February 22, 2013

Vomit and Favor

I woke up hot this morning. I mean. I knew it would be hot here. But for some reason I guess it I didn't think it would be the I'm -sitting-here-not-doing-anything-and-sweating kind of hot. It feels wonderful. Especially after trenching through the blizzard of 2013 that hit Charlotte 6 days ago. Those three inches of snow were horrendous.
Anyhow. I'm feeling well rested and ready to go. Go where, I'm not sure yet. But I know God has amazing things planned for us on this trip. Especially if our travels here are any indication.
We were dropped off at the airport with two hours to spare before boarding our plane. And it was a good thing too. There was some sort of glitch in the computer system so we couldn't get our boarding passes. After 45 minutes at the 'special services' desk, a couple of calls to Delta Global and re-entering all of O's information, we had our boarding passes in hand.
We had a few minutes before we boarded and it was dinner time so we hit the atrium food court.. Owen loved it because there was a kid playing a piano, we gave O a dollar to put in the tip jar and he thought that was cool. We finished up just in time to be the last group on the plane – somewhat intentional. Being the first on the plane means sitting there longer with a toddler – not something we wanted to do.
The flight from Charlotte to LaGuardia (NY) ended up being delayed. After we were already on the plane. We sat on the runway for an hour before finally taking off. Luckily the flight attendants were nice and they took O for walks while we waited, he thought that was pretty cool.
Once in LaGuardia I strapped O in the Boba and carried the stroller down to the baggage claim. Bill had the backpack on his back, the diaper bag slung over his shoulder and was toting the rolling carry on suitcase too. We grabbed our four large suitcases off the carousel and tried to figure out how to maneuver. Bill stacked the large rolling duffel on the large rolling suitcase, then the rolling carry on stacked on the other large rolling suitcase (that's 200lbs of luggage, incase you lost track) and I pulled the stroller (collapsed) and the large hard-sided suitcase(50lbs) (with O still strapped in the Boba). We walked the ten feet to the shuttle counter to grab the ride to JFK but were told the guy for the shuttle was on the other end of the airport. Joy. So we finally make it down there and hear the shuttle won't be back for another 20 minutes.
When we finally got to JFK and found our ticket counter (on the complete opposite end of the place we were dropped off) the lady at the counter says, “You're going to Amsterdam? You didn't give yourself very much time, they're boarding in a few minutes and are about to close the luggage gate.” I (ever-so-politely, even though I didn't want to be nice) said, “I'm sorry, our flight from Charlotte was delayed an hour, and then we had to wait for the shuttle to get here.” Sheesh lady. Thankfully, another ticketing agent came up and was much more helpful and kind, letting us leave our bags as we took them in a more manageable way to the luggage drop. We ran (literally) to our gate and were among the last to board the flight. We found our seats in the middle section of a 3-4-3 seating arrangement. We were behind the toilets which meant we had extra leg room and walking-around room for O. AND the only other person in our row was a lady that had a little lap dog. Proof that God thinks of the big things (us catching our plane, despite the odds after a late flight and shuttle ride) and the small things (having an extra seat in our row, extra legroom for free and a puppy for O to be entertained by.)
O did a great job on the 7 hour flight, sleeping most of the time. Toward the middle we hit some serious turbulence, and it lasted for about an hour. After which O woke up vomiting profusely. It was everywhere. All over his shirt and pants, some on me (since I was holding him while he slept) on his puppy, his blankie, everywhere. The poor kid was terrified. It was the first time he'd ever thrown up and he was awakened by it. After we got things cleaned up, got him changed and settled back in, he fell back asleep. And then woke up vomiting again. Luckily we had a blanket (courtesy of KLM) draped over him so he didn't get too much on himself this time, but he was still shaking, cold-sweating and scared. We went through the clean up process again and opted to keep him in the outfit he was in since it didn't get too much vomit on it. We found another blanket and tucked it up under his chin and he fell asleep. This scenario repeated I think three more times (I lost track after the fourth time), eventually he was only throwing up stomach acid. He was such a trooper though, he really was a big boy about it all, and slept in between it all. We finally touched down in Amsterdam and put him in the stroller to go find our gate. He was super happy to be on solid ground again. Luckily it was on the same concourse and only a short walk away. Until we got there and saw that it had been moved to another concourse. Awesome. We turned around and headed to the gate, looking for a phamacy-type store along the way to grab some motion sickness cure for little bear. He asked where we were going so we told him we wanted to get him some medicine so he didn't get sick. He said, “Owenbear crying. Yuck yuck..” and pointing to his mouth. “Yea honey, you were crying and it was yucky.” That sweet boy.
So we found a place but they didn't have anything for infants, so we kept going to the gate. Once we were on the plane we discovered it wasn't a full flight. There were probably only a couple dozen people on the entire plane. We had an entire row to ourselves and there wasn't anyone three or four rows in front of or behind us. It was awesome. I told the flight attendant that O got sick on the last flight so we might need some napkins or something and she went and grabbed some medicine she had, we broke it up and put it in some juice for bear and he drank it right up. The flight went awesome. He got to play and walk around, and he was happy as can be. He didn't get sick once, and he was such a big boy the entire time. He asked once, with about four hours left in the flight; “Ready?” Telling us he was ready to get off the plane, but after that he fell asleep for a while on me. Toward the end of the flight – the last hour and half or so, he was getting pretty antsy (to be expected after 24 hours of travel!) With about 45 minutes left in the flight he started asking again “Ready? Go down?” so we said, “we'll be going down soon. When it's time to go down you'll have to get your seatbelt on and not walk around anymore, okay?” And with that he got up in his seat, asked us to buckle his seatbelt and sat there perfectly still for the rest of the flight, just waiting for it to land. We got in, got through customs without a hitch, grabbed all our luggage and headed out to meet Peter & Brian. The drive home was quick and we went to bed right away since it was almost 1 am (Tanzania time.) O slept with us and we stayed with Peter & Mary for the night since it was so late. We all slept great – O probably the best out of the three of us. He was knocked out and thrashing all over the place, giving Bill & I black eyes and kidney punches all night. :)
God's grace and favor was all over this trip. We felt it so strong, and know it was because of all the prayers being sent up by our supporters. It's so clear to us that this is where we are supposed to be, not just later but right now. It's a feeling that's mostly indiscribable – being right in the middle of God's will and plan for us. And we pretty much love it.