Finally, that top layer of glue/tape that was holding the top layer of her skin together fell off.

Finally, we got a peek at the beautiful skin we get to smooch all over.

Finally, she is feeling back to herself. Scrunching her nose. Throwing back her head. Giggle box.

My girl is back, finally.

Pic from my phone today.

A few more with my dslr. It is still very tender for her, so we aren’t touching it and only cleaning it during baths…so there is a little crustiness.

It will actually be a year before we really see the results from the surgery. The incision site will get bright red for a few months (blood rushing to that area for healing). The muscles will pull her lip up some for many, many months. But in about a year the redness will go away and the muscles will relax.

She has a captivating smile. Captivating. But she also has a deepness in her eyes that is piercing. I adore these two shots of her.

Thank you for all your prayers, support, comments, thoughtfulness…..from the depths of my heart. Thank you.

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  • Dawn McVey - She is GORGEOUS!!! These photos make me so happy to see….thanks for sharing them with us!

  • Mandy - So we are in the process of adopting from the SN program as well. Today, my mom went in for a mammogram and your mom was the nurse. Somehow, they started talking about us and that you had adopted from China, and that we are currently in the process of adopting from there. Your mom gave my mom peace and comfort. I am grateful that God makes those connections.

  • Katherine - Little one was and still is perfect! I hope her healing process will be quicker than expected.

  • Trish - Wishing her all the best for continued healing. Reading about y’all touches my heart. The love and light from your family manages to reach out across the internet. :)

  • Alex - Happy, I’m so happy for you! Your girl will grow up a gorgeous lady, I can tell!

    I have to admit, it also feels really weird reading your blog (in a good way of course!). I’m just 26 and don’t have children of my own but I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I watch your kids grow up, form their personalities, and I keep thinking “Wow, so that’s how it is to be a mom!” And even though I don’t think I’ll be a mom for a while now, it’s a very strange happy feeling.

    Thank you.

  • maggie - She is just darling~ :) loved the post about your boy drawing too…reminds me of Johnny at that age. Sweetness.

  • Wendy - Absolutely wonderful!!! God Bless her.

  • Candice Forte - That last photo is gorgeous! I think cleft repairs are utterly amazing. She was a cute little girl before and definitely beautiful, but now…wow!

  • Marie - Hi–I just found your GORGEOUS blog as I was doing some research on cleft lips and cleft palates. I was born with a cleft lip and palate in 1964, and I really wish my parent had taken more photos of me as a baby–both before and after. (I think I don’t have any photos of before!) The doctor wouldn’t even let my mom look at me until he had warned her about what I looked like. Things were different back then.

    I was prompted to write again about this because today I met a young woman at work who had never had her cleft palate (no cleft lip) repaired. And now, at age 33, repair is not as likely to be successful.

    I linked to your blog and thought I’d stop by and say hi. Your daughter is beautiful!! I look forward to seeing more photos of her!

    Portland, Oregon

  • Trish - Amazing! What a beauty!!! So glad you brought us along on your journey!!!

  • ashley - Such a wonderful transformation! My nephew was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate and although we thought he was through-the-moon gorgeous when he was born – we also knew how rough life would be for him without the surgeries. He’s three now and has had 3 surgeries so far – one within the first few months of being born and one to repair the palate and lips. He’ll have his biggest surgery coming up in the next year or so when he has his nose repaired (he has no cartilage in it) for the first time.

    My heart breaks for all of the pain they have to go through at such a young age – but they’re little fighters! Your daughter is adorable!

  • Jen - What a gorgeous family! I am in the very beginning steps of thinking/considering international adoption. We have two homemade little girls, but I’d love to adopt another little girl. I know it is a long, crazy road ahead, and I don’t know if it will all come together or not..but congrats to you, and your awesome family. She is lucky , as are you!!

  • Shana - I found you website a while back when we were first starting our adoption, fell in love the story and savid it to my favorites. We have since been matched with a beautiful little girl who 1 and has a bilateral stage 3 cleft lip and palate. We hope to travel in Jan. or Feb. to bring home our daughter. I am so encouraged by your website and would love to get any advice you might be willing to share for our family in the near future.

  • Yeva - You are amazing.. I am crying now after reading your blog.. and can’t think of anything else but- YOU ARE AMAZING!!! YOU ARE A REAL MOTHER!!! Best wishes for you are your lovely family!!!

  • Kristen - The first pic of that big pretty smile is so cute! I am definitely going to miss the old smile too butt the new one is adorable.

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