Ten-year-old Pierre longs to follow in the culinary footsteps of his father, Monsieur Valcourt. Monsieur Valcourt is the chef and owner of La Bonne Vache. Pierre spends as much time as possible in the restaurant's kitchen, hoping for a chance to demonstrate his cooking skills. But his parents shoo him away and he is not allowed to cook. One day Pierre meets a visitor who is on his way to eat at the restaurant. This is no ordinary visitor but an important food critic.
His experience at La Bonne Vache could bring great honor to the restaurant. At last, Pierre sees his chance to prove himself. She lives in Michigan. Pierre longs to be a chef. His parents own a restaurant, but he lives and breathes food. As he travels through the countryside, he notices how many foods come from local supplies.
One day a visitor asks directions to his parents restaurant. Pierre has noticed that the man is an inspector, come to see if the restaurant is worthy of earning a coveted star, but he is too honorable to reveal this to his parents. Instead he helps his family collect the ingredients for the dinner. It is during this all-important meal that Pierre gets his chance.
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While his father attends to the guests up front, there is no one but Pierre to watch the meal. Will his innovations destroy his parents hopes or will they be the secret to success? Most are easily deciphered from context, but there is a glossary and pronunciation guide at the back for those who might struggle with them. At the end of September we go see our sweet boy again.
Not knowing what we will see, how it will turn out, we pray. I pray that God helps calm me. I was 15 weeks, and we go into the most amazing ultrasound tech. She was so sweet, talked to us normally, she even talked to Ezrah at that appointment.
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We saw his bilateral cleft lip, which honestly looked like a curled-up Elvis lip, to me at least. At 16 weeks we decided it was time to announce this sweet baby and let others know what was going on. A sweet friend, Riley with Oh My Memories blessed us with an amazing photo session to do the announcing. Week after week we prayed, but not for God to lift this from us, but for God to help us grow during this time. We wanted to grow spiritually and learn more about this chromosomal syndrome. He gave us a community of people online to talk too, and although my anxiety and depression grew stronger each day, God never left my side.
We had an Echocardiogram performed and the only thing they spotted was that his heart was tilted. No holes, no valve problems, not too small, that alone was a miracle and had all the doctors talking about how rare and uncommon he was. We found all the blessings we could in this. In my 30 th week I was blessed to be carrying such a beautiful creation of God. I reminded myself all the time of how amazing he was. He might have been different, but every kick I felt reminded me of how awesome God is. Each week was a celebration. I made it this far. At 33 weeks my beautiful friend, whom I consider to be a sister, blessed my husband and our boys with a maternity photo session.
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The plan for his birth was for me to stay at the Ronald McDonald house for during my 38 th week and deliver at 39 weeks, because the overall goal was a live birth. I remember going to the RMD house on March 11 th , and it snowing. It was like God giving me a peaceful sign that He was in control. Snow is always a sign of peace for me. March 16 th was supposed to be my last appointment. My husband came up, we had plans to eat a late breakfast, and spend some time together before he drove all the way back to Whiteman to have a night with the kids.
That week our pastor even brought over two tubs of ice cream and milk for Matthew and the boys so they could have ice cream or milkshakes. Our church family in Missouri made sure we were taken care of and truly blessed us during this hard time. That morning for our appointment, something felt off. The doctor came in and informed us we needed to go over to Labor and Delivery to start induction, then.
I recall my mouth dropping.
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We drove all the way back down to the base to set up overnight care for the kids. My friend Jessica took two of my kids, a sweet friend Ashley from church took my other two, and then the next day another friend from church said she would take all four of the boys and would keep them until family got in. This really showed us how our military family and our church family was.
God blessed us with such a great group of people. We got back to the hospital around p. Induction started. It lasted overnight into the next day. The next day was St. It never occurred to us it was until after he was born. One of our deacons and our pastor joined us for most of the day and a mommy from a previous mommy group I was in came up to see me and give me a few things.
His labor was the most calming labor I ever experienced. I decided to get an epidural so I could remain calm and remember things.
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I was ready to push with my water never breaking. My amazing sister was there to capture his whole birth. Ezrah Andrew was born March 17, , at p. Ezrah caught me off guard with crying and breathing all on his own as he entered the world. Ezrah loved looking at his daddy and opened his beautiful blue eyes for him almost every time he held him.
We did a brain scan on him once he was born, and it confirmed he was missing tissue in the front part of his brain. It confirmed his holoprosencephaly, meaning his brain did not separate into two hemispheres. About 9 hours after he was born, Ezrah aspirated. The NICU had him because he was doing so well, he was drinking from a cleft bottle.
Once he aspirated though, we were taken to his NICU bed. You could tell once you turned the corner which bed was his because he had about doctors around it. They had him bagged, his heartbeat was really low, and his color was so pale.
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We held him and carried him back to our room. The next morning, our pastor and his wife came up to the hospital and got to meet Ezrah alive and well. They adored him, and it was so great for someone to see him the way we saw him, perfect. My best friend, Amber, came to see my sweet Ezrah, and got to meet him alive and well. She held that sweet baby and loved on him so much.
It made my heart melt. Then, Athena, our church friend brought our boys up to see him. My 4-year- old at the time came in, happy and looking in his baby cot to see if Ezrah was there. But once my oldest, who was 6 at the time, saw Ezrah and saw his clef lip — fear set in, and set in fast.