Once Upon A Prayer

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Good Laugh...

Since my last post was quite heavy, 
I thought everyone could use a good laugh
at Papa Jacques' expense!

In China, many hotel pools require that everyone wears swim caps.
I had heard about this, but forget to warn Jacques,
and didn't think to send him with them.

While Jacques was in Inner Mongolia staying at the Sheraton,
he decided to take Lily swimming.

When he arrived to the pool, he was told that Lily needed
a swim cap.  They had them for sale, but Papa
thought that was just so ridiculous.

So my sweet, beautiful little girl ended up with the "free"
shower cap on her head during her very first 
swimming experience.

 Not looking too thrilled with her new head piece...

I hope she is thinking,
"I bet my mommy would never make me wear this!"

In the end, it looks like Lily had a good time!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mackenzie's Ears

Today I took Mackenzie to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist in order to have her ears evaluated.  Mackenzie had an untreated ear infection during the month of April, or so I was told by the orphanage staff.  The doctor said that Mackenzie's ears have gone untreated a lot longer than that.  Toward the end of April, her orphanage sent her to the hospital where she stayed in-patient for 8 days.  They released her on the Friday before her Gotcha Day.  On Mackenzie's Gotcha Day, I was handed a severely malnourished, extremely terrified, and very sick little girl.

On our day 2 of being together, Mackenzie's left ear began to bleed.  I called our Pediatrician's office back home, and they told me to take her to the ER.  I was able to convince the doctor to give me an oral antibiotic for her, even though I learned that in China they do not give children oral antibiotics, and that the antibiotic he prescribed is not good for ear infections.  Two days later, Mackenzie's right ear began to bleed.  Everyone assured me that the bleeding was a "good sign" because that meant Mackenzie's eardrums had ruptured and that she would be in less pain.  Mackenzie had several days of high fevers, lots of pus draining from her ears, and of course the blood.

Sweet baby girl...

We arrived home last Friday, and I took Mackenzie into the Pediatrician's office on Saturday.  The nurse took a swab of her ear, and sent it away to be tested.  A few days later I was given the results that Mackenzie has Ecoli and two other resistant forms of bacteria in her ears.  The Pediatrician put Mackenzie on a strong oral antibiotic and topical ear drops to treat the infection.  The ENT told me today that Mackenzie's right eardrum has a gaping hole, and he could not even see into the left eardrum because of the extreme infection.  He filled her left ear with an ointment, and said he wants to see her again in a week.  If the infection has not cleared by next Tuesday, Mackenzie will need to be hospitalized for a week in order for them to administer IV antibiotics.  The doctor has concerns about how much hearing damage has already been done, and how much more will occur as we continue to treat the infection.  Once her infection clears, the doctor also feels that Mackenzie will need surgery to patch the holes in her eardrums.

Perhaps what shocked me the most today, was when the doctor thanked me for "saving" Mackenzie's life.  He told me that because of the severity of her infection, and the fact that she has gaping holes in her eardrums, Mackenzie was only a few weeks away from her untimely death.

Mackenzie has a long road ahead of her.  Her legs and feet are bowed and disfigured from severe Rickets.  Today they attempted to draw her blood in order to determine how much Vitamin D she will need to receive by injection each week.  Unfortunately, Mackenzie's veins are like those of an infant, and after 30 minutes of poking and prodding while my baby girl screamed bloody murder in my lap, I told them they were done trying.  Enough is enough.  On the upside, Mackenzie has already gained 7 pounds in only three weeks, which brings her to the 3rd percentile for weight.  In terms of her height, Mackenzie is no where near even making it onto the charts.  We will also have to work with various specialists to deal with her developmental and speech delays.  The only thing that I can promise this sweet little girl, is that she will never have to do any of this alone...mommy and papa will always be there!

Tonight, as I sit here feeling like the most blessed woman on this planet to have "almost" all of the beds in our house filled with beautiful little girls, I can't help but wonder...
  • How many children will die tonight in their orphanage crib alone because they were not given the medicine they needed?
  • How many children will go to bed tonight with starving tummies?
  •  How many children will never experience unconditional love?
Unfortunately, the answer to all of those questions is...
way too many.

If Jacques and I can do this, so can you!
Please consider blessing your family more than you even thought
possible...and let's get all of these children

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let The Healing Begin...

We arrived early for our 1st Pediatric Cardiologist appointment 
this morning! They had an awesome place to play, 
but little Mackenzie got nervous as soon as we 
walked in the door.

Lily wasted no time at all having fun with the toys.

Sweet Angel...

And pretty soon, Mackenzie joined right in!

And then, Mommy got in trouble for taking photos...
thank you HIPPA!

They called our name and we headed back to the exam room.
Mackenzie's lips are blue from a sucker...no worries!

Lily didn't miss a beat, and continued her 
artwork on the exam table.

The girls had fun with bubbles
and Mommy snapped more photos 
while no one was looking!

Typically, if Lily does everything first, Mackenzie is fine.
So, the nurse weighed them, took their heights, did EKG's,
and then sent us to the next room over for an Echocardiogram.

The nurse told the technician that Lily was her star patient,
and then my little Empress LOST IT.

The poor guy kept telling me that she needed to stop crying and
stop moving because he could not get the images.

Easier said than done.
Remember I only sing in Chinese...

After 30 minutes of screaming and turning blue,
(both Lily and the technician)
he decided that we would need to come back
for sedation...uuugghhh!

Up next was Mackenzie.

Apparently today Mackenzie decided to be the brave sister.
Her Echo went really well, and we are SUPER
excited to report that her three
congenital heart defects all corrected themselves!!!!

A sweet receptionist who booked their appointments, 
knew their story,and that they were coming today.  
She brought a gift for the girls.
Then, Mommy lost it.

My girls are so very loved.

Look who got brave!!!
Using my ITouch as a cell phone.

Probably calling China :-)

The doctor came in and did an AMAZING job of explaining
everything to us through pictures.  As we knew, Lily's heart is
very complicated.

She has various congenital heart defects,
and her anatomy is all wrong too.
Lily will have a sedated echocardiogram soon, and then she will have 
a heart catheterization.  One month later, she will under go
 her third open heart surgery called the Fontan Procedure.

The Fontan procedure will not completely mend Lily's broken heart,
but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Thank you for all of your prayers.
Please keep them coming!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

US Consulate Appointment

Today was our US Consulate appointment!
Kelley has a couple of family photos I will need to snag
because we ended up getting in trouble 
for taking photos in the building.

They temporarily confiscated our cameras.
Rebels, I know...

Jacques and I took an oath, and then had a quick interview.

Lily and I were singing Liang Zhi Lao Hu (Two Tigers)
while the woman was looking through our paperwork.
She said, "Oh, you speak Chinese?"
And I said, "No, I only sing in Chinese!" 
She was impressed

Here is Mackenzie on our way to the US Consulate

Here are the girls with our AMAZING guide Eva...
the girls call her Ayiya (Auntie)

The Chinese children add the sound, "ah" to the end of words,
and this is referred to as cute baby talk.

Lily does this a lot. 

She says, "ba-bye ah", "Mommy ah" "princess ah", etc.

Yesterday I was repeatedly calling Lily's name, and she was
ignoring me.  Finally she looked at me and said,

Ever since, whenever I call her Lilya,
she responds right away!

She really is a hoot...

Here is Lily splashing in the pool...
yes, this is before we discovered she had a fever!

When we took Lily out of the pool and wrapped her in a towel, 
her lips and face turned really blue.

The pool attendant came running over, very concerned, 
and in very broken English asked if she was alright.  He kept saying,
"She is REALLY cold".

We told him that she was ok, pointed to her heart and her huge scar
and his eyes welled with tears.  He thanked us for 
"being good parents" and taking her to the USA for help.

We assured him that WE are the blessed ones
to be able to call this sweet princess our daughter!

Mackenzie has NO FEAR when we hold her in the water
and spin her around, splash, etc..  She will even put her face in!  BUT...
she does not like to walk alone in the water up to her thighs.

Silly girl

Yes, we decided to give them ice cream two days in a row...
don't judge :-)

Tomorrow is our last full day in China.
A big piece of my heart will definitely stay here...
and it's safe to say that I will have to come back soon to visit it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Marvelous Day

Today we started out at the Six Banyan Pagoda.
The Liurong Temple is a world famous
ancient Buddhist temple
with a long 

Don't the girls look thrilled...ha!

Little peanut, Mackenzie

Lily Grace under a table at the Temple.
I probably should have moved her instead of snapping
a photo...but doesn't she look cute?

Next we went to an art museum, and the girls tolerated it.
We were all hot and sweaty, 
so my photos were of the art, not us.

We caught a taxi cab to Beijing Lu.
The driver was an absolute creeper.  He was chewing on a toothpick,
with a cotton ball up his nose.  He kept yelling occasionally,
maybe even at us!?  The worse part was that he kept
starring at Lily.  She was petrified.
I was ticked.

Papa is so in love...

Kisses from Papa

Lily's 1st Ice Cream Cone...
many more to follow!

Mackenzie's 1st Ice Cream Cone...
amazed that she can now use a spoon!!!!

Lily LOVES to push her Jie Jie (big sister) in the stroller...
and Mackenzie thinks that is pretty cool!

We are so very proud of our sweet Mackenzie Ty.
Just one week ago, this little peanut choked on anything solid
that was put in her mouth.  She had no idea what to do with 
a fork or spoon,and needed to be fed like a little baby bird.  
After studying her little sister Lily for only four days, 
check her out!!!

This little one has "all of me" already

Kelley's Pizza...after Jacques took us on a 3 hour tour of
Guangzhou...aka, we were lost, Kelley was starving!

Jacques is such a tiny eater...mwah ha ha!

Praising God for another marvelous day with 
our new daughters...

A Sister's Love

These photos will speak for themselves...

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, 
is God in His holy dwelling. 
God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:5-6a

Monday, May 14, 2012

Someone Please Pinch Me...

I keep waiting to wake up from this beautiful dream I am having!  Am I really in China?  Do I really have two new beautiful daughters?  Do the girls really love each other and get along like long lost best friends?  Really?  I swear I must be dreaming because everything is way too good to be true.  What a brilliant reminder to me that when God wants to show off, he has the absolute power to make things glorious!

We started out our morning by accessorizing with stickers

The girls held hands on our way to have the TB tests checked

Lily belly laughed with her mouth full of food

Mackenzie clung to Momma for comfort at the clinic

Got out of the van for a family photo op

Enjoyed a snack

The girls went for a swim with Papa...yes, he is extremely BRAVE!

Papa having the time of his life!!!!

The girls checking out the huge coy fish
 with Kelka

Mackenzie thriving with abundant love

Lily Grace with Ayiya (Auntie)

Arms full of love...

Hold me sissy...we are up really high!

I anticipate the day that my sweet Lily Grace can run
and play without turning blue and 
struggle to breathe.

Please Heavenly Father, perform a miracle
on my precious daughter!

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; 
ensure justice for those being crushed. 
Yes, speak for the poor and helpless, 
and see that they get justice. 

Proverbs 31:8-9