"Duck Dynasty" star Missy Robertson has admitted that she struggled to trust God after learning that her daughter, Mia, would be born with a cleft lip and possible cleft palate.
During a recent interview with E! News, the Christian reality TV star and married mother of three revealed doctors were able to diagnose Mia's condition in the summer of 2003, during a 4-D ultrasound.
"I did question God at the beginning, like, 'Wait a minute, what just happened here? I thought, I'm one of your children,'" Missy said of her devastation following the diagnosis.
"You're not supposed to leave me. Did you turn your back for just a second and get disoriented or distracted with someone else's problems and forget about me for a second?"
After spending time in prayer, Missy said that she and her husband, Jase, were able to take comfort in the belief that Mia's bilateral cleft lip and palate was actually a part of God's bigger plan for their lives.
"But going along this journey, I realized He [God] never left us, not one time," she said. "This is all part of a bigger plan and Mia is a huge part of His plan, and that's what we have to fulfill."
As reported by the Gospel Herald earlier in October, Mia, now 12, recently underwent a sixth procedure to correct her cleft lip and palate. The surgery was particularly invasive, as it required surgeons to break the top jaw from the bottom, pull it forward, re-attach it and treat the bone with growth hormones.
While Mia has since recovered from the surgery, she continues to wear headgear at night and sees an orthodontist in Dallas every six weeks for a checkup. Because the surgeries are so painful, Missy said that this latest procedure will be the last for a little while.
"We're just going to try to enjoy life and let her do her gymnastics, competition cheer and be a kid, and live a normal life for a while," Missy said. "We take it little by little."
Missy and Jase have shared some of the struggles they have faced over the past few years in Missy's newly released book Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed.
"This is not just a book to say, 'Look at us.' This is a book that we can encourage other people and tell them 'you can do this,'" said Missy. "It does not have to be devastating and overwhelming for you. It may feel that way, but hopefully with our example and Mia's inspiration, we can give people that hope."
She added, "We have a strong commitment to our family, nobody's going anywhere. And Mia's just a wonderful human being despite having these challenges, so I'm hoping it will give people hope and encouragement that no matter what trial they're going through, if they'll take some of the aspects that I lay out in the book, and also some of the mistakes that we made that we're able to share, they can say 'OK, if they can do this, I can do this.'"
The Robertsons have started a website, MiaMoo.org, which serves as a resource for parents whose children are born with a cleft lip and palate. The couple also started the Mia Moo Fund, a non-profit organization to help fund research for children with cleft lips and palates and minimize the financial situation of their families.
"We tried to accumulate as much of the good information that's out there, and helpful information onto that site," Missy said. "Knowledge is power so we want to make sure that the parents are informed enough so that they can make the decision that fits best for them and their child."