And as I look over that list, indeed, my prayers have been answered:
* That Rachel's lip would be coming together and that once the plastic surgeon gets going on her lip repair, that he would be able to complete the repair in only one surgery, instead of two.
ANSWERED! The plastic surgeon was able to repair her lip completely in one surgery, January 2005.
* Rachel would respond well to her surgeries, with each surgery her eating wouldn't be difficult or too painful.
ANSWERED! Although her swollen tongue following her palate repair posed as a challenge, she did awesome with her eating for the most part.
* All of Rachel's teeth would be present once she starts teething.
BEING ANSWERED! So far, it looks as though she has all her teeth. She's still working on getting some. But it looks promising.
* Rachel's speech would not affected and she would not require excessive speech therapy in the years to come.
Currently in speech once a week and has been since April.
* Her palate would be coming together now, even before her palate repair (around 12 months of age)
ANSWERED! Rachel's palate came together nicely, and the closer it came to surgery we were amazed at how much smaller the hole had become. There was enough tissue that the surgeon was able to completely close the hole. November 2005.
* Her gum would be coming together now, even before her gum repair (around the age of 6 or 7 years old).
ANSWERED! Both sides of Rachel's cleft gum now touch one another. When she was born there was a gaping hole.
* That Rachel would have minimal ear infections during her infancy and childhood. (Children with clefts are prone to increased ear infections).
ANSWERED!!! Praise the Lord, Rachel has only had one ear infection in her 2 years!! Pretty amazing for a cleft affected baby.
Looking forward, Rachel still will need some surgeries. I've recently read some message boards where some cleft affected children have gone through 20+ surgeries in the span of their journey. The thought of that many surgeries scares me a little bit.
My Sister-in-Law suggested I perhaps update the list of prayer needs, which was a very good idea. Although we have no upcoming surgeries in the near future, there are a few things that can use prayer:
* The biggest thing that can use prayer at this time is Rachel's speech. Prayers that she would continue to progress. That she would master the sounds and techniques of the letters T, D, N, S - all which require her tongue placed on her palate at various degrees.
* For future surgeries. The next one would possibly be a 'nose job' around the age of 4-5. The next MAJOR surgery being around the age of 6-7 with a bone graft to her gumline. Prayers that the number of surgeries Rachel requires are minimal, and not near the number of ones of kids I've read about.
* For the sensitivity of other people when they come in contact with Rachel. Another thing I've read a lot about is other kids making fun of the child who's had a cleft. I can't imagine Rachel being made fun of with how awesome her lip repair looks, but in this day and age, you just never know how cruel and mean someone might be.
Because the Lord was so faithful to answer my list of requests the first time around, I'll quote the following scripture once again.