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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post Operative Pictures, Take Two...

On our previous post, Post Operative Pictures... we showed pictures of Mary's healing from surgery day until five days after. We are now thirteen days post surgery and Mary has now had her external stitches removed this afternoon, and although she did shed a couple tears, we were very proud of her.

I know some will wonder why we would share these pictures. Firstly, to help Mary understand the journey she has been on. One day she will look back and be able to see how strong she was to undergo these procedures to help give her a better opportunity for speech and language development. I was reading online about facial clefts, and there was a figure given that stated 70% of cleft affected individuals have no pictures taken before surgery. I am not sure if that figure encompasses cleft affected children today, or if it in fact refers to a survey taken of now adult age cleft individuals. We strongly feel Mary was beautiful before her surgeries, all anyone had to do was to be around her and they soon realized she lit up the room with her presence. These pictures will help document for her the stages of healing and recovery she has gone through, there is nothing for her to feel ashamed about.

Secondly, when we decided to adopt a child with a cleft, we began doing our research in earnest. We joined an online yahoo group for families who have adopted a child with a cleft. There are many unique features and challenges that our children share with regards to surgery options and language development as their cleft most often was not corrected early in life. From this group we have received fantastic support, and benefited from the knowledge and advice other families have generously shared regarding their child's journey to correct their clefts. We feel it is important to also reciprocate and help other families as well. One of the ways we were able to help prepare Mary for surgery was by showing her pictures of what her lip would look like. We hope other families will be able to do the same.           

*Please disregard the quality of some of the photos, this has made me realize we desperately need a new camera, and perhaps some lessons on how to use it and edit the pictures we take ;)

Five days after surgery...
Six days after surgery...
Seven days after surgery...
Eight days after surgery...
Nine Days after surgery...
Ten Days after surgery...
 Eleven days after surgery...
 Twelve days after surgery...
Thirteen days after surgery (external stitches were removed this afternoon)...
As you can see, the spunk is back in her step!


  1. Glad to hear the removal of her stitches went well! I see the spunk returning in that last photo! She is indeed beautiful!

  2. Wow! It looks like she is healing incredibly!

  3. WOW. Fantastic!! What an incredibly successful surgery.
    Well done Mary, in fact I didn't even have to be around you in person, the pictures your Mommy shared, it was obvious you were a beautiful child inside and out from the get go.

    I'm so SO proud of you girl.
    Hugs from Ottawa.


  4. She looks great! So I take it the surgery was successful?

  5. The surgery was very successful. We are very pleased with the results!

  6. So glad the surgery was a success! Mary is such a trooper! We are preparing to bring our second son home soon and will have to go through both lip/palate surgery once back in the USA. Our first son had both of his in China. Thanks for sharing Mary's updates. She is a beautiful little girl!

  7. She looks great... it amazes me how fast it has healed. I am so glad that everything worked well this time!

    I agree about journaling and taking photos of the process and before the process, there was one lady in our last travel group born with a cleft lip and she told me her parents took NO photos of her until it was repaired and how that was really difficult on her as she grew up!

  8. Yeah! So happy to hear the great success. Her personality is shining through.

  9. Your daughters are beautiful and I love that you are documenting Mary's progress! She looks great... I love those smiles in the last few.

  10. I am so happy that this surgery was a success!

    Mary look's amazing! I am sure that in a few years she will begin to appreciate how you have documented her journey. She is a strong beautiful little girl. I am glad that her spunk is back in such a short time!

  11. Just wanted you to know it is worth it going to the effort to post pictures and details, etc. Our daughter is in china right now, pre-operative bilateral cleft lip and palate, and I am trying to learn all I can. Thank you so much! mary is doing great!! What a special family you have!

  12. You can really see the improvement, not only in her physical healing but also in her emotional one.
    I'll bet you're very glad to have that part under your belt.
    I love reading about the girls.