Sunday, June 22, 2008

Yes, it's true...


Ok, so when you have a child with a facial difference, or any difference for that matter, people are going to say some pretty dumb things to you. I have realized that it is just easier to smile, walk away, and remind myself that some people are just going to say things no matter how much you try and educate them. So, here are some comments that have been said to me or one of my cleft affected family friends over the past 7 months, and yes, they are all true.

"Oh, doctors can do such wonderful things now a days. He'll look normal one day."

"Just be glad he wasn't born 50 years ago. He would have to look like that forever."

"Mommy, what is wrong with that baby?" Mom responds to young daughter, "Oh, honey, that babies mommy did drugs. That's why he looks like that."

"I am sorry he was born that way."


"Doctors can work miracles. I am sure he will look fine later on."


"I just can't stop looking at his lip. It's just so odd to see something like that."


We loved Reid's first face from the very start...and miss seeing it. We love his new face and smile, but it's amazing how attached you get to that wide grin. I am amazed at the reactions of some people towards Reid. One of those comments from above was spoken to me by a doctor. Not a medical doctor, but none the less, a doctor. I was astounded that this was spoken of him/her. I am still amazed at the ignorance of some, and nevermind how these comments made me feel as a mom to a beautiful cleft baby. I guess what we looked at as "normal" some could not. Again, I am going to stand strong and say, this is why not all people are cut out to be the parent of such a wonderful gift. It is my goal to show people that Reid is Reid...not "the cleft kid...or the cleft baby." He's Reid, he's perfect, and we are so glad he was given to our family. Ok, I am off my soapbox now. Enough said!

8 comments:

Rachel said...

Janeen,

I just wish people would think before they speak...it truly is unbelievable.

I get comments all of the time about my girls and some are VERY rude...i too just smile and keep walking. I usually think wow...the nerve of some people.

I am so sorry you have to deal with ignorance. Reid is beautiful...and you are right he is such a gift that God chose especially for YOU! You are one amazing mama.

We love you!

Rach

LifeWithTheFerrells said...

When we decided to adopt Makenna, my biggest fear was the scar she'd have on her lip and maybe problems with her speech. How many surgeries and how much money would it cost us to "fix" her. Scott felt pretty strongly that she was the one so I went along with him and dealt quietly with my fears and just prayed God would work it out. Even in China I struggled to attach to her for the first 4 days or so but then you realize what a cute and funny little girl she is and you can't help but fall in love with her! Makenna isn't a cleft affected child, she is a beautiful little girl with more spunk than a child should have. She loves everyone she meets and isn't afraid of one thing. She eats like a grown man and always has a hug and kiss for mama. Oh yea, she was born with a cleft lip and palate! It is such a small part of who these kids are! I have had similar comments and people wondering why we would "choose" to adopt a kid like this! I like to think we didn't "choose" her, God chose her for us!
OK, enough emotions for me today!
God Bless!
Tina

Mary said...

We all have such beautiful babies!

I am actually in a class and I brought up the fact that Ian was born with a cleft. One girl asked, "Oh, can they fix that?" I think a lot of people just do not know much about the defect.

Jenson's said...

The ignorance of other people is amazing. I think the biggest thing is that poeple just don't know. Then when people "don't know" they try and fill the empty silence with some stupid comment. I try to believe that most people do not mean harm in what they say, but that does not excuse what they do say.

When people talk about "how good the doctors are" and "how they will fix her" I take that moment to actually thank God. I believe we should thank God for putting doctors and other people on this Earth that has the talents to help our children out when they have a birth defect.

I got the "just imagine if she was born 50 years ago" comment as well. It took me a while, and I wish I could have come up with this right when this person said it, but I am thankful Abigail wasn't born 50 years ago, because then she would not be My Daughter.

I am not excusing people for their ignorant comments, I am just trying shed a little sunshine on dark things we hear every day. Sorry this comment is so long.

kimberly said...

Just read some of the things people said to you over the last 7 months I remember some of the things people said to me when my son was a baby, I guess stupidity never can be changed. I know what you mean about Reid's first face , to me David was perfect the way he was born and I missed that face . also.

Jeanne said...

One woman said to me, "Did the doctors suggest that you terminate the pregnancy?" And then the same woman said, "You are lucky your husband stayed with you - most men would have run." I, too, took these comments with a grain of salt as they are just unbelievably ignorant.

Chels said...

Grrr I am so super sensitive to these things, naturally, but I just want to shake that feeling I get when people talk...

My worst:

(During pregnancy) What will you do about photos? (I almost killed her)

My grandmother keeps saying...I am just so amazed at what they can do! I was worried there for awhile.

How's his hairlip?

jeanette said...

look, I'm totally ignorant, but isn't it TRUE that it's good that your kids were able to have surgeries? Not that God isn't running the world, and not that surfaces matter, but isn't it easier this way, for very superficial reasons, but still - but isn't it easier for people not to have to worry about what to say, or feel something must be said and botch it, and feel stupid, and have you thinking they're stupid, when.... they're just trying to adapt, and don't know how (sure, some people can be utterly hopeless, not talking about that - i.e. the photos comment).
Anything I say, I guess, will be considered stupid and insensitive, and I am a total stranger, but nevertheless, I am impressed with your strength and your ability to see beauty and not focus on the pain and stress of what obviously was a challenge. And you have a beautiful son, and I'm impressed with modern medicine! Am I allowed to be??
Thanks for blogging.