The journey started yesterday as we said goodbye to our 3 kids. All morning I cried. I tried so hard not let the kids see me upset, but it was impossible. The night before, I showed Aunt Jeana where all their clothes and things were, told her about Eliza's breathing medicines and reminded her about some of the kids special things. That night, all three kids fell asleep in bed with me as I held them as tightly as I could. The girls asked lots of questions and I tried my best to be upfront and honest with them. Livi said, "You have to go to France to learn more French so we can tell more people about Jesus." She about broke my heart!
We decided not to have them take us to the airport. I just felt like that would make it worse for them. And something in my mind didn't want them to see us leaving. So instead, we said our goodbyes at the grandparent's house and their Aunt Jeana took them to the zoo. It was worse than I could have imagined. The girls cried. I cried.....and I mean the ugly-shoulders shaking-couldn't catch my breath cry. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Aiden was a big boy. He was just happy he was going to the zoo. And John was my rock, reassuring me that we were doing the right thing for the kids. After they left, I had a few more minutes to ugly cry and then we had to head to the airport. Tears were abundant and my heart truly felt like I couldn't take it. I really think the prayers of so many people got me through.
We boarded the plane in Des Moines and taxied out to the run way only to be stopped due to weather in Chicago. We sat for about 30 minutes, got clearance and then were stopped again because Air Force One was taking from the same airport and no one else can be in the same airspace as the president. Finally, after about an hour sitting in the plane we took off. And I cried again.