As we mentioned before, we are beginning to adjust to our temporary home - the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia. It was the very first Ronald McDonald House. You are not allowed into this house unless you have a child at CHOP that requires a hospital stay. It is about a twenty minute walk from the hospital and shuttles are available to take us back and forth every few hours.
As you can see in the photos below, the house is large and built for families with children. There are two large play areas - one for small children and one for older kids (Caleb enjoys being one of the big kids, of course). He has made a couple of friends who also enjoy trains. The house has a small train table and a large, automated toy train that is customized to match the holiday season.
The house is manned by volunteers who love to work for the house. There are guards, a cleaning crew, a social worker, a front desk, etc. Someone is always willing to help out. It is not a hotel - we do not have room service and are expected to clean up after ourselves. It feels a lot like a dorm room.
The meals have been fantastic! Someone volunteers each day of the week to cook supper and breakfast is prepared on the weekends. For example, this week we have been provided German sausage, soups, chili, souffle and Philly cheesesteaks. It is a motivation to eat when the food is prepared for you.
On one hand, it is nice to meet other families and listen to their stories. It is a place where other people understand our current circumstances and it provides an opportunity for us to be with our son as much as possible. On the other hand, it is difficult to comprehend so many different struggles that families from all walks of life are facing. It is unfortunate that so many families need this type of care.
The motto around here is that this is the house that love built. We definitely appreciate the opportunity to be close to Jordan so that our family can spend as much time with him as possible.