I used to believe I could plan my life, but three clear messages prove otherwise: identical triplets named Eli, Liam and Bradley. Last May, our sons arrived 15 weeks early, weighing just 1 lb. 7 oz., 1 lb. 14 oz., and 2 lb. 3 oz. We could measure each of them within the length of a ruler.
My husband, Eric, and I live with our two older children, Sophia (4) and Zachary (2) about an hour away from Portland. So when I went into labor and was rushed to Randall Children’s Hospital, our lives were thrown into complete chaos. The triplets would require months of hospital care, and we knew we could never afford to stay in a hotel for that long.
I thought I would have to commute 120 miles round trip from home several times a week, when we learned about the nearby Ronald McDonald House. The news was like a breath of fresh air. I remember thinking “This might work.” And it did.
The House had everything we needed: extra clothes, towels, laundry facilities, a wonderful kitchen and play areas for our kids. Most important, my mother and Eric’s mother were able to take turns staying with us to help care for Sophia and Zachary.
As the weeks passed, our babies underwent numerous surgeries and roller-coaster moments. We were able to share our anxieties and experiences with other parents we met. We supported each other, and the friendships we built were priceless.
The cost for Ronald McDonald House to host a family for one night is close to $100, but they ask for just $20 from guests. Often, the fee is waived altogether. Every dollar donated is truly a gift to families like ours.
Our babies have done amazingly well. After spending several weeks in the hospital, we brought them home. It is a full house with five small kids, but the peace of mind and stability we experienced at Ronald McDonald House helped ease us into this new chapter of our lives. We are so thankful to have had a “home away from home” when we needed it most.
Please, support the many families like ours whose life “plans” unexpectedly bring them to the Ronald McDonald House. Like us, they will be forever grateful.
Sincerely, Jessica Beasly