So, about 3:30, we head out to the airport. On the way out there, my cell phone rings (a very common occurence.) But this time it’s my better half calling from Miami. “I’m worried about Elliana.” “What do you mean?” (She’s a nurse, I was a banker, so just saying, “I’m worried” doesn’t work.)

We talk a bit more and work out a plan. I get to the airport and I see Elliana’s aunt. I go and talk to her and relay what Cheryl said and her concerns about Elliana’s health. She calls Elliana’s pediatrician and then finds me again.

“Tom, here’s what the doctor said. There are four main things to look for. If she has two of the four, I’ll see you at my office tomorrow morning at 10. If she has 3 out of the four, go directly to the hospital, don’t pass go, don’t go home first.” So, Aunt Joy and I work out a plan. When Jayne and Elli come off the plane, I’ll work my way around “behind” her so that she can’t see me. Aunt Joy will go in, give her a hug and will do a quick assessment of how Elli’s doing. She will then, behind Jayne’s back, give me a thumbs up or thumbs down. If it’s a thumbs up, nothing more will be said. If it’s a thumbs down, I’ll come in, hug Jayne and tell her the story.

From the minute that they got off the plane, it was obvious that it was going to be a “thumbs down” situation. So, when Aunt Joy gave me the official thumbs down, I came in, gave Jayne (mom) a hug and told her the story (starting from the phone call from Cheryl.)

Her response, “If your wife says that, then we better go to the hospital and we better do it now.” So we gathered for a group prayer and sent a new mom and her daughter, home in Grand Rapids for 15 minutes, off to the hospital. This was a Friday night and she didn’t get home until Wednesday. The doctors told Mom later that if she had waited until Monday to bring Elli to the doctor, the results might have been significantly different (I think you know what that means!)

So, in spite of all of the joy and the emotions over long awaited children coming home, here was a mom making the trip from the airport to the hospital. Knowing her daughter was sick but not knowing how sick. She’d only had her daughter with her for less than 12 hours and she had to take her to the hospital.

But God was gracious and the people at the hospital took very good care of her. 4 years later, she is a bouncy, bubbly and absolutely beautiful little girl full of character, charm and intelligence.

Oh and did I mention she gives her Mom a run for her money when it comes to the quantity of words expended every day? 🙂 Love to both of you!