We are presently exactly four weeks away from Hannah's upcoming palate repair. Truth be told, we are still, to some extent, recovering from her lip repair that was completed in the end of April. Y'all have been such wonderful prayer warriors for us in this marathon of adoption, we couldn't face this surgery without you involved! So, here are four things you can specifically pray for as we approach Hannah's palate surgery.
1.) Sleep--Our sweet girl has yet to find the sweet rhythm of true, undisturbed sleep since her lip repair. Prior to the surgery she slept like a champ, in her room, in her big girl bed, with little or no issues. Since her surgery, we have tried several times to make the move from the pack 'n play from our room back to her bed with zero success. We have discussed her sleep patterns with our post adoption team and they have been encouraging. We know she will return to her big girl bed....some day...but not likely prior to her palate repair or even immediately after the repair. Would you please pray that she will find restful, safe, secure sleep in the weeks leading up to her surgery and following her surgery? Would you also pray over her thumb and finger sucking? Not only will this be totally a no-no after her surgery, even after healing occurs, it will never be the same and will likely not provide the same level of soothing it currently does (Hannah places her thumb under what palate she has, but then slides her index finger up into the depths of her cleft....these are her final weeks to be able to soothe herself in this way).
2.) Security-Hannah has been home for five months. Five months is a long time, but also, not. What I see happening right now is that all of us are rather secure with our life change. Hannah is here. She is permanent. She is not going anywhere. We, her parents and her siblings, get that. We've accepted new normal and have moved on. She hasn't. She's still stuck somewhere in the middle and the battle is evident. She struggles to feel completely secure and to trust that she is here....forever. Each time a guest comes to our home or she faces a new interaction with someone I can see the fear and doubt creep in. Pray that we can continue to help her feel secure here, but that also this process of her surgery will work to increase her sense of security with us and not diminish it.
3.) Surgeon-Continue to cover our surgeon, Dr. L, and his team in prayer. We have requested the same anesthesiologist from her lip repair, but will be in a different part of the hospital for her recovery. We will miss our sweet nurse Katie from last time (so much!!), but we are trusting God to pave the way for us again with a staff that is willing to learn about adoption and attentive to the needs of our daughter. Pray for a smooth day and easy stay at the hospital when the time comes. Pray Hannah won't have to wear the no-no's on her arms (Dr. L says it is a wait and see situation with those).
4.) Sanity-Pray for our sanity as we prepare and especially in the days following! There are freezer meals to make, lesson plans for school to be written, school supplies to be purchased, VBS to attend, and summer fun yet to fit in! We are fully prepared for Hannah to be physically and emotionally distraught for quite some time following her surgery. Fellow cleft mamas have prepared us to expect a good 3-4 weeks of drool, pain, eating issues, sleep disturbance and an overall sense of misery. Our surgeon says it should be in the realm of 2-3 weeks. We'll just prepare for the worst and hope to be pleasantly surprised if she turns the corner sooner than expected. As much as we will want to hole up and focus all our time and energy on helping her get over the hump, we also realize that we have three older children and life has to keep moving forward. We'll be starting back to school shortly after her surgery, rejoining our co-op and the activities associated with that, returning to AWANA at church.....it will be a time of lots of stretching and growing for all of us. Pray that we can get through all of it with grace.
Each day I look at Hannah and I am so thankful she is here. I am so grateful to be her mama...to be the one who gets to walk this road of medical care with her. I am so thankful she can cry out "Mama!" when she wakes and I will be there. Everyday, orphans in China undergo medical procedures with no one to cry out for, just an ayi (auntie/nanny). I am so glad Hannah will not be alone. I am so thankful for you, our village, who patiently and lovingly surround us as we walk this journey together. What a gift you are.
So there you have it. Four weeks to go. Four S's to pray for. We covet your daily prayers for us!