Once Upon A Prayer

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kisses for Everyone

Imagine that for the first 3 1/2 years of your life
you were told that anyone who cared for you was "mama".

"Mama" changed your diapers.

"Mama" changed your clothes.

"Mama" put you to bed.

"Mama" gave you your bottle.

"Mama" wiped your runny nose.
"Mama" picked you up.

"Mama" just so happened to be 6-8 different women 
to our little girl they called "Shu Shu".

What most biological children learn within the first few months of their lives,  adopted children need to be taught. 

Attachment is not easy, and is never guaranteed.  

Complete strangers have made comments to us about how "friendly" and "loving" Mackenzie is to them.  If you have never adopted before, you probably see this as a good thing.  I mean, who wouldn't be thrilled with a precious, sweet, social child?

With this being our first adoption, I freely admit that we thought the authors of the attachment books must be weird, or crazy, or psychotically possessive.  They tell the newly adoptive family to hunker down and isolate themselves from the world.  They cautioned us to not allow anyone outside of our immediate family to hold our girls, change our girls, feed our girls, comfort our girls but us.  They recommended high fives, quick hugs, and "love" from a distance. 

Sounds silly, right?

However, after enduring the sting of a cold shoulder time after time from our precious daughter as she nestled up to someone other than us, we started to wonder if perhaps those authors were right.  When she began reaching for our friends and kissing them on the lips we knew we needed to change our approach to attachment since our method was clearly not working.

Jacques and I so desperately want Mackenzie to understand that:

Papa and Mama kiss boo boos.

Papa and Mama are her biggest cheerleaders.

Papa and Mama will make sure she never goes hungry.

Papa and Mama will keep her clean.

Papa and Mama will make her smile when she is sad.

Papa and Mama are madly in love with her.

Papa and Mama are forever. 

We are not there yet... 
Nowhere close to be exact.  
So for now, we will just hold onto her a little bit tighter, 
and keep her a little closer.
We will continue to fight for this precious little girl 
that God has entrusted in our care. 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Mighty Mack Attack

Mackenzie is having a CAT scan tomorrow morning in order to see past the infection in her left ear.  We ask you to pray that she can do this without sedation, or else we will need to reschedule her scan for a time when a team of anesthesiologists are available.  We are also praying for answers and hopefully solutions to what can be done to get rid of Mackenzie's inner ear infections that she has had for well over a year.

On Wednesday, Mackenzie will have her appointment with the Geneticist.  Since Mackenzie has multiple birth defects, we will be checking her for various syndromes that can be associated with these birth defects.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Post-op Cardiologist Appointment

Yesterday was the day that Lily had her post-op check up with her Cardiologist in Washington D.C.  Her appointment was at 1pm, and was supposed to only last about an hour.  Lily was VERY excited to be alone with Mommy, and go to the "hosibal".  Mommy was excited to have Lily evaluated, and get to Washington D.C. and out of Washington D.C. before rush hour traffic begins around 3:30pm.

The Cardiologist  looked at all of Lily's vitals, and decided that she needed a full work up in order to get to the bottom of why her oxygen saturations are so low.  The low oxygen saturation causes her to be very blue, and not have enough energy to make it through the day.  So off we went for an EKG, Echocardiogram, bloodwork, and chest X-ray.

This is Lily in the chest X-ray machine

After hours upon hours of testing, the Cardiologist still does not have a clear explanation as to why Lily's oxygen saturation is so low.  She decided to send Lily home on a Holter Heart Monitor  to wear for 24 hours in order to see if Lily is having arrithmiyas that could be causing the low saturations.  

Lily wearing her Holter Monitor "purse"

Needless to say, we arrived home from our appointment around 8pm after sitting in traffic for 2 hours...YUCK!  Lily will wear the heart monitor until 5pm today, and then we will put it in a box and ship it back to the hospital.  We should have the results from the data in about 2 weeks.

We will continue to have a nurse come to our home two times a week to evaluate Lily. 

Next week, Mackenzie is up for appointments!  She will have a CAT scan of her ears on Tuesday, and an appointment with a Geneticist on Wednesday.   As always, we covet your prayers for our family!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Abounding In Hope

In typical Rancourt fashion, today was all about dividing and conquering.  This happens frequently when you have two little girls who need to be at two different doctor appointments on the same day.  I volunteered to take Lily back to Washington DC for her post open heart surgery check-up, while Jacques took Mackenzie to her ear appointment.

Let's start with the good news...no, no, no...
make that AMAZING news!!!

The nurse practitioner said that Lily "looks great"!

Her right lung is still partially collapsed.  I didn't think about it at the time since I was so excited to hear the words "Lily" and "great" in the same sentence, but I wonder how long it will take for this lung to mend itself!?  Lily has a little bit of fluid in her left lung, but nothing to be concerned about, and very common after open heart surgery.  Her blood pressure was a little high, which I am not too thrilled about since she is on a medication for her arrithmiyas that lowers blood pressure...hmmmm!  Last but not least, Lily's oxygen is still low...like mid 60's, low 70's.  This explains why our little Empress is very blue a lot.  

A sweet little boy (maybe 4) asked her today at the hospital if she was wearing lipstick.  Lily looked up at me, and I said, "Nope, God just made her extra beautiful don't you think?"   He agreed.  

Lily will return to see her cardiologist on Thursday, August 16th.  Jacques and I have a million questions to ask her, but for now we are content.  Our hearts are overflowing with praise to the One who fearfully and wonderfully made our little girl....inside out and backward!

Sisterly love...
the best medicine money can't buy!

So, what is the bad news you must be asking yourselves?  Yup, you guessed it...Mackenzie's left ear is still showing no signs of improvement.  As a matter of fact, the last time I posted about her ear we were hopeful that the infection was beginning to respond to the treatment.  Unfortunately, this pesky resistant bacteria became resistant to the antibiotics she has been on and now her ear looks just as bad as before.  The doctor gave us a script to take her in to have a CAT scan to get a better look at what is going on.  To say that I am frustrated would be a total understatement.  We have decided that after 11 1/2 weeks of being home with aggressive treatment, it is time for a second opinion.  

I want so badly for our little girl to be able to hear clearly.  I want her to be able to mimic the words we are saying, and be able to express herself to us through verbal language.  Mackenzie has come such a long way over the past couple of months, and she tries so very hard to speak and pronounce things clearly.  She went from saying, "Ma" and "Ga", on Gotcha Day to saying many two to three word phrases.  Jacques, the girls, and I definitely speak, "Mackenzie", although you might struggle if you are not around her a lot.  

Our family is filled with so much hope for both Lily and Mackenzie.  God has shown up in so many big and amazing ways already, and we know that he is not finished with us yet!

 May the God of hope
 fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit 
you may abound in hope.  
Romans 15:13

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 19 - Home Sweet Home

Lily was released from the hospital today!

This day is met with great joy...
PRAISE to God...
and much trepidation!

Lily should be oxygenating in the 90's.
We are lucky to see her in the 70's.

Miss Lily is smiling from ear to ear to be home.
But her lips are so very very blue.

And her little piggies are blue too.

As for tonight, we will celebrate being

From the fullness of his grace
we have all received one blessing after another.
John 1:16