I'm thankful that I feel comfortable when I walk through the doors of Childrens. It's not new and scary anymore. There isn't really anything unknown here. It's nice to know your way around such a huge facility. Where the sun shines during certain parts of the day. Where the best place to park is. Where the play rooms are, the cool ball track, the video games, the library, the endless supplies of stickers.
I'm thankful to be on a first name basis with Diane in the lab. She's been drawing from Judah since birth. And when blood draws are a normal part of your life, it's good to "know someone".
I'm thankful for Diane, who sits behind the information desk. It's always nice to see a friendly, familiar face right off the bat. And it's nice to know that she knows us, too.
I'm thankful that I know what to expect from the cafeteria. I know how much to expect to spend on a meal, I know what kinds of snacks will be good to have on hand that I can't get there, and I know how good - or not good - the food will be.
I'm thankful that I've been asked the same questions so many times, that I don't have to think about my answers too much anymore. Instead of the interaction being super clinical, it's become more conversational. And that is a much easier and more pleasant experience.
I'm thankful for all the familiar faces everywhere. Nothing is as unnerving or anxiety-producing as it might otherwise be when you're surrounded with names and faces that you recognize.
I'm thankful for the Chinese restaurant across the street, and the nurses that let us in on their secret. That place has amazing food! For cheap.
I'm thankful for the mutual respect shared between us and nurses that has come from years of shared experience here. We know they do a great job as nurses. They know we do a great job as Judah's parents. We trust them. They trust us. We work well together.
I'm thankful for the thoughtfulness of nurses and care partners here. The white board in Judah's room says, "Welcome back Judah!" Enough said.
And these are just the tangible things that I'm thankful for! This doesn't even begin to touch the things that God has done in our hearts and lives! The people Jared & I are, the people our 4 kids are and are becoming because of our unique experiences with Judah. The ways God has used Judah to shape our hearts and lives and connect us more deeply to other peoples' pain. I can't begin to describe how thankful I am for all of these things, and for all the people that God has reached through Judah's life! And He's not done yet! But that's another post for another day.
For now, as I look at my beautiful, sleepy son, I'm just thankful.