Frances Raphael: Helping People Love Better

Today we share with our readers a letter written from a mom to her unborn daughter. Our friend Shannon H. is a homeschooling mom to four living children and three in heaven. At a routine ultrasound around 23 weeks, Shannon learned that her unborn baby had Trisomy 18 and was not expected to live long after birth. She was asked on multiple occasions to abort her daughter and she refused, eventually switching providers. Shannon and her family and many, many friends have been praying for the best possible outcome and for God’s will to be done. We at Catholic Sistas ask you to join us in praying for Shannon, her family, and her baby girl, Frances Raphael. Frances has already touched many lives and will continue to do so. The following letter was originally written on May 28, 2014 and posted in a private, online group. We post it here with permission.

Frances Raphael HansenDear Frances-

Tomorrow it will be a month until you are due! Man has time flown by. Your mamma never thought she’d say that during pregnancy, as usually the third trimester seems to last forever. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed being your mamma and carrying your sweet soul with mine. I’m hanging on to your every movement, hiccup, wiggle as I know these last few weeks are gonna fly by!

You have taught me so much about life. First and foremost, NEVER take anything for granted. I look at your sisters and am truly amazed at the miracles that they are. You have helped me to love so much better and be less selfish, because I realize now more than ever we have no idea how long our time here is and all there truly is in this life is to love and be loved!

I have also learned that it’s the little things, like St. Therese says, that are important in loving people well. Do you remember the day, I took you for a ride on a swing just so you’d get to go for a ride on a swing? Or the time I was outside in the bright sunshine after all these rainy cold days, and I lifted my shirt so you too could bask in the sun’s rays too? I hope you have enjoyed all the songs we have sung to you, Twinkle, Twinkle, You are My Sunshine, and Amazing Grace to name a few. All the kisses your sisters, and cousins have given you and the rough love and banging on my belly from you littlest sister Randi Grace. And of course your daddy giving you a hard time from the outside of the womb like he’s done to all your siblings before you.

You are so loved sweet baby girl. You have soooo many people praying for you and our family. You have so many people loving better, because of you. People have sent us messages, flowers, cards, prayer cards, offered masses for us, holy hours at adoration, and a prayer shawl. In addition, there are people who have offered to travel hundreds of miles to be here with your mamma when you are born! You have never taken a breath outside my womb and you are helping people love better, ALREADY!

It’s gonna break my heart the day God calls you home, but I know sweet baby girl, that you were not meant for this life, but to glorify God and His ways. As your mamma I’m doing everything I can to cooperate with His will for your life. I pray and hope that I get to meet you alive, but if I don’t know that I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I take consolation in knowing that together we have served God well and that some day we will be together forever in Heaven. I love you so much and I look forward to getting to meet you in a few short weeks, if it’s God’s will. Thanks for being my daughter Frances Raphael. As painful as it has been, I wouldn’t trade you for anything. You have been a blessing to your mamma.

Love,

Mom

Hansen Family

UPDATE 6/26: Shannon is being induced today. She has asked for prayers that Frances is strong and has the opportunity to spend some time with her family. Thank you for your prayers.

UPDATE 6/27: Frances Raphael was born alive at 11:39 PM on Thursday 6/26 at 4 pounds, 8.7 ounces. She passed away in her Daddy’s loving arms at 1:10 AM and went to be with Jesus.

Francis Raphael June 26, 2014-June 27, 2014

Frances Raphael
June 26, 2014-June 27, 2014

6 comments
  • FrancineJune 26, 2014 - 8:28 am

    Prayers to you and your family and little Frances. God Bless you all.ReplyCancel

  • SusannaJune 26, 2014 - 9:13 am

    What a beautiful way to express the absolute truth of how every single moment of life is precious and full of meaning. Praying for you and your sweet family today.ReplyCancel

  • VivianJune 26, 2014 - 9:20 am

    I’m speechless , what a beautiful, Godly and courageous mother. My prayers are with her today and with her family.ReplyCancel

  • Ann MarieJune 26, 2014 - 10:08 am

    Our sweet Gianna also had T18. She lived within me for 41 weeks and outside my body for two more weeks.
    I wanted to share the webpage PRENATAL PARTNERS FOR LIFE as a great resource for you and your family. http://www.prenatalpartnersforlife.org/index.htm

    PRAYERS for your birth and Frances!

    St. Gianna, come to their aid. AMEN.ReplyCancel

  • Norma HoughtalingJune 26, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    My love and prayers are with you all… Norma HoughtalingReplyCancel

  • Susan K. UdeJune 26, 2014 - 8:07 pm

    Such tender love! All for God’s honor and Glory! You and family are in my prayers!ReplyCancel