You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.

This one is about: People Who Tease Other People


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People Who Tease Other People

by Joanne Green

A few years ago I was at a conference with families of kids who were born with clefts. One man was talking about his life. He has a daughter now who was born with a cleft. It happens. Once in 700 births -- touches a lot of people. Well, he had never figured that a child of his would have a cleft, but just like the rest of us, he learned pretty much immediately just how much he loved his little girl.

His little girl was, at that time, school-aged. This man was holding in a very deep feeling of guilt and fear. He was so afraid to let his child go to school with other children. His fear came from a deep guilt he felt - - because when he was in high school, he knew a child who had had a cleft, and he and his friends teased her mercilessly. That proud man -- that grown-up macho boy - sat in a room full of strangers and cried, because at last he understood the pain he caused that girl.

And now it was HIS little girl's turn -- and he hoped and he prayed -- he BEGGED God -- that his little girl would be lucky enough that she would not ever meet a person like him. That's heavy stuff, Rachel. And those boys in your school are now the same people that he was back then. They don't have a clue. But someday life is going to smack them between the eyes, and their overriding thought will be -- "If only I knew where that lovely young girl is now, I would ask her if she could find it in her heart to forgive me for being such a cruel jerk."


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