I must admit that I am not a fan of McDonalds. I mean, I do occasionally enjoy a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit (minus half the biscuit), and french fries are one of my favorite foods, but in general, McDonalds would not be high on my let's-go-there list. However, I must admit that the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati makes me totally appreciate their charity efforts.
Being away from home and having your child undergo major surgery is a whole new experience. There is little that resembles home, you are exhausted beyond reason, and you still have to have clean clothes (unless this amazing family that you stay with whisks away your laundry and it reappears clean!). You eat at a cafeteria where your options are hamburgers, pizza, paninis, or salad...for every meal...for days on end. There comes a point where some semblence of normalcy, or family, is just desperately needed...some place where you can sit in the sun, at a table in a room that looks like a family room (except this one is quiet so it kinda seems like my family room...meaning it has a similar style of furniture).
So, yesterday, our fairy social worker waved her magic wand, and tada! We have a room at the Ronald McDonald House after days of being on the waiting list. So, off to register I went. And, of course, I promptly cried during registration. It isn't that this place is the Ritz because it isn't. It is the fact that corporations out there have donated lots of resources to assist families in a situation that can truly be desperately, financially, impossible...and made it as much like home as they could. And they encourage local groups and businesses to provide meals for the families. They have attempted to ease what feels like an impossible burden just a little.
Due to our friends in Virginia, and Ellen, Chelsea's friend in Charlottesville, sending out an email to friends in Cincinnati, we have been blessed throughout this entire trip. The financial gifts and chocolate from our Virginia friends and family, to the physical and emotional support here in Cincinnati through Faith Presbyterian Church, our experience here has been significantly easier. There are so many families in this hospital who have not been so blessed. We have been able to provide a huge testimony to how the Lord through His church has totally taken care of us...and it has made an impact on the staff with whom we have had contact.
So, thank you dear friends for making this path a little easier, and thank you McDonalds for the gift you provide families who truly need a respite in the midst of the stress of having a sick child in a distant city. And most of all, thank you, Lord, for your provision for our family!