When I found out Emma was going to have a Cleft Lip and possibly a Cleft Palate, honestly, I felt horrible! I cried, and cried, and cried! I wondered what I had done to cause this, or what was the cause in general. I did major research, then I stopped because I felt that she would be born and everything would be fine (I guess I didn't believe the doctors) so sometimes I would talk about it, a lot of the time I didn't talk about it because I honestly believed that when she came out it would be gone...well that didn't happen! When she was born...I fell in love with her immediately!!! I loved her face, her smile, I just simply loved her...all of her! The family was cautious with sharing pictures because we didn't know how to really approach this, I mean we knew she was beautiful but we didn't know how people would respond to her! We were ready for any kind of comments that came our way, whether they were good or bad!
Fast forward a little...I am in a group with other Moms and Dads on Facebook that either have a child with both a Cleft Lip and Palate or they were born with a Cleft Lip/Palate. Yesterday, there was a topic up about how people have reacted to your child. Many parents said that they have had all kind of comments (good and bad), however, many have encountered a number of rude comments no only come from strangers but from family members. Some of the stories were horrible...from someone being accused of doing drugs to someone telling the parent that they would've had an abortion if they found out their baby had a cleft lip. I could've cried while reading some of these stories!
For me, I have been shown nothing but LOVE!!! Random people have stopped us to tell us how beautiful Emma is. Everyone has been SUPER supportive, and I THANK GOD for that! Now I must admit I do get frustrated when I am out and people are starring at us, but its human nature so I brushed it off...I will say luckily no one has said anything crazy to us, and if they decide to I'm sure that will be the last time they say ANYTHING crazy to anyone else in their life...LOL! I'm laughing but from the comments I read I just said to myself...Lord please don't let anyone EVER say anything like this to me!
This entire process has been hard, and shielding Emma from anything negative has been our #1 priority! I actually love when people are genuinely interested in Emma and what is going on with her, it gives me a chance to educate them on being born with a cleft lip/palate. Darrick said I have turned into an activist, but like I have said before if we don't do it no one will! I have to be her #1 activist because if we aren't then who is going to be there for her! When Emma was first born, I was scared in showing her picture to everyone...but NOW I'm sure my Facebook friends are sick of me because I have her pictures plastered everywhere...and the love that I have received in showing her pictures is amazing. I have received numerous emails from friends and family telling me how proud they are of me, in how I have jumped in and been so strong for Emma, and really I guess that strength is coming from the Lord because sometimes I wonder myself.
I titled this blog THANK YOU...because really this process has been hard...but I am so THANKFUL to have great people around me...family, friends, church family, blog buddies...everyone has shown us a great deal of support and for that I'm THANKFUL!!!