Last night was probably one of the most frightening experiences of J and I have ever gone through as parents.
J and I had dinner by ourselves last night. He made another wonderful dinner for me, pork ribs cooked in sauerkraut with potatoes and carrots. A very yummy dinner and one of my favorites. After we were done eating we called all the girls to come and eat, we had just wanted to be alone together kind of in-home-date-night. So we called the girls and the 3 oldest ones came. We asked where Faith was? was she sleeping? no they said she wasn't downstairs. We called next door as she had been over there playing and she must still be there. No she wasn't there. So then I raced to every bedroom turned every blanket over looked under the beds and in the closets. She wasn't there.
I called our neighbor back and she said I am coming over and then all of us poured out of the house in sheer panic and terror screaming for Faith. I grabbed a sweater and put my boots on and ran outside. I didn't even know which way to go. The kids ran to another neighbors to see if by chance she was there. We were calling in all different directions and I thought I could hear a very faint cry. I didn't know which direction it was coming from. I yelled at the girls to stop calling for Faith so I could hear where it was coming from and if it was just my imagination or the girls I was hearing and not Faith. It was like being in the matrix and everything slowing down but going a hundred miles a minute at the same time. Knowing we live where wild animals might be waking up from hibernation is not far from your thoughts.
I ran across the road and then I was sure I heard crying. Morgan and I took off through the trees as fast as the deep snow would allow. We went crashing through the trees and we yelled at the others that we could hear her. They began to follow. Morgan spotted her jacket at the same time I finally saw her tracks. She was about another 25 feet from where her jacket lay. She was standing there stuck in the snow, deep in the trees, snow up to her knees with just a t-shirt on and soaking wet. Morgan got to her first and hugged her, then I saw Emily there while I desperately struggled to get there. Being a lot heavier than the girls I was sinking up to my thighs almost every other step. I took my sweater off and wrapped her up, noticing that her eyes were dilated and she was shivering so hard her teeth were clattering. She was freezing. We pulled her out of the snow and realized even her running shoes, not boots, were soaked.....like dripping with water. We cried and screamed to the rest that we had her. By this time Hailey had made it to us with boots barely on and Sandra close behind.
It felt like forever to get her out of there. It was a huge struggle trying to climb my way back out with an additional 50+ pound soaking wet freezing 4 year old. Morgan and I started passing her back and forth trying to get her out. We all were sinking in the deep pockets of snow. There was no way J could make it all the way in where we were as he is heavier and doesn't have the strength needed. We finally made our way to where J was and he started carrying her. He got stuck a few times too but we finally made it out. He told the girls to go ahead and start a warm bath and make some tea.
She cried for 15 min in the bath as it stung her toes. She looked dazed and confused and very pale and we didn't know whether to take her to the hospital right away or not. Her toes were white. Within 20 min though the color started coming back and a smile came on her face and we knew she was going to be alright.
J and I cried almost all night. Every time we thought of her out there in the snow and cold for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours all by herself we get chocked up. She had been playing outside with her friend who is only 5 years old and they had gone down into the ravine by themselves which is against both families house rules. Then when her friend got called to go home by her brother, they both thought Faith was following them. She was trying to follow but when you are only a few feet of the ground yourself and have no sense of direction, she got lost. And we had no idea. She was lost for a very long time for a small child and we had no idea she was even lost.
But THANK GOD she is found and she is fine. I stayed home from work today as you can imagine I am emotionally wiped out and my body is feeling the effects of fighting my way through the deep snow to get to my baby. Thank God she is FOUND!