the amazing people in our lives who are covering us with love and prayers.

Gifts

When we got home from church and put Ava to bed Dan and I sat down to tell Drew about surgery. I made him a calendar to help him understand when everything is going to happen and I started by showing him the calendar. I used stickers so that he can identify each day. Surprisingly, he didn't seem concerned at all. Even with the three trips to the hospital in the next five days. I asked him to explain the calendar to me and he did. Then we used the cardiac surgery prep book from Siri and went through the entire story. When there was something familiar, like the pulse ox and blood pressure cuffs, we pointed it out. We talked about the hospital bracelet, the special pajamas, the hospital bed, the IV, riding the bed into the operating room and of course all the things you can do at the hospital: play video games, watch movies, play with toys, read books, etc. He really took it well and seems to understand what is going to happen. He asked to read the book again, and we did, and that was that. I expect to be reading that book & some others, playing with his doctor kit and showing him pictures from when he was a baby a lot this week. I hope that he continues to be unconcerned and that we have a smooth week.

Drew's Calendar

12 comments:

Kathy said...

Andrea,
YOU are the best mom! I love all the preparation that you've given Drew (and I'll ask for your help when Isaac is older!)
We'll already start praying for you guys...
I'm so glad that you have so many supportive friends and family...
we're all hugging you!!!
Love,
kathy

Lindsay said...

I am so glad that you are so well taken care of. You have done such an amazing job at preparing Drew for surgery. I love the calendar! I will definitely use that idea when we need it. I know that you are dreading the upcoming days and I feel for you. I will be praying for Drew. Here's hoping that you will all be home soon after and you can move forward!

Kate said...

i'm so happy, andrea! i'm glad that the overwhelming helped to result in peace and calm. on a selfish note from all of us, i think that it was really nice to feel helpful in such a time of leaving things to god and the doctors, and having to give up control. i love you all dearly!

Anne Marie said...

Your posts just move me to tears. I am fully impressed with all the steps you are taking to prepare your big boy for this week, and I admire your strength. You and Dan are doing an impeccable job, and Drew's calmness, bravery, and understanding in facing this is all because of you! All our thoughts, prayers, love, strength are with you this week.

The Portas said...

That calendar is so cute. What a great idea...and how wonderful that you are taking so much time to get Drew to understand what is going to happen. What a good mama!

It's amazing how people pull together and take care of you when you need it. I'm so happy that you have such a wonderful support to hold you up and help you out.

I'll be saying lots of prayers for you guys this week!! xoxo

Stantonclan said...

Andrea we don't know each other that well but I want you to know that I am praying for your family. I am so glad that you have a body of Christ around you for support. "Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him. For he shields him all day long and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders". Dt 33:12 Try and rest in Him during this time.

Jessica said...

We are all thinking of you this week.
I'm sending love and prayers your way!
Love,
Jessey

Anonymous said...

I want you all to know that the Thompsons' thoughts are with you. Your strength and love for each other and your children will serve you in the days to come. During the low times, reach for each other and remember all of the people who are thinking of, pulling for, and praying for you and Drew.

-Paul Thompson

Anonymous said...

Andrea,

I thank God for your's and Dan's strength and I see that Drew has inherited it, too. I am so happy for you that he is taking it as well as he is because I know that is a huge part of your concern and peace of mind. The calendar is fantastic, you are soooo smart, and very artistic, too. I love you guys so much!

Mom

Andrew said...

I am so thankful that you are feeling peace, and so is Drew! You guys are awesome and we love you and are happy to help out and encourage you!

Lori said...

Andrea: You and Dan amaze me! I could not stop praying for your family after the incredibly moving time at church yesterday.

The calendar you made for Drew is so precious, and I'm touched to see how God is leading you through each step, including putting upon your heart the awesome way that you and Dan talked with Drew about the surgery.

Keeping you near in prayer my dear sister!

Molly said...

Awesome! I've said it before and I'll say it again... nobody could be as good a mommy to Drew as you are!