Once Upon A Prayer

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Unsung Heroes!

This blog started out as a journal that I intended to share with Mackenzie and Lily someday about how they became a treasured part of the Rancourt family.  Today, as I look through the blog post titles, this blog has become so much more. 

It is our entire family's journey through times of
and abundant blessings 
that Jacques and I could never have dreamed or imagined.

Today I want to share with you a little about the true unsung heroes of our family...Dryden and Soleil.  The transformations that Jacques and I have seen in these precious little girls over the past year has been nothing short of astounding.  They went from being the center of our attention and affection, to having to share us with two very sick and love needy sisters overnight.  They had become accustomed to being the "Pastor's children" whom everyone fussed over as soon as they stepped foot into worship; to being passed by without a single glance by well intentioned people who were interested in hearing updates on their new little sisters.  With surgeries and long hospital stays, Dryden and Soleil have had to sacrifice their want and often times their need to have mommy and papa available to them.

Soleil is our helper!  She is most happy when she is serving others or giving gifts.  Soleil loves to get her little sisters dressed in the morning and changed into their pajamas at bedtime, which is not always an easy feat when you are dealing with a very independent 3 and 4 year old who like to get dressed by themselves.  I'm excited for Soleil to have the opportunity very soon to help change and dress the new baby, whenever s/he decides to arrive!  Soleil shows great excitement in teaching her little sisters about God, and rejoices every time she asks them, "Do you love God?" and they loudly proclaim, "YES!".  Soleil has been an amazing role model for the little girls, and when you watch her in action with them you can see her love oooze out and help heal the wounds of their broken past.

Dryden is the leader!  You will often find Dryden as the line leader with Mackenzie and Lily trailing her throughout the house dressed up as a "blue princess" and a "pink princess".  Dryden has an amazing imagination just like her papa, which makes playtime so fun and creative for the littles.  Mackenzie and Lily look up to Dryden, and emulate her every move.  The little girls love when Dryden plays school with them, and especially when she reads them books.  She is loving, kind, and gentle.  If Jacques and I are not around, and one of them gets hurt, Dryden is the next person they look to for comfort.  Although Dryden has informed us that if the new baby is a girl she will ignore her since she already has enough little sisters, Jacques and I know this is the farthest thing from the truth!  

This past Sunday, Jacques and I were laughing in the kitchen listening to the four girls playing "orphanage adoption".  The girls were adopting all of their baby dolls from an orphanage, and the sweet (and hilarious) comments coming out of their mouths had us in stitches.  Oh how I wish I had half the concept of abandonment and adoption as they do at their tender ages! 

Mackenzie and Lily truly hit the jackpot 
 when God chose Dryden and Soleil to be their sisters!

‘Truly I tell you, 
whatever you did for one of the least of these
 brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Mathew 25:40

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Baby Rancourt's Heart Check-up!

Yesterday was Baby Rancourt's last heart check up before he or she makes an appearance!  We arrived bright and early to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC for an 8:30am echocardiogram.  The baby has a Complete Atrioventricular Canal defect, which is a large hole in the center of the heart affecting all four chambers where they would normally be divided. When a heart is properly divided, the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs does not mix with the oxygen-poor blood from the body. A CAVC allows blood to mix and the chambers and valves to not properly route the blood to each station of circulation.

Dr. Donofrio told us that we will have to be very in tune to the baby's sleeping, eating, breathing, alertness, etc. because within 2-3 weeks of it's birthday, the baby will be in heart failure.  We did learn that if the baby does not show signs that it needs medicine for its breathing and heart, this is actually bad.  If no outward symptoms occur this means that the baby's lung pressures will be way too high, which would indicate the need for emergency open heart surgery.  Dr. Donofrio's goal is for our little one to be at least 2-3 months old before surgery since the teeny tiny newborn hearts do not hold the valve stitches very well for this type of heart defect.

So, as crazy as it may sound, 
we will be praying for our baby to go into heart failure
 and all of the symptoms that go along with it.

We did learn that the baby is estimated to be about 6 lbs 14 oz, and the ultrasound technician said she could see lots of hair.  Jacques and I will believe it when we see it since we have only produced bald babies!  The anticipation of meeting our new son or daughter, brother or sister is running high in our house.  

Stay tuned because the next blog post you see 
about Baby Rancourt #5 will be a birth announcement 
and the revealing of whether the Rancourts will have a 
5th Princess or their very 1st Prince.

  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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lily Grace's Heart Check-up!

Yesterday morning Lily had her Cardiology Clinic visit.  After multiple emails and phone conversations with her Cardiologist over the past two months, I was prepared for "hard".  Several weeks ago, Lily's surgeon decided that the risk of death from another attempt to repair her right pulmonary artery and connect it to her heart was much higher than the slight chance that her anatomy would actually accept the repair the second time around.  Jacques and I understand his trepidation and trust his judgement.  The Cardiologist's are consulting with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as Boston, just to make sure that nothing is being overlooked at this point.

Lily getting an Echocardiogram

 Lily's special heart!

 One bit of exciting news is that over the past two months, Lily has gained a pound!  Check out her little tummy roll.  A pound might not sound like a lot, but every single ounce counts.

Lily and her fistful of "Clinic Day Suckers"

Lily's resting oxygen saturations were in the 70's during this visit....considerably lower than her goal range of 85-100.  We met with a Pulomonologist who put Lily on two nebulizer medications twice a day for the next few weeks to see if this improves the function of her one lung.  I have also been asked by her Cardiologist to chart her bedtime oxygen saturations to see what they are doing.  He is considering putting her on oxygen during the 12 hours she sleeps at night (yes, we are blessed with two VERY good Chinese sleepers).  The oxygen will give Lily's body 12 hours a day of relief from low oxygen saturations, and the ill effects that these cause long term.  

This visit was so different from all of the other clinic visits we have had over the past 11 months.  Our discussions were focused on pallaiative care, and how to help Lily live comfortably and maximize her time left with us.  Typically, we are discussing surgery options and how to "fix" and "repair" Lily's heart.  Over the next few months we are going to be discussing Lily's options for a heart/lung transplant with several nearby transplant hospitals.  The consensus so far is that her chances of getting a heart lung transplant is about as likely as winning the lottery for #1 her to even get one and #2 for her to survive the transplant. LOTS to pray and ponder because the last time I checked, the lottery was nothing to our God!

After the hospital radiologist gave Lily a tooting Pumba 
(during her long stay),
she gets an absolute kick out of this guy!

 Although Lily is Chinese and Dora is Hispanic, 
the resemblance is remarkable!

As we were leaving the Clinic office, Lily sang "Jesus Loves Me" at the top of her lungs while twirling herself out the door.  The Cardiologist turned to me and said, "Lily is the most healthy looking, very sick child I have ever seen".  I was not really sure how to respond, until I got to the car and it hit me. ..
He gives power to the weak, 
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Isaiah 40:29

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

36 Weeks

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We are the HOPE on earth!

Jesus said, "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
John 14: 12-13