Finally, that top layer of glue/tape that was holding the top layer of her skin together fell off.

Finally, we got a peek at the beautiful skin we get to smooch all over.

Finally, she is feeling back to herself. Scrunching her nose. Throwing back her head. Giggle box.

My girl is back, finally.

Pic from my phone today.

A few more with my dslr. It is still very tender for her, so we aren’t touching it and only cleaning it during baths…so there is a little crustiness.

It will actually be a year before we really see the results from the surgery. The incision site will get bright red for a few months (blood rushing to that area for healing). The muscles will pull her lip up some for many, many months. But in about a year the redness will go away and the muscles will relax.

She has a captivating smile. Captivating. But she also has a deepness in her eyes that is piercing. I adore these two shots of her.

Thank you for all your prayers, support, comments, thoughtfulness…..from the depths of my heart. Thank you.

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  • Donna Thompson - the change is amazing- she is beautiful πŸ™‚

  • Amanda - I’ve been following your journey for some time now and just wanted to say how happy I am things are going well for the family. Your surgeons seem to have done a beautiful job on your beautiful little girl as well!

  • Erin Schmidt - Wow, I think her surgery site looks amazing! She was and still is adorable πŸ™‚

  • Catherine - I just keep going back and forth between the photos. She is so beautiful in all of them. I hope the surgeons read your blog and, if so, bravo to them. I absolutely loved her gorgeous little face before but it is incredible what they have done. Saying prayers for quick healing for her!

  • Alida - She has such grown-up eyes:) I am so glad to see her recovering from her surgery. Her smile is just as pretty now as it was before! Thank you so much for keeping us posted:) My prayers to your family.

  • Renee - I pray for quick healing. It is such an incredible miracle. I agree with Erin, she was and still is adorable!

  • Razmataz - I am in awe of what doctors can do. What a beautiful face. I am happy to hear that she is doing so well. Is feeding any easier now?

    Love your blog and your family. The love is evident.

  • heather - the shot with her little toes curled up and she’s looking down at her phone…well, you can just feel the happy beaming right out of that moment. i love it!
    so happy for all of you!! xo

  • Amy K. - So glad LO is healing so well!! Will her feeding issues ease at all with this surgery, or will that come later? Also, why does she look so much older post-surgery?? I’m not sure I like that part!

  • Sherry Eckblad - I didn’t think she could get any more beautiful, but I think she has. Thanks for allowing us to go on this journey with you. Almost like being part of the family, a distant Aunt maybe.

  • emily - I have thought that about her eyes…you can see her spirit in them. Something powerful. She is so huggable looking too πŸ™‚ So so sweet. I’ m so glad she is feeling closer to herself!

  • Laura - She’s beautiful before and after! I’m so happy for ya’ll, she’s so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

  • Sherry - Hi there. Not sure if I’ve posted before, I’m a fairly new follower (have no idea how I stumbled upon your blog, but I love it!). Anyway, just wanted to say that your little one is absolutely precious. I see what you mean by the deepness in her eyes, I can see it too. It’s like there is a really long story inside of there. πŸ™‚ Her “new” smile is just as adorable as her past smile, I’m amazed at what doctors can do. Much love to you and your family.

  • Heather McDonald - That face always makes me smile. Thank you for sharing her story!! It warms my heart.

  • emmybrown - so lovely! We sure do live in an age of some talented medical abilities! LOVE her new smile! Thanks for sharing her with us, Ashely. <3

  • Erin - She is still so beautiful! You and your family are amazing to give her such a loving and faith-filled home. You are all lucky to have each other. Always happy to send prayers along to such a beautiful family.

    P.S. I’m sure you have heard this, but liquid vitamin E is fabulous for helping scars heal.

  • Melissa - What a lucky, lucky girl! You are giving her such a great life and worlds beyond where she could be. You are my inspiration! Thanks for your blog.

  • marci - She’s a beautiful baby still!

  • nancy - I’m comparing her hair in the two photos! It’s now falling past her ears where it was above them before. So many changes for your beauty.

  • Eva - Gosh, she is gorgeous! And I love that scrunched up nose. My two nieces are nose scrunchers. Precious…just with longer hair.

  • Monica - she is adorable! And for sure still beautiful like always. πŸ™‚ GOD bless her always also to all your family.

  • Lauren - I don’t normally comment on a lot of posts, but she is so beautiful you can’t help but say something

  • Tiffany - Just Beautiful!

  • Amber D. - oh my…she is captivating…in every way. Just so lovely. And very fun to see her hair growing out! I am curious to know, did she notice a change in her reflection in a mirror? How did she react?

  • may - She has always been beautiful. Your entire family is beautiful, both inside and out. Thank you for sharing.

  • brooke - man alive that is one beautiful little girl. i’m so, so happy that everything went so well. i had no idea it so long to fully recover from a surgery like that. she is one amazing little girl!

  • sarah W. - She was a beautiful little girl and is still a beautiful little girl.
    She looks so grown up in that last shot compared to the prior one.

    So glad she’s healing so well and thinking about your family often.

  • Aja - Your girl is beyond precious. I am amazed at the difference! She is beautiful, but I can see why you’ll miss her first smile. Precious. So glad she’s starting to feel like herself!

  • Robyn Farmer - She is absolutely precious.

  • Sharon - Isn’t God good! Think of where you were last year at this time… Think of where your little one was last year at this time! Good night! We serve an amazing God!

  • Jacci in Ohio - Rejoicing with you!!! Praising our Father with you! She is and always has been breathtaking. Such sweetness and such strength in such a tiny little soul.

    Thank you for sharing these!!!

  • Natalie - Precious little one…my half-Indian kids have those deep dark eyes…so beautiful!

  • Kelly McG - Wow, I can’t stop looking at your beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing her beauty with your followers. You hit the nail on the head, her eyes are piercing. I will continue to pray for your family.

  • Katie - She is looking so happy! It’s so wonderful to see the scrunched up nose again. πŸ™‚

  • Emily - She is stunning. I’m so glad she’s healing well.

  • Ann Marie - She is absolutely beautiful – before and after. You and your family have been truly blessed. We’ll continue to pray for an easy recovery for your Little One. Thank you for sharing your story – Love your blog!

  • Sandy - Amazing little girl! Like everyone said, the surgeon(s) did an unbelievable job!

  • Amanda Rydell - Oh Ashley, is so so precious!! God is good!!! So great to hear her progress is improving everyday!!!

  • amy jupin - the tears are a-flowing.

  • kelleyn - She is captivating. I have to say I miss her old smile just a little. I like you had fallen in love with that sweet smile. I am glad she is healing so well!

  • Ann Voskamp - I am weeping.
    So beautiful.
    Soul beautiful.
    I love you, Sister….

  • Jen Seawright - God is so good!

  • Stephanie - She has been gorgeous since day one. Glad to hear she is healing up well. And those eyes of hers are beautiful. They seem to show a wiseness that no one will ever relate to. She has a lot of accomplishments under her young belt.

  • Jenny - She looks great. What a sweet face!

  • Laura - Sweet girl!!

  • Kelley Eubanks - I am a fairly new follower of your blog. I spent over an hour a month or so ago catching up on your adoption story, etc. I cried and cried reading it and I still cry with every update you post. What a beautiful baby girl God has given you!! She is breathtaking!! God is soooo Good. When I visit your blog… I can feel what He has done for you… like I feel what He had done for me… if that makes any sense! πŸ™‚ You are a beautiful family!!

  • danielle mackey - I don’t even know what to say, it’s all been said up above. This little girl is AMAZING. I have been following your adoption story for a long time now, and this little girl of yours has brought so much joy to my life. Thank you so much for your blog, your family is beautiful.

  • karen - this makes me happy. me, miles and miles away from you…and i am smiling. thank you ashley and little one.

  • Maria V. - She’s just gorgeous. She was gorgeous before her surgery, and she’s gorgeous now. What a blessing from our Father!

  • Jess - Wow! She is such a beautiful little girl! Praise God for fantastic surgeons and fantastic healing! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Tricia - She is gorgeous….simply stunning. I am so grateful that you are sharing your journey with us. You are truly an inspiration of all that is good in this crazy world we all live in. <3

  • Lyn - She is beautiful! So glad healing is going well.

  • Megan - You are so right about her eyes. They are deep and soulful. She is so beautiful!

  • Jayeeta Majumdar Singhee - I have been reading your blog for some years now :), but commenting the first time.
    She looks and smiles like firecracker in the first snap πŸ™‚

  • Emily - She does have the most piercing eyes, what a natural beauty!

  • Angela - Yay scrunchy nose! Glad to hear that her healing is underway. She’s always had such lovely, soulful eyes.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, those eyes! Love you Ashley – praying!

  • merideth a - it is amazing!!! i love both of those pictures too. she is just a darling!!!

  • Cynthia - Beautiful! Glory to God!

  • dee - She is still as beautiful as she was before the operation-love dee x

  • Tiffany McHugh - Thank you for sharing this experience.

  • Jane in Canada - Oh Ashley, I’m so happy that she is doing so well. What an incredible repair her surgeon did. She was gorgeous before, but is also gorgeous now. And she’s healing so quickly. So happy for all of you!

  • Izabela - You are correct…her eyes are amazing. She looks beautiful.

  • Stephanie Rohde - she is just as beautiful as she was before! But for her life it’s so important, that you’ll go through all this with her as a loving family!!! God bless you!!

  • maria - it is fascinating how quickly – and well – surgeons change these things now. i mean… wow, it’s been what, a week?, maybe a little more, and her lip is looking SO GOOD. it’s just, i mean… wow.

  • sylvie la GB - She was, and still is, gorgeous ! And so brave !
    My daughter was born in Viet Nam, I met her when she was 9 months old, and I can see some of the same depth in her eyes, sometimes.
    I have been following your story for some time now, but never dared to comment until now. I just love the way your family has grown, and the words you are able to put on some of the emotions I’ve felt too. Thank you for that !!
    Sylvie, and Iris, from France

  • Angela - Great news! I’m glad that you gradually are leaving all this behind. She looks so happy and I’m sure time will heal everything. God bless you and your family for giving this little girl a good home and lots of love! πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie - i love this girl. beautiful smile. i do really miss her toothy grin all the same.

  • Erin - I don’t think I’ve posted here before but occasionally check in on your inspiring blog.. I just have to leave a comment today. I’m in absolute awe of your daughter’s surgeon! Your girl was beautiful before, and is STUNNING now. She is a very lucky little lady to have such a loving family. Regards. Erin from New Zealand.

  • Elizabeth - Amazing. I pray that someday, somehow, her birth family could see these pictures and know that she is so loved.

  • Belinda - She is so so beautiful!

  • Yvette W - She is absolutely beautiful. All of you are so blessed to have found each other. God Bless,


  • Connie chumer - Hello, such a beautiful child. I can certainly relate to what your family is going through, our son was born with double cleft lip and pallet. After years of surgury we have a beautiful son. But to me he was always beautiful. may God be with you family during this journy.

  • Sarah - She was beautiful both before and after her surgery. The surgeons did a great job! I love how she scrunches her nose just like her big sister and mommy.

  • Jill - So glad she is healing and getting back to normal!

  • Sadee - Oh. My. Goodness. Captivating is definitely the right word!

  • maggie - your little girl (and all of your kiddos for that matter!!) is just too adorable!! both with and without her surgery she is perfect πŸ™‚ she is so lucky to have you!

  • Heather Sambrook - She is absolutely beautiful and she is blessed to have such a loving devoted Mom & family. I started following your blog a couple of months ago and have very much enjoyed learning about your family. You are inspiring on many levels but most of all for your amazing love and devotion to your beautiful children.

  • Lynn - Look at her…..she is just beautiful !!! Love these pictures !!

  • Jeni Yantis - She was beautiful before and she is beautiful now! I wish your family all the happiness in the world. Continued prayers for her healing.

  • Sara - wow….all I can say is wow. I stand in awe.

  • Jennifer - Love her…
    Love you…
    Thanks for sharing all that you do!

  • rebekah - She is SOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing her with us!

  • Patricia LoCascio - I’m just amazed at how little her total “face” changed. I think I expected a complete transformation but really, she still looks just like Little One. That stare , that radiant joy, those thing are still there & the exact same. She’s just so beautiful!

  • Lori - Oh, Ashley, she is such a blessing.

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - That’s really great, and interesting to learn about the healing process. My son always found her to be cute and now they say, “She’s still cute!” after showing them the last photo. Your posts have helped me teach my young sons to love and find beauty in all people no matter how they look, and I thank you for allowing your Little One to help them learn that (I had partial deafness as a child and was mocked constantly for how I spoke and how I acted when trying to hear but not being able to do so hardly at all…and had surgery to correct it, though Jesus healed me in a dream when I was 4 or 5, including my speech, so people would never know at all today. . .but I want my boys to not treat people the way I was treated just for being different, because that hurt a lot).

  • Anne - As an adoptive cleft momma as well, I am right there with you on the journey. The surgery looks great and I am so happy for you all! Because of repairs/surgeries/ear tubes/etc, I feel that our kiddies sometimes change more dramatically, more quickly. It is amazing! Our little guy just had lip revision surgery and we had to have a serious talk with his 2 older brothers (5 and 7) about being careful with him while his lip healed. A week after the surgery, our 5-year-old asked, in all seriousness – “Can we hit him in the face yet?” It probably is similar at your house. πŸ™‚ Will pray for continued healing for her!

  • Kris Lewis - An absolutely beautiful baby girl, from the inside out.

  • barnicles - so magical, thank you for sharing. I think it’s okay to be sad or sore or crusty at these times. xx

    thank you for sharing your journey xx

    Barnicles x

  • Sunshine - She is so lovely and beautiful!
    I’m so glad for all of your family!
    All the happiness in the world for you all πŸ˜‰

  • PonyChops - What a gorgeous little girl! These photos are adorable. I’m glad she’s healing so well after surgery.

  • Alice H - What an amazing change on her lip BUT she is still who she was when you first introduced her to us. She is beautiful. Her smile is beautiful and she does have so much depth in her eyes!

  • Anne-Scarlett M. - What a beauty. Was. Is. Always. Love that the dolphin tail is still there when she smiles hard!

  • amber - she is so beautiful! sweet sweet girl!

  • Sandy - She is beautiful, then and now! Honestly, I can’t decide which of the last two I like best!

  • Brandi - Captivating. Every inch of her is captivating. Continued prayers for healing and comfort during this transition! You all rock!

  • Ellie - So,So,So glad your bundle of giggles is back to normal! The surgeon did such a wonderful job! Looking forward to february to see more of her beautiful smile and to hear what firecracker has been up to!

  • sarah - I’m so glad to hear that she is feeling better! she is beautiful- before and after! still praying for the healing ahead. You and your family have given her such an amazing gift. The gift of family, love, trust, and health.

  • Jenw - She is such a pretty girl! I’m glad she’s healing up well. I can’t believe how well the site looks in such a short amount of time, really. I love her serious looks, that roundness of the cheek is just bite-able!

  • Christina - She is so absolutely beautiful. Then and now!

  • KitS - She is simply beautiful.
    For the record, since Little One’s adoption, yours is the only blog I rush to read every morning (and I subscribe to many!). Your willingness to share the ins and outs of life and the process of Little One’s homecoming to all of us has always seemed so extremely GENEROUS to me. I’ve been so grateful for every update–I am sure so many feel like we know you and are honored to walk alongside your journey, even from afar. That said, I was unselfishly πŸ™‚ happy when you decided to take a break from posting daily. I am hoping this has been a refreshing, restful time for you. But I can’t wait until you update more frequently again!

  • Anna@agoodhome - What a beautiful, beautiful girl you have πŸ™‚ I’ve absolutely loved watching her blossom and shine as you welcomed her into your family, and I can’t wait to see her continue to grow. What a beauty bug!

  • Michelle - That was my favorite part after my son’s surgery…the finallys. She looks so beautiful! The good news is it probably won’t take a whole year to see the results. My son had his surgery in March, and the scar is already almost unnoticeable, even by about October or November(his first birthday). If people don’t know he had the cleft, they don’t even notice the scar. Little ones heal so quickly. May God bless you and all of your little ones.

  • Mandy - She is absolutely stunning!!

  • Trish - Beautiful before and after but you’re right her eyes tell such a story. I can see why you love her so:)

  • Leah B - What a beauty! Glad all is well.

  • Amanda - When I looked at the picture of Little One wearing her headband and playing with the cell phone I thought to myself – her eyes! There’s something about her beautiful eyes!! And then you said it, too, and I couldn’t agree more. =)

  • Teresa Fowler - Dear Ashley,
    Your little one is beautiful!

    I was born with a cleft lip, so I wanted to pass on a little trick I used to do to help with the healing process. The doctors may have already told you but it’s pure Vitamin E oil. You can find it at any Walmart in the beauty section. It is sticky but it works like magic. My mother put it on my lip every night before bed because it not only helps the healing process but helps to protect the scar from discoloration. Many times, in sunlight, scars can turn a dark brown (as mine sometimes did when I was in middle school). I don’t know how it does it, but the Vitamin E kept my scars from turning brown, especially in the summer sun, as long as I used it consistently.

    Again, little one is beautiful and most of all happy! I follow your blog daily, as we are also in the process of adopting a little baby girl from China with a cleft lip. Your blog has helped me organize my thoughts and time-frame πŸ™‚ God bless you all,
    Teresa Fowler

  • Mary - wow. those docs did an amazing job!
    she is overwhelmingly beautiful.
    i just sit in awe and thankfulness to the Lord every time i read about you guys.
    how He plans and orchestrates everything just blows me away.

  • Brandy - They did an amazing job. My cousin was born with a cleft palatte and has had to have several surgeries throughout his life (he is 27 now) and hers looks better than his after one surgery. They’ve come a long way in the medical practice.

    Just is absolutely stunning!

  • Kelli - Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!! That smile warms my soul!

  • Lori - You rescued a life…you have altered her destiny. I am humbled. She is precious. It makes me cry…like my soul is crying. Lord, bless you~

  • JoAnn - Bless your family for giving your beautiful daughter such an amazing gift!Your love! She was beautiful and she is beautiful!

  • Jana - Her sweet little face takes my breath away. Before and after. What a great story and what an awesome God.

  • shawna [of styleberryBLOG] - She is so lucky to have you, sweet mama!

  • Angela E - She has always been beautiful and absolutely precious. I’m glad for her sake the tape has come off. I’ve had tape on my face after a surgery and it’s no fun. She really does have a smile that lights up the world, doesn’t she? I will continue to pray for you all. God bless.

  • sarah k - Such a precious face. And such a blessed little girl, to be surrounded by so much love.

    I am amazed by the work of the doctors–so much change and yet, of course, the same happy, spirited, strong little girl shining through.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Krystina - I just love her eyes. I had my thyroid removed just over a year ago and my scar was quite red for a while, much like you were describing. What really helped with that, and my scar, was something called silicone gel. It feels good to have that. It feels cool and moisturizes, it makes the skin really smooth and it really helps with the scar…like really REALLY helps. Most people don’t even realize I have a scar unless I get too much sun. A plastic surgeon I work with recommended it. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah - So glad she’s doing well. She’s just beautiful… in ALL of the shots you’ve taken of her. So glad things are going well!

  • Susie - She was beautiful then, she is beautiful now.

  • Norma - she is amazingly beautiful.

  • Heather - She looks absolutely beautiful, I have been following your journey and am so happy that she is doing so well…

  • Emily - She is captivating. Those brown eyes….. I adore them!

  • Ben & Noel - Very glad to see that she is doing well.

  • Chantelle - Thanks for making my day! And of course putting tears in my eyes;-)

  • Juliemara - Just amazing. the job they did, how fast she is recovering, the amazing life she will live with an amazing family and mommy. I love her and I don’t know her at all.

  • Dawn Ritchie - She is breathtaking. So happy to see her smile again.

  • Amanda - Praise to the One who made your beautiful, beautiful girl!! πŸ™‚

  • Raeanne - She’s stunning. His workmanship.

  • Bethanyblntn - sh has come such a long way from that little mostly bald, scared,little girl she once was. She has a mommy now, a family who loves her so dearly, and all of us watching over her as she becomes a women of God. Little one is so brave and blessed to have such a strong role model to teach her how keep going when things get tough , her mommy. What a beautiful, strong willed, brave little girl she is growing into!

  • Cass - Your girl is truly something special. Still trying to figure out how I’ve fallen in love w/ her through pictures. So glad she is healing well. You are an amazing mama and family!

  • Natalie - She is beautiful! Those pictures are stunning!

  • Lisa Owens - She is precious before and after. What a beautiful little soul. All I kept thinking when I looked at these photos is, “God is good. God is so good.” Because he helped you find her. Because she is adjusting. Because of modern medicine. Because of her toothy, scrunchy grin. Bless you!

  • Jane Marie - There really is a deepness in her eyes. She is breathtakingly beautiful, before and after her surgery. Well wishes to you all.

  • Deanna - She is beautiful – and blessed — and what an amazing job her doctors did — I hope that one day you can share a little more about the medical part of her story with us — It is truly wonderful that they have the training and with Gods help – can help to make this little ones life easier (with eating – etc) – SO happy for her – and your family — Heal little one — heal πŸ™‚

  • Jen H. - She looks beautiful. The surgeon did a fantastic job. What a beautiful little smile.

  • MG Atwood - this will be the smile that will hold me all day long! I’ve been following since before she was yours. I adore seeing the progress, and oh those eyes, yes they are amazing!

  • Leigh Erin - Oh she is just beautiful in both photos. Her eyes are so beautiful that the look in that second picture is just piercing. What a wonderful thing you have done for this beautiful little girl!

  • Kimberly Troth - So glad to see she is doing well! Her eyes are amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing her with all of us πŸ™‚

  • Stefanie - Happy Day! Nothing like seeing them “come back” after a sickness or surgery. And oh the joy, the JOY that fills a mama’s heart.

    So happy you both have this behind you now… blue skies ahead πŸ™‚


  • Debbie C - She is radiant Ashley! So good to hear that healing is going well. And yes, I love the depth in her eyes!

  • Jamie - She is such a beautiful girl. Such emotion in her eyes, yet when she smiles her whole face beams. Oh I am so happy happy happy for your little family.

  • Hannah - She is absolutely painfully beautiful. What stories those beautiful eyes tell.

  • Suzana - She is so precious and it is such a blessing to see her smiling again! Her incision looks wonderful and I will be praying for a quick healing. God bless you all!

  • Moriah - Beautiful!

  • Melissa - This makes my heart feel good. I’m so happy to see her healing and happy. All my love and prayers…

  • Laura - Amazing-her and the skillful doctors/nurses !

  • Stoich91 - So true! Her eyes look thoughtful beyond her years! She will be someone great someday! πŸ˜€

  • Haley - She’s so happy Ashley you can tell from the glow in her eyes! You’ve done a wonderful job of integrating her into your family!

    What a LUCKY little girl! I’m sure you feel like you are the lucky one.

  • natΓ‘lia - what a nice face, little angel with new smile. all best for your family! with love natΓ‘lia

  • Autumn - she is absolutely breathtaking.

  • Kelli - It is amazing to me the physical pain and tenderness such little ones can endure when allowed to just live life as it comes. I love the photo of her sitting, with her feet poking out at the camera. She is looking down and all engaged in something in her hands. It is precious!

  • Laree @ Ever Heard Of Euless - She is just so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kari S - Sweet baby!

  • Nicolle - WOW – what an amazing job the doctors did on her. She was perfect before, but now she is just so so beautiful. What a gorgeous little girl you have.

  • Katie Burris - could be pregnancy hormones…no…could just be the amazing adorableness of your sweetie and the blessings from god but, I totally started crying at the juxtaposition of those last 2 photos. she is stunning in both and her eyes are what defines her spirit. god bless you all!

  • Mindy - Amazing! What a great and mighty God we serve! Little One is such a blessed girl. My children 7 and 5 years old love to see Little One’s progress. Today my daughter said ” Mom she looks the same”!I am so thankful to you Ashley for sharing your families story with me and my family πŸ™‚

  • cindy b - YOU ARE AMAZING, ASHLEY! GOD IS AWESOME and His goodness and love continues to be shown and taught through you by this blog. Thank you for renewing an older adoptive mom’s love for the Lord.

  • Kelly - When my son had surgery on his ears it did take a while for the purple marker they used to go away and the glue and then the scars to heal, etc. but now 2 years later, I have to LOOK to see anything! She looks beautiful both ways! I hope you are feeling peace in the changes. Kelly

  • kristin - What incredible work the doctors did for her! She is such a gorgeous girl… those last two pictures put an unexpected lump in my throat. She’s a sweet, old soul. πŸ˜‰ So much happiness in her laughter, you can feel it through the screen. You all are blessed.

  • tracy a - beautiful girl!!

  • elizabeth H - she truly is captivating Ashley!!
    what a little blessing you’ve been given.

  • beth - amazing….and so amazingly beautiful, both before and after. what a trooper she is !

  • Regina - Wow! Just amazing! I’ve enjoyed following your story, it’s such an inspiration. And I have to say I love how you document the everyday moments with your family. That is one of my goals for this year.

  • Becky - She’s precious. It looks amazing. Can’t believe how good it looks already. Sweet girl…

  • Tavia - She is a beautiful light.

  • maggie may - my gosh, how do you stand the cuteness?
    i’m so glad she is feeling better. surgeries are not fun at all and it’s so hard to help the little ones understand what’s going on. after my boys had surgeries, they were supposed to take it easy. but of course instead of resting and healing, they would wrestle. –because that’s what brothers do. who doesn’t think about wrestling right after being released from the hospital? oh everyone? we didn’t get the memo.
    i’m so glad she’s bouncing back.

  • lisa - There are no coincidences, she was meant to be your daughter, God Bless you.

  • Brooke - It’s just spectacular to see her new smile! She’s been beautiful from the start but it’s absolutely amazing to see her now. I’ve loved following your journey to get her, love her to pieces and care for her through this healing. I truly look forward to seeing how your lovely family grows and changes.

  • Nicole L. - She looks so different! What a beautiful smile, both before and after.

  • Jenny - So glad she is feeling better!

  • Stina - May this bless your heart..

  • DreamDareLive - Wow that’s so great! I’m really happy for you! What a lovely little, beautiful daughter πŸ™‚ x

  • Annie Page - I am completely taken with the last picture of her. What a soul! She is just precious Ashley! Many blessings on her continued healing and your continued growth as a family!

  • Sarah{Handbags*N*Pigtails} - She is so beautiful Ashley. and I love all the color surrounding her in your photos. They just make me smile:)

  • Julia - love love love that first giggle pic!!!

  • Lisa - I was thinking the same thing about those eyes. Those eyes!
    She is beautiful, but always has been. God bless you and your family.

  • Barbara - What an amazing job the surgeon(s) did!! I can’t believe so soon after and she looks so good!! Can’t imagine she’ll need any more surgeries, she already looks so perfect! I guess it’s to work on the internal parts??

    Even though it was bitter sweet, I’m sure she’ll one day be so thankful she got picked by such a wonderful family who care so much for her!!

  • beth cupitt - i’m so glad she’s back to herself! that’s the hard part. she looks beautiful, as usual.

  • Tara - She is breathtaking.

  • alison - beautiful, beautiful girl. praying for a speedy recovery!

  • Kelley - She is so sweet! Her smile is BEAUTIFUL! But I know that’s not why you guys did the surgery, because her smile was beautiful before. I know the surgery was necessary for eating, hearing, and speech. I’d love a blog post on how eating is going and if you have noticed any difference yet in hearing or speech. Praying always for Little One.

  • Kendra - she is precious, so precious!

  • Quita - My god she is beautiful. Before and after.

  • Denise - What a precious gift! She melts my heart!

  • Julien - I’ve had a really hard time thinking of the *right* thing to say- so I’ve stayed quiet. I’ve been thinking of you and your family. Your daughter is stunning both before and after. When I see your blog, I know there is love there.

  • Sharon - Mesmerizing…her eyes are mesmerizing, I could never seem to look past those eyes. I recognize that look, it’s an old soul. Our daughter still has that old soul look in her eyes sometimes. They’ve seen so much in their short lives and it really does give them a different perspective to what they experience here. Your new daughter was and is breathtaking. Prayers for her as she continues her journey, getting used to all this LOVE surrounding her, growing more and more confident in the knowledge that it is hers FOREVER. The love that is…it’s a beautiful thing for everyone involved.

  • Chelsea Wilson - So beautiful!! Her doctors did such a fantastic job. Such pretty lips and I just adore her smile.

  • Kimberly - Little One just melts my heart. She’s blessed to have you & you her. God’s plan amazes me.

  • becka - I think she has been beautiful all along but on my word the surgeon did such a lovely job! So natural looking. I hope things just keep getting better and better! xo.

  • Marie-Eve - Amazing & Beautiful!
    So precious!

  • Maloree - Oh how she is a beauty!

  • jenn b - she looks beautiful – and most importantly happy! this article was posted in my rss feed, and made me think of you. it’s about a documentarian who did a film on 4 chinese women who were adopted by american families:
    i haven’t seen the film, but it is on my list!

  • twirling betty - She’s as gorgeous as ever. I’m so glad she’s feeling more chipper. And her eyes do seem to hint at an older soul. xxx

  • Katie - Those last two pictures are just beautiful, and captivating is such a perfect word. Her smile is amazing–before and after! I have to say though it is truly incredible what those doctors were able to do, really unbelievable!

  • Mindy W - I don’t know how you can even handle the cuteness! And after I showed my 7 year old son Little One’s pictures and explained her story, adoption and all all, he gave me a big hug and then said that it was good for her lip to be fixed so that when she has a bloody nose it won’t get in her mouth. πŸ™‚

  • Irma Y - =)

  • Bek Ryder - oh it’s coming along so nicely! So glad to hear she s smiling and laughing wholeheartedly again!

  • Maddy - Wow. Just, wow. She is, and has always been, beautiful! Thank you for sharing her (and your) journey with us!

  • Dawn McVey - She is GORGEOUS!!! These photos make me so happy to see….thanks for sharing them with us!

  • Mandy - So we are in the process of adopting from the SN program as well. Today, my mom went in for a mammogram and your mom was the nurse. Somehow, they started talking about us and that you had adopted from China, and that we are currently in the process of adopting from there. Your mom gave my mom peace and comfort. I am grateful that God makes those connections.

  • Katherine - Little one was and still is perfect! I hope her healing process will be quicker than expected.

  • Trish - Wishing her all the best for continued healing. Reading about y’all touches my heart. The love and light from your family manages to reach out across the internet. πŸ™‚

  • Alex - Happy, I’m so happy for you! Your girl will grow up a gorgeous lady, I can tell!

    I have to admit, it also feels really weird reading your blog (in a good way of course!). I’m just 26 and don’t have children of my own but I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I watch your kids grow up, form their personalities, and I keep thinking “Wow, so that’s how it is to be a mom!” And even though I don’t think I’ll be a mom for a while now, it’s a very strange happy feeling.

    Thank you.

  • maggie - She is just darling~ πŸ™‚ loved the post about your boy drawing too…reminds me of Johnny at that age. Sweetness.

  • Wendy - Absolutely wonderful!!! God Bless her.

  • Candice Forte - That last photo is gorgeous! I think cleft repairs are utterly amazing. She was a cute little girl before and definitely beautiful, but now…wow!

  • Marie - Hi–I just found your GORGEOUS blog as I was doing some research on cleft lips and cleft palates. I was born with a cleft lip and palate in 1964, and I really wish my parent had taken more photos of me as a baby–both before and after. (I think I don’t have any photos of before!) The doctor wouldn’t even let my mom look at me until he had warned her about what I looked like. Things were different back then.

    I was prompted to write again about this because today I met a young woman at work who had never had her cleft palate (no cleft lip) repaired. And now, at age 33, repair is not as likely to be successful.

    I linked to your blog and thought I’d stop by and say hi. Your daughter is beautiful!! I look forward to seeing more photos of her!

    Portland, Oregon

  • Trish - Amazing! What a beauty!!! So glad you brought us along on your journey!!!

  • ashley - Such a wonderful transformation! My nephew was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate and although we thought he was through-the-moon gorgeous when he was born – we also knew how rough life would be for him without the surgeries. He’s three now and has had 3 surgeries so far – one within the first few months of being born and one to repair the palate and lips. He’ll have his biggest surgery coming up in the next year or so when he has his nose repaired (he has no cartilage in it) for the first time.

    My heart breaks for all of the pain they have to go through at such a young age – but they’re little fighters! Your daughter is adorable!

  • Jen - What a gorgeous family! I am in the very beginning steps of thinking/considering international adoption. We have two homemade little girls, but I’d love to adopt another little girl. I know it is a long, crazy road ahead, and I don’t know if it will all come together or not..but congrats to you, and your awesome family. She is lucky , as are you!!

  • Shana - I found you website a while back when we were first starting our adoption, fell in love the story and savid it to my favorites. We have since been matched with a beautiful little girl who 1 and has a bilateral stage 3 cleft lip and palate. We hope to travel in Jan. or Feb. to bring home our daughter. I am so encouraged by your website and would love to get any advice you might be willing to share for our family in the near future.

  • Yeva - You are amazing.. I am crying now after reading your blog.. and can’t think of anything else but- YOU ARE AMAZING!!! YOU ARE A REAL MOTHER!!! Best wishes for you are your lovely family!!!

  • Kristen - The first pic of that big pretty smile is so cute! I am definitely going to miss the old smile too butt the new one is adorable.