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Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch


Since its 1976 proclamation as National Adoption Month in Massachusetts, November has remained a part of our National tradition as a time to celebrate the gift of love.  A little over seventeen years ago, such a gift was given to me when my seven-day-old son was placed in my arms.

As I gazed into the face of my baby, I could not have envisioned that a mere twelve hours later, I would fall completely, irrevocably in love.  I could not have comprehended that this "Son of My Soul," would capture my heart completely and forever hold it captive. Imagine my surprise at the reaction of some of the people I came into contact with, and the main question I was asked: "Do you ever wish you had a child of your own?"  

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Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch

Recently I read an email from a young mother of a one month old baby born with cleft lip and palate. Her tearful post recounted a scene in her local grocery store earlier that day. As I read her account of what had taken place, I remembered a similar incident which happened to me and my son, and the anger began to build.

First, let me say that we mothers of children born with craniofacial anomalies are as proud and in love with our babies as any other mother. With today's sonograms and diagnostics, a mother often knows quite early in the pregnancy that her child will be born cleft affected. She has time during the pregnancy to mourn the loss of the child she envisioned and to accept that the baby she will bear will not be "perfect." And so, as she labors to bring forth her child, like most mothers giving birth, she is mainly concerned with birthing a living, healthy baby.







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Debra Shivel...
Central Ohio


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