After Bilal's final echo, his mother was full of thanksgiving and excitement knowing that Bilal was free to go home. The day we planned to leave, we had car trouble, so we met together with all three of our departing patients' parents in a joint decision about the travel plans for their long-awaited return to Iraq. The new plan was to leave one day later, so Tuesday evening we had a big farewell dinner with all of our families and staff.
Very early Wednesday morning they embarked on their mega-travel day. We left Jerusalem a little after six in the morning, and by day's end, Bilal, Mohammed B, and Noor were all home with their families in Iraq. Our trip to the border went well, and because it was early in the morning there was no wait to get through passport control on the Israel side. We walked out of the terminal directly onto the bus as the driver had been kind enough to wait for these little ones once he understood they were on a tight schedule and were headed straight to the airport in Jordan.
While the timing for their travel was wonderful, it meant our goodbyes were very brief. Bilal didn't really understand what was happening, and he was not willing to give out hug after hug as we all said goodbye. However, we saw his happy face from the bus window as we all waved to one another, and were full of joy to know he is going home with a healthy heart. Let's remember this special boy in our prayers as he enjoys a new opportunity for life back in Iraq, and his dear family who love him so, as God's loving care for them continues.