Saturday, September 06, 2008

New Cleft Friends

Yesterday afternoon, I checked out Rachel's guestbook. Something I haven't done in months because it'd been so long since anyone had signed it, I simply forget it's there. Well, there were two entries.

One, from a mommy in Illinois (thank you for your kind words) who had a son with a cleft lip and palate and then another one local to us, probably only 15 miles from where we live. She found Rachel's Journey through a link on another cleft affected friends blog and as she searched through the pages of Rachel's Journey, she recognized our plastic surgeon because it's her sons plastic surgeon as well!!! Which means essentially, we see the same craniofacial team of doctors, same hospital, etc. Her little boy is 4 1/2 months old and was scheduled to have his first surgery this coming week, but due to scheduling complications (been there, done that) it's been moved to October.

Long story short, I emailed her and we are meeting in person for lunch on Monday!!! I am so excited.

The journey of having a cleft affected baby can be a lonely one. But thankfully there are many of us cleft affected families that keep blogs now (see links in sidebar) that we have our own community of online support. However, as good as online support is, it's nice to know someone in real life whom you can talk to, ask questions of, stare at the lip repair, etc.

When Rachel was born, we had so many questions. We were scared, anxious, and clueless of the road that laid ahead. If someone had come to visit us and offered answers and encouragement, it would have maybe been a little easier to grasp. And for that very reason, at our last craniofacial team appointment, we talked to the social worker about possibly becoming a parents advocate, if you'd call it that. My idea was to be a contact for the craniofacial team to call so that a visit could be made to the families who'd had a baby born with a cleft (while they were still in the hospital) to answer any questions and show pictures of Rachel's Journey as a source of hope and encouragement for their own journey.

So it is with great excitement and anticipation that I look forward to meeting these new friends on Monday to answer her questions, offer encouragement, and support to her as she's at the very beginning of the journey we've already traveled.


Kim said...

That is exciting! I can think of some trials we have been through where I would have loved to have someone to talk to like that too. I hope it goes well for both of you!

Liz said...

How cool!!!!!!!!