An acquaintance of mine is going to become a grandmother in September. She was absolutely thrilled when she found out. Her son and daughter-in-law live out of state, which really saddens her - but they hopefully will be moving back to Massachusetts at some point in the near future.
She emails me periodically, to stay in touch - and of course to give updates about the pending arrival of her grandson.
Last week, I received a long email from her in which she was clearly saddened and anxious. When having the ultrasound of the baby, it was determined that there was something wrong with the baby's face - definitely a cleft palate - but to what extent they did not know. Immediately, they were advised to have an amniocenteses to determine if there were any genetic disorders present that a cleft palate may be associated with. Fortunately - the results came back negative, but they were able to determine that his chin and palate were open, and that he will require surgery to close it. They think his chin will be a normal size as he gets older, and his scarring will be minimal. At the end of her email, it was clear that she was optomistic and upbeat - and of course thankful that while his beginning in life may be a little challenging, in the big scheme of things he's healthy and should lead a happy life.
It's funny....babies are perfect, amazing creatures. They are so strong and so resilient - and when there is a situation for them medically, fortunately - they often do not know that they are different from anyone else until we point it out to them. It's funny how we seem to get weaker as we get older, mostly because our minds get the best of us. Children have the grace of innocence to shelter them from that - and they are able to bounce back from most situations that they are in. Sometimes I think their differences and struggles make them that much more beautiful and special.