He and I stayed in contact over the week and I loved hearing about his adventures in Colorado Springs and how he was getting on with the new host family. I won't lie- I didn't like that he was under someone else's roof for a few reasons. He kept saying he was in fact planning on coming back to Salt Lake and that we would make plans and the day got closer and he knew how the caravan was going to work.
Because we were spending all day in Lava on Saturday, I felt a little anxious because it was going to have to be very well choreographed to get him back to our house that night. His car was driving from Denver along I-70 and we planned on picking him up in Green River, about three hours from our house but along their route to Vegas. Green River is about seven hours west of Denver. As we spent the day at Lava, I repeatedly checked my phone to see if I had a Facebook message from him giving me an exact time to meet. Nothing. It was frustrating because he doesn't use his cell phone in America because of the outrageous international charges, so the only way to communicate is through Facebook when he was wifi. So Facebook was our only lifeline to him.
It wasn't until 6:00 that night as we were getting on the highway from Lava that I decided to check my phone one last time, and I in fact had a message from him. He was leaving Denver and would get to Green River between midnight and 1:00 a.m. if all went as planned. Cody left a little after 10:00 that night to make the drive south to collect our boy. I was a nervous wreck at the thought of Cody driving all night long when he was already tired from a poor night's sleep and a day in the sun. Ever since Joseph died in a car accident when the driver fell asleep at the wheel, I am very nervous about middle of the night trips. Sometime around 2:00 I decided to go to bed because waiting up and wringing my hands was futile. At 4:30 my eyes popped open and I felt panic in my chest because they weren't home yet. I started doing the math and I told myself to not panic until 5:00, and that even then it was PROBABLY okay. A few minutes before 5:00 I heard a key in the front door and footsteps shuffled inside. My body relaxed because my boys were home safe.
We had decided not to tell the kids that Paul was coming back. Partly because we wanted it to be a fun surprise, and partly because we didn't want them to share in our disappointment if he changed his plans. But Sunday morning I got up and was making breakfast when the girls came out to the kitchen, bright eyed and bushy tailed. We chatted for a little bit as I made breakfast burritos and then Paul came up the stairs and Hailey and Lauren looked at him with complete shock and confusion. It was priceless!
We spent the day lazying around, which was very much needed. Paul and Cody were dead tired from traveling all night, and we were playing catch up from our Lava getaway. I worked on school most of the afternoon while Paul napped and played with the kids. It felt wonderful to have him back with us, picking up where we left off. That night we had Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner and stayed up way too late talking. It was grand.