>I’ve been mulling posting this for a while, but I’m just going to put it out there. Especially since I haven’t really posted anything of substance all month long. Ok, maybe a few times, but mostly it’s been fluffy stuff.

I haven’t written “Getting Abbie Home” parts 2 & 3 (and maybe 4) yet because I think it might be too tough. A lot happened during those 60 days and in a way, I’d like to just forget it. But I can’t. I shouldn’t because it’s part of Abbie’s history and our family history.

A big part of our Cincinnati Story is the Ronald McDonald House. When you live with and eat with other people in situations similar to yours every day, you bond. It’s just going to happen, especially if you stay there for any amount of time.

This is the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati. This shot was taken from the playground area, just below the house and parking lot. They are expanding the house and will be able to accomodate even more families when the renovation is complete, making them able to house about 100 families, about 50 more than the current capability for 48. I just asked Paul if we had taken any photos of the inside of the RMH, and we’re not sure we did. It seemed like we did, but we can’t remember for sure.

Every year, thousands of families call the RMHouses home, sometimes for a few weeks, sometimes for a few months. There are families who will stay at a RMH once and that will be all, and there are families who will come to know the houses intimately, having stayed at a RMH many times over.

While we were there, we met families from all walks of life, dealing with all kinds of unimaginable illnesses, syndromes and situations with their kids.

One family was from my state. They were so sweet and I think of them and wonder how their kids are doing.

One family had a child with a trach tube, but she didn’t let that stop her from running around and playing. She is so sweet.

Another family was from Iraq and they had been to Cincinnati many times and would have to return this year.

One family is almost always on my mind and in particular the mom, who was my angel during the time we were in Cincinnati. Her daughter had an omphalocele, like Abbie had. She let me visit the baby’s room, be present during rounds, see how things work. She explained so much and just gave me so much information and confidence that, yes, while overwhelming at first, it’s going to be ok. I think of S. and her family all the time. I think of them every day. I wonder how they are doing and if they need anything. I’ve tried contacting them but have never had a response. I would so love to talk to her.

I think of the staff… of the house… of every family. I wonder if they are ok, if the child is ok, and I feel so helpless, so all I can do is pray. Even though it feels so inadequate, I hope it’s the one thing they may need that I can do.