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C88D4A84-4A26-4100-807E-6BE7EA07A8C9FDBFE4B7-B620-4E31-B722-A938B5F6989A75CA158D-2651-4EF8-B52F-3CE171A099E185F79223-AF7F-4068-AE05-1A0B4FD41F97First , Jack was officially released his IEP for speech therapy at school! Surprisingly he was a little sad about this as he has loved all his speech teachers (and who wouldn’t want prizes and affirmation every single week of your life—right?) His current SLP was sad to see him go too!

Now Jack’s cleft journey will take its next step this week!

The “gum line repair” on Jack’s surgery timeline seemed forever away when looking at his timeline as a baby. But, here we are in the eve of his surgery day! While his face was repaired at 7 months and palate reconstructed at 14 months, we had to wait to repair his gum line, which is still in 3 pieces, until his adult teeth were ready . So now, at 9 years old, he is a go for the graft!

After some research, interviewing, asking all the people all the questions, and praying, Jack has a surgeon ready to take his care into the next phase. Monday afternoon Jack will have bone harvested from his left hip (we’re not taking chances with that right kicker leg-ha!). His doc will pack this bone into the two spaces in his gum line/nasal areas that are still bilaterally clefted. This will allow his gum line to be smooth, healthy, and ready for adult teeth to thrive in.

Jack’s amazing orthodontic care has prepped his gum line for success! Ortho made the front of his gum line more u-shaped versus a-shaped, so that the bones will be more likely to graft successfully. For the clefties in this journey too—this phase 1 of ortho involved a little less than a year of upper braces and palate expander for 3 – 4 months. Headgear is helping correct his underbite. Braces stay on during surgery!

We will know if the surgery was successful with X-rays in a few (long!) months. In the meantime, Jack will rock the liquid diet and avoid soccer and tetherball (current passion and class champ) for about 6-8 weeks. We are prepped and ready (thanks Costco!)!! I’m hoping warm blended soup, chocolate milk, and soft styrofoam cups will ease some of his discomfort early on.

As always we so appreciate the prayer and support from our community! Specifically we’re praying for our surgeon to be able to graft both clefts in one surgery and for Jack to be healthy, calm, and safe. Thank you for caring about our Jackie boy!

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Jack’s Cleft Journey has continued to evolve so to speak.  We were able to enjoy a fun turn in his journey this last week.  Recently, our fabulous orthodontist Dr. Judah Garfinkle and our talented plastic surgeon Dr. Anna Kuang decided to begin a non-profit organization to aid Oregon’s cleft children.  We were excited when they contacted Jack to be a part of their philanthropic endeavor.  Part of their volunteer team came out and shot video of our family so others families can see Jack’s adorable smile and see the beginning stages of Doernbecher’s innovative comprehensive treatment for cleft children.  The mission of Smile Oregon is to aid Oregon’s children in receiving a full treatment plan whether or not they can afford it and to create a community of support amongst Oregon cleft families.

Smile Oregon’s first event was held this past Friday.  Our family joined them at the MAC in Portland.  How fun to see our cleft team again along with all the supporters they had invited.  Jack was pretty pumped to see himself on video  and I must admit that as a mom, it’s pretty fun to see so many say “awwww” about your son… really a moment I had not envision two years ago.  Jack then proceeded to work the tables around us, flashing his cheesiest smile and sitting on many a lap.  Amid this joy was also the mixed emotion of how much more needs to be done for Jack.  But, for now we will enjoy his spotlight and lull in treatment.

Jack continues to get regular visits to check on all the wonderful work that he received.  A few weeks ago we were pleased to see him pass another vision screening (amidst many tears about his eyes being dilated) and seems on track with his speech progress.  Current favorite words: “No Way!  Meme (baby) and Meme cry!”  We are committed to continue to work with him so he can be speaking clearly by school age.

Adjustments.

With the birth of every child there comes a period of adjustment for our family core.  Each time it opens a new season in life and reconfigures the relationships and routines. So, I knew we’d be in for some adjustments–mainly that we’d outnumbered by our children– once sweet Maddox was born. But, I don’t think I really KNEW.  The days are flying by as we seek to adjust to this new number and attempt to meet all their needs.  Between getting them fed, clothed, working, and homeschooling, we now really know that we now have to PLAN  to get in a great conversation or accomplish something more than the minimum around our home.  Most days as we pillow our heads we are simply thankful they were all fed and made it through the day safely.  Granted, we are only 5 weeks into this family of 5, so surely we’ll adjust a bit more each month, RIGHT? 🙂

Maddox Kai.

There really couldn’t be a sweeter baby–he rarely complains, loves to cuddle and gives the most kissable little faces.  We are all pretty much in LOVE.  We are treasuring these fleeting newborn days and also anticipating the days that 8 hours–or even 4 hours of sleep could be obtained in one session.  Allie has expanded her big sis role to include long moments of carefully cradling baby Maddox on the couch while singing her very own impromptu lullabies.  Jack too is quite smitten with his soon to be playmate.  He is the first-responder to any squeaks of complaint his baby bro. might make.  Jack did have a few unfortunate days , well… weeks, of overall aggression in other areas of his life–even refusing to come to me after Maddox was born; but, fortunately our crazy guy seems to be settling back into fun loving, slightly sneaky Jackers.

Check out Jack’s Smile Oregon Video and a few recent pics–including Jack’s birthday. Happy 2nd Birthday, Jack!!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11