Saturday, October 31, 2009


Wednesday, we saw Olivia's surgeon for pre-op information. Dr. Lim is wonderful...and Chinese. He enjoyed Olivia's orphanage book and read some of the Chinese captions to us.

The big day is Wednesday Nov. 4---the time will be decided Tuesday but most likely very early. Dr. Lim said Olivia has a complete cleft palate---meaning large and open. He had just done one the day before and said it should heal nicely. The surgery will be about 3 hours long and consist of three parts---correcting the underlying nasal area, then the muscle layer, and finally the palate. The muscle layer is the most important and troublesome. Without proper muscle function, speech will be difficult and nasal sounding. Also there would be leakage through the nose---we know that one as we have that now--lots! About 10-15% don't get muscle function in the first few months after surgery and have to repeat the procedure in a year. Please pray the muscles heal rapidly and function miraculously fast!

Dr. Gessler (ENT) will put tubes in her ears to drain the fluid and do an ABR to check her hearing---now her hearing is at about 50+%. His portion of surgery is about 1 hour. Both of these docs have exceptional bedside manner and are great with Olivia. So blessed to have them as her team!

After surgery, she will be in PICU overnight to monitor for swelling and keep her on IV fluid and antibiotics. The next day she will be given clear fluid and wear "no-no's" on her arms---basicly, splints to keep her from putting her hands in her mouth! I don't think she will be very happy about that---she likes being in control! We'll be feeding her etc. Please pray for understanding and peace on her part! Ours, too!! We hope to bring her home on Friday! At that point she will be on a liquid/soft food diet for a month! Good thing she loves yogurt and ice cream!! Thanks in advance for your prayers. We'll try to post pics from the hospital with updates!


  1. We'll be praying for you all before, during and after. It's hard, but it IS necessary and it WILL ultimately be okay.

  2. Praying that all went well today! We followed your journey to your sweet Olivia. We are still waiting for out TA to get our Olivia. She will need lip and palate surgery when we get her home. Looking forward to hearing how it all went!

  3. Susie, I am also an AWAA family and have followed your posts to Olivia. My husband and i have been married 25 years and just adopted in December. We have a lot in common! I'd love to talk about your journey as older, more experienced parents. lol.
    We went through the same surgery with Sophie about 9 months ago. The biggest surprise for me for the whole procedure was how hard it was getting her to eat and drink afterwards. It took a couple of weeks before she ate enough (according to my expectations). Feel free to email me if you need some support.