Parenting: “Here’s a gift for Your Beautiful Baby”

Sarah Heller didn’t know what the doctor meant when he said she was pregnant with a “special baby”. So the doctor told her about cleft pallet and what it means for the life of this baby. “So we think you should do an abortion” was what the doctors told her.

In the United States about 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate each year and all told 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip either with or without a cleft palate. A cleft palate is when the roof of the mouth doesn’t join together and completely close up during pregnancy. Each cleft palate can be different. Some babies have both the front and back parts of their palate open. Others have it only partially open.

“The doctors told us that investing in operations for this baby will be very expensive because most of these children need many operations and therapies to learn how to speak and eat. It was hard for us to hear that,” said Sarah and her husband Chris.

Even after seeing the cleft pallet in ultrasounds Sarah wouldn’t hear about an abortion. “Instead I opened a Facebook page with his picture and I kept people updated on his situation.”

The responses she received were not very encouraging initially. “What’s wrong with his face”? Many people asked and Sarah wanted to cry. “I was shocked from the comment but even more so from the fact that people judged my son’s appearance before he was even born,” explains Sarah. So
Sarah decided to do something about it. “Instead of debating online I decided to make a different voice be heard. A voice that educates people to think a bit differently,” Sarah explained to in an interview.

The months flew by and Sarah gave birth to a sweet little baby boy they named Brody and kept updating people following his progress on their Facebook page. Chris and Sarah actually did need major financing for operations but were happy about it and didn’t wallow in self-pity or get bitter about their lot. From their own hardship they reached out and were a source of strength to other parents in the same situation giving them the hope that having a cleft pallet isn’t the end of the world. Rather it’s the beginning of a wonderful life…
When the family once went to a restaurant they noticed a napkin folded on the table that looked a little lumpy. They unfolded it and fond an envelope with $1000.00 inside it and a beautiful not that read: “This is for your beautiful baby”.

Sarah says: “The tears were flowing and I couldn’t stop crying. My heart was filled with an indescribable happiness.” It comes out that Brody was about to be operated on again and this gift from a generous stranger came through just when they needed it and helped cover some of the expenses. “Thanks to skilled surgeons and the generous gift of that anonymous stranger our Brody will be able to eat and talk in the future. We are grateful and indebted to this stranger for his beautiful gesture.”


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