Posted (Tina) in All Posts on May-31-2008

Wow, I can’t believe that we made it.

We left Kansas City a bit later than we wanted at 9:45am, but we did not have a restful night sleep. Ella didn’t either. So the drive started with Venti coffees as we knew that there was about 600 miles of driving ahead of us.

God took care of us during this drive. We skirted every single storm. Even on the Kansas City weather report this morning, there was hail that was strong enough to take out windshields in Wichita, KS. Literally, we only experienced the three drops of rain between St. Louis and Kansas City from the other day. There were even storms in Colorado as we were driving into the Denver Metro Area. We passed all of them, but noted that the promise of a rainbow was present to greet us.

Ella did amazing. She had her fussy moments, but the way I look at it, she could have cried the entire time. We took breaks to stretch her from her chair, change her and feed her. But still, she could have been a lot worse. I thought she handled it the best we could expect.

We were monitoring her saturations. While she was in the car, it seemed that we had to increase her oxygen to 700ccs, then 800ccs. By the time we were home in Lone Tree (6,000 feet above sea level), she needed 1 liter of oxygen to maintain her heart rate and saturations. As she is asleep right now, she has stabilized on 1 liter of oxygen. At sea level in Gainesville, she was stable on 400ccs of oxygen, so this is more than double. It will be interesting to see how that changes in the coming days, weeks and months.

We crossed the Colorado state line around 5pm and made it to the house around 8pm. Josh and I were both overwhelmed with emotion as we drove into the state and pulled up to our front door. You can see a video of us arriving in Colorado below:

I think the part that makes it even more heart wrenching is that we can see the hospital from our front door, Sky Ridge Medical Center. This is the hospital just a few blocks from our house, where we anticipated Ella’s birth place, before we found out that she had CDH.

It is also hard to believe that we are starting a new chapter. That felt like an eternity – – going to Gainesville to have a baby. Looking around the house, we have not been here together in almost a year. That is crazy. As a matter of fact one year ago today, we had arrived in Gainesville for the first time to interview Dr. Kays. So much has happened since that time.

One other surprise to note: when we opened our front door, we were greeted with decorations including a customized banner and balloons to welcome us home. From there, we found a note and all kinds of meals. Our refrigerator and freezer were filled with foods, things to satisfy at every meal. Our lovely friends, the Williams, or better known in this forum as “Williamsburg” had arranged with my Dad to come to our house and pull off this wonderful gesture.

Ahh, it is so good to be home…that is, our home in Colorado.

Thank you Lord for bringing us home safely with Ella. We praise you and are in awe of the works of your hands.

We do not know what to expect as we continue on this journey and seek your will. We just know that it has been amazing to be obedient to you – – what a miracle baby girl that you have entrusted to us.

May we seek you daily and have Ella Renae serve as a clear reminder of your love. Nothing is impossible with you.

And as you taught us first hand…there are no accidents, only God ordained moments.

Linda on June 1st, 2008 at 4:09 am #

Hallelujah, praise the Lord, the Wests have arrived home safely with their precious cargo. It has been an amazing journey and I really have enjoyed reading this everyday and looking at the pictures. I feel I know the BUN and her family. I wish you and your family well and I am so happy everything went great with your travels, but how could we expect anything else with all the prayers and angels you had surrounding that van. Looking forward to keeping up with Ella’s progress.

rachel on June 1st, 2008 at 4:19 am #

Way to go. Rejoicing with you,
The Pates…

Brown Family on June 1st, 2008 at 5:14 am #

Welcome home Ella! When you get a little bigger we plan on coming to see you.

Barbara Mullins on June 1st, 2008 at 5:32 am #

Hallelujah, you’re home!!! Isn’t God good to have protected you all the way, giving you great weather and even keeping Ella relatively calm and content the entire trip? I want to say that I amazed – but then, we have an amazing God, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. So, when does “Bun – the Book” come out? I’ll be continuing to pray for y’all and will look forward to Ella’s progress. God Bless You!


Joel Snyder on June 1st, 2008 at 5:42 am #

Ella, I am so thankful that you and your Mom and Dad are back home in Colorado. I am coming to see you today and I know it will be fun for both of us. I have thought long and hard about talking to everyone who has shared with your miracle journey. First I must thank the Lord for allowing me to be your “Grandpa” what an honor. Next I must thank your Mom and Dad who have shown all of us that they have Faith,Love,Strength,and a determination to conquer all the hurdles in life. These are my true heroes and I salute them for a job well done and know they will always be your strongest advocates as you grow up. Last I want to thank all the family and friends that have joined in this fantastic journey. I am aware that some have posted on the site quite often and some have never but have followed “Ella” and your thoughts and prayers will never be forgotten. I am so grateful to each and everyone of you. Thank You. “Ella’s” Grandpa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eve Johnson on June 1st, 2008 at 6:53 am #

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I can’t imagine what it must be like for you to be HOME. Thank you, Lord, for your shield of protection around this family. Josh & Tina, any chance of a photo of Ella with Grandpa? Thank you God for him and all of the others who prayed this family home.

Jim and Char Jordan on June 1st, 2008 at 7:45 am #

Okay, so Jim and I cried thru the entire blog. We have such deep emotion for the faith that precedes the mirarcle. The beautiful baby that has endured so very much.The parents that became much more than just parents. You are the greatest. We wish you a wonderful reunion with Grandpa and a seamless adjustment. Thank the Lord for all your friends. Those that stood by you through all the grueling times. WELCOME HOME!!!!

Pat & Bob Hadden on June 1st, 2008 at 7:55 am #

Yeehaa! That video of you all in your very cramped car hints at the hardship of your trip. And that cramped-full refrigerator reveals all the love that surrounds you. Much love and joy from SoCal.

The Rainey Family on June 1st, 2008 at 8:52 am #

So glad you made it home safely!! Enjoy being in your own home together with Ella!!!

Steve & Veronica Johnson on June 1st, 2008 at 9:39 am #

woo hoo! so glad you made it and missed the storms. eat some Chipotle for us. 🙂

Vicki Schubert on June 1st, 2008 at 9:39 am #

Praise God! What an awesome God we have, and how awesome He has been with your precious family! I have watched your story from months ago, and every day on your way home, I drove and prayed with you. I sit here with tears right now as I see you drive up to your home and bring your precious baby girl into her home for the first time. I am amazed at your faith and strength and courage, and it only serves as a beautiful example of how all of us should live out our faith in our Lord! Thank you for a beautiful opportunity to follow your story and lift you up in prayer. I feel privileged to have been able to do that little part of all you’ve gone through. I hope, even now that you’re home, that just once in awhile, we might get an update on precious Ella and the two of you (and oh, yes, the kitties, too! They look just like my Maggie!)! Thank you for letting us walk alongside you! God bless you over and over and over again!

Kara on June 1st, 2008 at 10:20 am #

Welcome home Ella!!! Give that Grandpa of yours a big hug for me and blow a kiss to the mountains. There’s nothing like growing up next to the mountains. You are going to love it! Tina and Josh, you ROCK! Sure am glad your journey is over.

Dawn Franck on June 1st, 2008 at 10:56 am #

I am so happy to hear that your journey went well. It must be so nice to be home! I’m sure Ella is enjoying finally seeing her nursery. I hope the transition to the higher altitude goeas smoothly for her. Take care, Dawn

Tracy Schultz on June 1st, 2008 at 11:42 am #

How wonderful to be home at last!! Looking forward to more updates as your schedule allows. :0)
Peace to you all!
Tracy, Atlanta

the Lizotte family on June 1st, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

Congrats to Ella, Tina and Josh on a safe journey home to Colorado. Prayers for you from Florida

tamara tessmer on June 1st, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

tears of joy falling for you. Praise God for his provision. He is mighty to save. God Bless!!!
With lots of love,

Barbara Bour on June 1st, 2008 at 3:42 pm #

So happy that you arrived home…I think of you every day that I drive into the apts. Just know that you are missed in G’ville. Thanks again for letting me share in your journey. I will be speaking of Ella again on Tuesday…she is the subject of yet another lecture. We will call her professor Ella…she is teaching us all. Welcome home.

Nicole on June 1st, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

We are so very happy that you arrived safely. What an amazing journey you’ve had. I can’t even imagine how happy you must feel right now and all the emotions that your experiencing. Just know we are thinking of you often.

Welcome Home!!
The Vogls

The Laz Fam on June 1st, 2008 at 5:54 pm #

Thank you, Williams, for doing what many of us Ella-fans could not! What a lovely gesture. Josh & Tina, please know how much you are loved, and prayed for!
Blessings ~ KTJB

Julie on June 1st, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

So glad you made it safely. And there’s nothing like taking your baby home…and I’m sure that double for you guys.


Cathie Firestone on June 1st, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

What a BLESSED day this is! Welcome home precious West family!! There is nothing like walking through your front door into your home after what you all have experienced! We continue to pray for all 3 of you…thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey!

The Roberts Family on June 1st, 2008 at 8:08 pm #

Praise the Lord for your safe arrival. We’ll be praying that Ella adjusts quickly to the higher altitude and continues her amazing progress!

The Williams on June 1st, 2008 at 8:37 pm #

Welcome HOME Ella, Josh and Tina. What an amazing journey you all have gone through this passed year. We are so excited to finally get to meet Ella and love on all 3 of you. Once you all get settled, please let us know so you can come visit. Love you guys and may God continue to Bless baby Ella. John, Estela, Julian and Ellis

aunt Marla on June 1st, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

So happy for you all! I too cried as I watched and read the blog, tears of joy for you guys. Thanks for your testement of faith in God all these months, you have truly been an encouragement to me. Talk to you soon. Give yourselves the rest you need to care for “our little girl”.

The Riches on June 1st, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

Welcome home! God bless your family!!!

Bethany Wurdeman on June 1st, 2008 at 10:41 pm #

It is so Great to hear you made it home to Colorado.
My son Brody LCDH 12-14-06 born in Denver is not on O2 but everytime we come to Denver for Doctor Appt or to visit my Sister who only lives about 3 miles down Lincoln Ave from you his O2 levels become low.
Praise God for you Ella!!!
Great Job Mommy & Daddy!!
If you need anything please dont be scared to ask.
Mother to Brody LCDH 12-14-06
CP Name: BrodyJacksonMartin

Steve and Joan Odell on June 2nd, 2008 at 6:31 am #

Home Sweet Home!!! Congratulations on your arrival and prayers as you start a new journey. Lord Bless and Hugs – Steve and Joan

Tammy on June 2nd, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

Welcome Home! I’ve never been to Colorado but can see why you love it so much!
Ella and her grandpa look so happy cheek to cheek!



Jean Rich on June 2nd, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

I’m so very thankful that you guys are home safely!! And if that rainbow was not a sign from God Himself that you had been obedient, I don’t know what could have been clearer! I loved the video, although I had to rewind it through the tears. You guys are so amazing. Love, love seeing you in your home, the home that is now shared by the precious Bun. Will anxiously read how your life is going in the coming days.
Love in Jesus,
Jean (Par’s grandmother)

Macarena Herman on June 3rd, 2008 at 7:27 am #

Welcome back home!! I’m so glad that the trip went well for you guys. Ella, you are so beautiful and we can’t wait to finally meet you! We love you guys and we’ll see you soon!
~The Herman Family

Laura Marold on June 3rd, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

I’m so happy for you!!! What joy!!! Love, Laura M,

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