cleft lips for all {my ugly high horse}

we are 2 weeks out from emery's lip and nose reconstruction.
(scheduled for dec 28th)
at pre-op today, i asked a lot of questions. i came prepared with a long list.

i know better what to ask and what to expect.
i've seen the deep cavern.
i've been to the not-so-magical forest.
i'm well versed in how long it takes to reach the summit after plummeting to the pits.
and i know i serve a God fully capable of healing emery emotionally and physically after all is said and done.

and yet, i have a confession

i've reached a new tolerance low-level. 
security clearance should be required
i can feel my heart filling with ugliness
and it's not a good color on me.

i'm becoming excessively sick of people staring when we are out and about.
i feel irritated when i see a shocked expression and finger pointed in my daughter's direction.
can't you see how incredible she is, lady?
why don't you take a moment and stare into her eyes instead of at her mouth, young man??
seriously people.
at least get a little more creative with your staring. use dark tinted sunglasses or spyware goggles.
or maybe just try saying hi. or asking questions. we don't bite. 

knowing the deep and indescribable joy that this girl brings, leads me to feel anger burning each time someone walks by with a gaper-delay.
i'm half tempted to spout off to some punk kid in the elevator: "look out dude...don't you know cleft lips are contagious? especially when you stare at them for too long. i have been immunized (said with a haughty tone)....but sadly you have not."

see what i mean? ugly ugly heart.

amidst all my ugly-heartedness, i have a burning question to ask my Creator.
why weren't we all created with cleft lips and cleft palates???
seriously. i need to know.

if we all had them, they wouldn't be called clefts...
they would just be lips.

no one would look or stare.

if only we were all creatively lipped
each with our own unique lippy style
then she wouldn't have to endure all of this
she could be as she was created
with her wide and joyous smile
i could kiss her precious clefty lips with my own clefty lips.

people born with lips that went straight across their mouth would be gawked at.
they would be the unusual ones.
we would all wonder when a surgeon was going to cut their lip open to make them look just like the rest of us.

i'm on a high horse.
i need to hop down now.

this is the last i will mention my extreme cleft loyalty.
i will henceforth be on board with surgery and regular old lips.
straight across, uncreative, lips.

oh and i'm going to super-glue my straight old regular lips closed so i don't say some ridiculous statement in the elevator. some punk kid will be spared my crazy, oversensitive mom anger :)


  1. I have a hint of what it feels like. We've had lots of people staring at Gracie when she walks on her club feet. They make comments about how she must still be learning to walk, or how we need to help her learn to put her feet the right way, or buy her shoes that fit, etc., etc. And at the same time, Matt and I are talking about how her walk is so completely adorable that we'll miss it so much when her feet have been fixed. We even contemplated NOT fixing them because we're so in love with her just the way she is! But we know it's in her long-term best interests to go thru the process... of course. But, anyway, Amen!!

  2. Part of me wants you to let loose on someone just so I can read about it (or even better hear about it first hand). If I was with you, I'd say it for you!!!

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  4. You go Angie!! Love the post -- funny, witty, and oh so true. Enjoy Christmas, sounds like you will have a busy new year. Hugs!

  5. She's beautiful just the way she is. :) Prayers going up for her surgery and little miss. :) I like your momma bear self, that's what mommas do! :)

  6. Oh yes, we know all too well Ang :-) I tried to remember that the starers were not used to seeing cleft kiddos around and that they were probably mostly curious, just didn't know how to ask while being polite. I don't think most people are *trying* to be rude, I really don't. Of course staring is the complete opposite, LOL. As sad as I was to see Brooklyn's cleft go away, I was just as much happy (maybe even more) for HER that should would grow up "normal" ... ya know? We will definitely be praying feverishly for Emery's surgery and recovery Ang!

  7. I agree with Nicole. Two of my children had to wear helmets for months to straighten out their sweet little flat heads. People stared constantly. I started telling myself that maybe they were just trying to figure out what they were seeing, and maybe they didn't even realize they were staring. That said, I also had my fair share of just flat out rude people. People who laughed and said, "What's wrong with her brain?", or made a crack that she must be clumsy. I even had people point and laugh. At a baby. I'm sure you've been through this too, and a day or two up on your horse is well deserved! As hard as it is, try to let it roll off your back. Smile and look directly in their eyes. Usually they look away fast! You know that your daughter is 100% perfect, and that's all that matters!

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  9. oh, and the stares here in China....getting old. But, they have no idea what a HUGE incredible gift I am holding....So, I feel so sorry for them.
    Thanks for this post...Your Emery is just gorgeous!!!!! I am so thankful to know you all...and can't wait to one day meet you and your beautiful family!

  10. I'm just catching up on your blog and I say AMEN. Trying to be filled with grace at the stares, stares at her now partially fixed lip that is scabby and flaky and yuck looking and yet a lip that I LOVE in all it's worldly grossness. And I miss her full on, unrepaired cleft lip smile. The lip of one who is so, so, so, sweet and unaware of what makes her different. Love the Mama Bear in you! :)



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