This has been quite the day! It was filled with dentist appointments and Jovie's huge dance recital. Pictures and video of that to come! We are so proud of her!
Lately we have been so SO blessed with people wanting to do things for you. I have been asked at least 3 times in the last few weeks about Operation Smile and how people can get more involved with this wonderful organization. After I was asked again today by my dear friend, Wendy . I realized that I had never really talked about the real reason that I am so attached to such a wonderful charity.
Having a newborn in the NICU and with complex medical issues was much MUCH different than what we had been used to with your brother and sister. It wasn't very often that we would hear somebody say something positive about you (except for your adorable nurses of course). There was a lot of negative...a lot of focus on the things that you couldn't do...on the things that you wouldn't do. Of course we always ALWAYS fought for you, and fought to stay on the positive side of things. We loved YOU for being YOU.
Your Daddy and I had to go to a class to learn about how to take care of your G-Tube. The class was full of several couples most of whom had premature babies who were having trouble with feeding. During that class, one of the moms asked your Daddy if our son was a preemie too. Your Daddy answered no and told her that our baby had a cleft lip and palate which made it hard for him to eat. It was at this point that the nurse teaching the class (whom we had never met before) spoke up and said "and he is the Ca-utest baby EVER!". We were a little surprised because it seemed as though this nurse had visited a lot of babies, but you had made an impression on her. She proceeded to tell us that her daughter was also born with a cleft lip, and she had just completed a mission for Operation Smile.
This was the first time that somebody had given you a compliment without really knowing you.
This was the first time that we began to see that we weren't alone in this part of our journey
This was the first time that the cleft didn't seem so scary, or different
This was the first time that we realized that while we had the option to repair your cleft, there were many people in the world without that option.
This was the beginning of our love for this charity.
Oh how we loved your little cleft, and we were so SO sad to see it go. If I would have known that you were only going to be here for 14 months I'm sure we would have kept it.
Sometimes there are wrong impressions given by a cleft. I remember having it in the first few moments after you were born. My thoughts were "what will people think?", but once I realized that it was a part of you....I hated the thought of your wide smile changing. There are kids all over the world who never even have the option to change their smile to one that is accepted in their culture. Operation Smile gives them that option.
Thank you to the nurse who opened our eyes. She has no idea how much she changed us on that day.
Tomorrow I'm going to share a very exciting project our dear friend Wendy is working on.
I am truly blessed to call her friend.