Today you will be having surgery to close your lip and gum line. Many people would say to repair or to fix your lip, but I don't think your lip was ever broken. I think you are perfect just the way you are. Yes, I know that closing your cleft will allow you to have correct speech and language development, enable you to eat better, get rid of your constant congestion, and allow you to live a "normal" life where people don't stare at you and ask questions. And for all of these reasons we are closing your cleft. I just want you to always know that you are perfect just the way you are right now. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God doesn't make mistakes, and there was a reason He created you with a cleft. I view your cleft lip and palate as gift, because without it I don't know if we would have you.
Later today your face will look different. You will still be beautiful, of course, but you will look different. I will never again see your adorable wide smile, watch you stick your tongue in your cleft when you are laughing or concentrating, or watch yogurt stream down your chin because it won't stay in your mouth. Ok, so maybe I won't miss cleaning up that one as much, but it's still pretty funny and cute. I am thankful for all the pictures I have of you in the three months that you've been in our arms. In fact, I made sure to have family pictures taken before your first surgery so we could capture you just as you are now. I tell you this because I want you to be proud of your story. I want you to know that you are beautiful not because of what you look like on the outside but because of who you are on the inside. I want you to know that you are loved. Not because of how you look or what you do, but because you are our daughter. I love you sweet Lily!