Thursday, April 14, 2016

To My Cleft Baby

Dear Jonathan,

God knew what I needed before I knew you existed. We'd make great companions through this journey called life. He knew I needed you during the tough times of life when I feel like I am failing. He knew I needed you during everyday battles when a smile goes a long way. Because as you know, when you smile at the world, the world smiles back.

God knew I needed your smile. He knew your smile would be a reminder of His love for me. When the days are the hardest, I can look over at you. Your smile is wider and happier than any I've ever seen in this world. He knew it'd be perfect for me.

And it is perfect.

He made you with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. It only occurs in 1 in 700 babies. You are one of those rare wide smileys that brings the perfect uniqueness to this world. Not everyone can be blessed with your smile. Only 1 in 700 babies are chosen by God to be gifted with this marvelous treasure.

And I know I'm not the only one who enjoys it.

When we pass people in public, they remark on the smile you carry around. When your siblings are in the heat of a moment, they see you smile and can't help, but turn happy. When daddy arrives home from a long time at work, you remind him of why it was worth the hard, long day. When life hands me lemons, your smile turns it to lemonade.

I didn't always know it'd be this marvelous.

When I first talked to the doctor after the 20-week ultrasound, I had so many questions. I didn't know what it'd be like or how hard it would make life for you. I didn't know much about it at all. I wondered why God would give this to you. Little did I know, it was for us all to enjoy.

Then you arrived and were placed in my arms.

I looked down at you and instantly felt love in my heart. You were a quiet, calm newborn. You hardly ever fussed at all. The worry of how feedings would go and the care of your cleft were quickly overshadowed by your soft head pressed against me. Instantly, I knew this gift that had been entrusted to me was a precious one. I knew your very being here would change the world.

Soon after, you gave me your first smile.

Not only did you smile with your sweet mouth, but your face also lit up the room. Your eyes smiled with it. And so did my heart. It was just what I needed as I faced a brief season of winter. Life was crazy hard at that time. Yet, your smile helped keep us together. It reminded each of us of God's amazing grace.

Your brothers and sisters fell in love with it too. They marveled over how fun it was to have you in the family. They took turns holding you, reading books, and playing peek-a-boo games. You smiled brightly which showed your interest in them. So they continued to entertain you some more. You have enchanted us all with this beautiful, amazing gift.

And now we head soon into surgery.

I realize your smile will change. Although it's for the best, I know that the way God created you is better. It has changed me in many ways. I look around at the world and notice the things that make us unique even more. It reminds me of the different ways God makes us all according to His image.

I don't want to change it. Now that we have you here, I know that wide smiles are the best kind of smiles. I feel like we are apart of a cool "smiles" club and being a bilateral cleft means the even cooler kind. It's all going to change as they close it all up soon. Your smile will still be amazing. But I will miss the original one you were given.

Now I leave you with this one last thought.

I want to remind you that if you ever look back to read and wonder how you were born, you will know that you were given one of God's exclusive designs. And even after the surgeries you have to repair it, I hope you know that this is part of a purpose He has for you. Find what it is that He is leading you to do in your life and remember He chose you to be apart of the 1 in 700. He chose you to be cleft strong.

Love forever,



  1. Beautiful, Carrie...just beautiful!

  2. Beautiful, Carrie...just beautiful!

  3. Absolutely beautiful Carrie! I love you all and I'm praying.