One part of my spiritual and personal story that I haven’t discussed much is the pregnancy, birth, and early life stages of our daughter, Joy. My wife recently wrote about this and I thought I would share it on the blog with a series of posts. God has moved in profound ways concerning Joy and her life has taught me many things:
Enter my wife, Leah.
When Joy was born, the main issue that she had was a severe and complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. The other issues that the doctor predicted, some being life threatening, were not present. Other issues would come later, but nothing beyond the cleft lip and palate was immediately noticeable.
The issue with cleft lip and palate is that the ability to get suction to eat is almost impossible. Joy had no “roof of her mouth”. Everything that went in her mouth, came out her nose or went down into her airway.
Her orthodontist made an oral appliance (like a retainer) to put in her mouth to give her a sort of barrier between her mouth and nasal cavity. We kept it in her mouth using denture cream. It took a long time to feed Joy and she would get so tired . Scott and I would both get up with her so that one of us could help keep the other awake. It was exhausting. Joy had issues with pneumonia due to aspirating milk and even had a feeding tube at one time.
The first surgery to repair her lip was coming up. She was scheduled for a time in August and we were ready for the healing process to begin. It would just be for her lip and nose, but it would help. As the date approached, we received a call that the surgery was rescheduled for a later date. I was so upset. Joy needed to have the surgery soon!. I didn’t understand the delay.
It wasn’t until her pre-op that God revealed why her surgery was delayed.
We found out that the world renowned Craniofacial Surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Sayler (he helped separate the conjoined twins from Egypt) would be performing a live teaching surgery at a Cleft Lip and Palate Medical Conference. Joy would be his patient and a group of surgeons from all over the world would be watching the Doctor repair Joy’s cleft lip. Joy would not only receive the best care from the best surgeon in the world, but other children would be helped because of what the surgeons were learning from watching her surgery. We were overwhelmed with God’s timing and plan!! I am thankful we had to wait and be rescheduled. God’s plans are perfect!