We wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being our “home away from home” for such a long time! Our stay at the House from the end of September 2013 to nearly the end of January 2014 was not how we necessarily intended to spend four months’ time, to say the least. But we were blown away by the kindness and acceptance we were shown from the first phone call we made to the House to find a place to stay. Over the course of the four months we were residents at the House, we were treated with the utmost respect by everyone associated with the House.
We are still humbled by the generosity of the donors that choose to give so selflessly to the residents. We have fond memories of our first night at the House, the meal provided by Wells Fargo being the first home cooked meal we had in about four weeks. We were both reduced to tears. We also enjoyed listening to the other groups that came in to cook, the Girl Scout troops, 4-H clubs, sororities, etc. It was good for us to be able to see the joy people received from donating their time and efforts to the House. By Christmas time, Zoey was home and Carter remained in the hospital.
We never thought we would be spending the holiday apart. Imagine the surprise we had when we discovered that “Santa” knew exactly where we all were! A Christmas will not pass now where we don’t share our experiences of Christmas 2013 with our children. And use it as a good example of how wonderful it is to do for others, especially when they least expect it. Perhaps the most amazing part of the journey to bring our babies home was the relationships we established with both residents and staff members. We all basked in each family’s good days and shed tears when things weren’t going so well. We made new friends and found ways to give back to people who were less fortunate than us by helping the other residents.
The support we received from the knowledgeable staff was incredible! It was remarkable how well staff understood what we were going through and found ways to help. Our Zoey discharged from the hospital on 12/13/2013 weighing 5 lbs., 4 oz. after an 82 day stay in the NICU. She and her brother were born at 25 weeks and 5 days gestation, weighing 1 lb. 13 oz. and 1 lb. 14 oz., respectively. Both were 12.5 inches long. As of today’s date, Zoey is 9 lbs. 2 oz. she is in perfect health and learning rapidly. Carter was discharged on 1/28/2014, weighing 6 lbs. 1 oz. and having stayed in the hospital for 128 days. He has been home for just over three weeks and has gained 24 oz., weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz. Both are growing in length and we are elated to watch their progress.
Please don’t think this will be the last you hear of our family! We will keep in touch and look forward to coming to Des Moines and making new friends at the House! This is not the first time Ronald McDonald House Charities has helped a member of our family and we look forward to giving back for all the phenomenal things that have been done for all of us!
With sincere gratitude, Jason, Laura, Carter and Zoey Reinders