Everyone is anxiously anticipating our Wish Trip pictures! No internet, and no time, have both hindered a prompt update.... but I am almost ready to post everything!
Our journey began long before the day we left for Gabriella's wish trip. August 2009, Gabriella was visited by her wish granters and wished to go to Disney World. Two weeks before going on her October 8th trip, she suffered her massive stroke and her trip was cancelled.
Fast forward to January 2011, where after countless hours of therapies, endless doctors appointments, and most importantly a life saving heart transplant, Gabriella was approved by doctors to travel again and was able to re-wish. This time, wishing for what she originally wanted but could not do due to medical limitations.... the Disney Cruise.
Because it takes a while to plan, our trip was scheduled out into September 2011, which gave us plenty of time to prepare and anticipate. Gabriella was chosen to be a recipient in something called "The Big Give". Not sponsored by Disney or Make a Wish, the Big Give is just a humble group of giving and talented ladies who shower certain wish kids with gifts to get them ready for their trip. Thanks to this Big Give, both of my kids had plenty of airplane activities and snacks, cuddly blankets, beach towels, bags, and clothes for every single day on our trip with accessories to boot! Paul and I even scored with some great shirts and goodies as well! We couldn't have been more blessed to receive 25 packages over the course of the couple months leading to her trip!!!!!
Little did we realize when becoming a wish family that not only would we end up with an experience of a lifetime with memories that are priceless, we would be so blessed in relationships. We have connected with numerous people along the path, but our wish granters take the cake. They were so much more than just a liaison between us and the business end of Make a Wish. They have become friends, family even. They were there through Gabriella's stroke, transplant and rejection. They kept touch in those tedious waiting periods between treatments or transplant. They made sure to treat us every couple months or so to dinner, just to catch up. And you could see how they went from meeting a "poor little girl" and wanting to do everything right for her wish, to being people who genuinely love my kids and our family and shared so much joy in seeing Gabriella finally fulfill something we were all unsure would ever happen. They are forever stuck with us, poor things.
I put together an album of our pre-wish journey.... from the first visit, through all of the Big Give packages and into our send off party. Oregano's in Chandler went above and beyond in their generosity and compassion to make Gabriella's send off party a success, and her wish granters Brian and Ama threw the party of all parties for the special Princess.
Enjoy the pictures!! LINK: https://picasaweb.google.com/vegaangel82/MakeAWishTheBigGive?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNaH26O5iInVtAE&feat=directlink
Be looking for my next entry! I am breaking the actual trip into 2 entries!