Saturday, February 2, 2008

God's will

Even though it's sometimes hard for us to remember that Ian is different, not everyone makes it so easy. We went out to eat last night with some friends. When our waitress saw Ian she asked, "Aw, a baby. Does he have something stuck in his mouth?" (Referring to the NAM.) My first reaction was anger. Why would someone say something like that? Luckily DJ was the first to say anything. He explained that Ian had a cleft lip and palate. "Oh, I've seen documentaries on kids like that. He's going to be such a sweet boy." I was still a bit frustrated with the whole thing. I had to remind myself that most people are not familiar with clefts and as parents of a cleft baby, it is part of our responsiblity to teach them.

DJ and I were talking the other night about Ian's conditions. Once I found out I was pregnant with Ian, I did everything I could to ensure he would be a healthy baby. Since he was a surprise baby, I didn't start taking prenatal vitamins until 8 weeks into the pregnancy. I did my best to eat healthy once we did learn about him, taking care to not eat things not recommend for pregnant women. Once we found out about Ian's cleft, I was even more careful and ate even healthier. For example, eating blueberries, which are good for the brain and no-caffine, which is bad for the baby in large amounts. I made sure to stay away from others who were smoking. I didn't want Ian to have to deal with anything else. Sometimes now I can't help but feel like there was more I could have done. Did the fact that I did not start taking the vitamins until later have an impact on his cleft? Or even, had we been tested, could we have learned our child could have blood disorders? Well, the other night DJ reminded me that there was nothing we could have done differently. God wanted Ian to be like he is. He hasn't given us more than we can handle. Instead He's blessed us with a child that can teach us, as well as others, about his differences that so many others also deal with. Only God knows exactly why Ian was born with a cleft, but I know our little man will do great things.


The Ski's said...

Hi, Mary. I am sooo with you on this post. I had a woman come up to me last week and look at Reid. I never know if I should prep them as to Reid having a cleft or not. Should I warn them? Should I let them know that we are totally comfortable with how he looks...and we are so blessed to have him??? I have realized that I do not need to say anything at all. Let them see how comfortable we are sharing him with others...and hopefully they we be comfortable in talking with us. However, this lady said something that really upset me. She said, "Oh, they can do really great things with that now. He is going to be really beautiful someday." Wow...someday, huh? He is beautiful now, and we are lucky to have him. Also..the guilt can't do to yourself. This is not something that you did. This is something that God did. He knew that you were the perfect parents for Ian. He knew that you would be able to be an advocate for Ian and for others like him. What an awesome responsibility..but also how awesome to be trusted with this little miracle. You have a beautiful son. Period. Many blessings, Mary. Take care.

Jessica said...

Mary, your love for Ian and your desire for him to have the best out of life is so beautiful! Ian is such a beautiful and strong little boy with amazing parents. He has been blessed in so many ways and he doesn’t even know it yet! I am excited to see the Lord’s plan continue to unfold for him.
<3 Jessica

teresa said...

Ian could not have chosen more perfect parents and I don't think Mary and DJ could have chosen a more perfect baby! I love you all so much and I am so proud to be his grandmother and to show this website to my friends and everyone I know. Ian is beautiful and he already has taught us all so much! Ian has so many people who love him already! How special is that? Don’t ever let the ignorance of other people stand in the way of you taking Ian out in public and don’t hesitate to let them know Ian is the most beautiful baby in the world right now!!!!
I love you all

HeatPete said...

Mary, I want you to know that you are not alone. You and my wife could probably share the same brain. We have yet to meet our little one, but we still have those thoughts of, "what could have I done differently?" DJ is right, God created our little ones in His mirror image. Is there an email you have that we could talk more often through?

Jessica (DJ's Cousin!) said...

Oh Mary!!! I can relate - kinda!! Just last night we ran into someone that we haven't seen in a while, and his first reaction was, "What have you done to your hair!!!!" Thankfully Martin talked first and said that I had a brain tumor and I wouldn't have cut my hair like that on purpose.

I think we both need to read "You Are Special"!! I don't know why God chose to make Baby Ian like He did, just like I don't know why He chose to let me have a brain tumor, but I know there was a reason. I honestly believe that He allowed us to experience the things we've all gone through as a testiment to others though. Maybe someone out there needed Ian to go through all he has to endure (and you and DJ too). Sometimes thinking that way makes me angry because I think that I shouldn't suffer just to help someone else, but then I think of that scripture about God not putting more on us that we can bare. Sure, it's hard. And sure, we can vent and cry and moan sometimes; but ultimately God knew that we could all handle just what He's given us!! That humbles me...

As for you feeling guilty, there is nothing that you could have done differently. The Bible also states that ONLY GOD IS THE GIVER OF LIFE!!!! Not Mary!! WHOA! That should take some pressure off!

For whatever reason, He made little Ian just how He wants him. The cool part is that He gave him to you and DJ!!

Erica2204 said...

I don't always have the perfect words but I do have one point to make... "When you know better, you do better" I can semi-a little-relate to your anger/frustration with people due to Christian and his patch. He is so self conscious about it and it really makes it worse when people constantly ask "What's wrong with your eye?" People are naturally curious, but I think more often than not, they just don't realize how their curiousity can make you feel.

John, Shannon, Broderick, Camden, and Adalynn said...

I couldn't have said it any better. I, totally agree with you, that God blesses special people with special children. There are only a select few that are blessed with little ones as sweet and special as ours. I, too, have horrible experiences with other people. I don't mind children's comments...but when a grown adult says something about Adalynn's cleft that is rude, I am very upset. Most of our horrible experiences were at Wal-Mart though.

Just always remember that his :first: face is the one God gave him and it will always be the one you love most. Now, don't get me wrong-I think Adalynn is beautiful now, but her first face is what I fell in love with at birth and I will always miss it!

Allison said...

I just found your blog as a link on Adalynn's page. My name is Allison and my daughter Abigael, Abby for short, was born 3/12/07 with a unilateral cleft lip, cleft alveolar ridge, and a possible submucous cleft palate. I too can relate with how you were feeling. I will always remember the time we were out to eat and a little boy came up and asked me what was wrong with her, which was ok in itself. But after I explained about her cleft he touched his own lip and pulled it up and down and said "that's so weird, that's so weird!" I looked at him and said, "You know, that's not very nice!" What got me was that his father just stood there watching his son's behavior, looked at me, shrugged and grunted and said "Come on, Shane."

All we can do for our kiddos is to be a strong advocate for them and others like them. I've found that people just don't understand ALL that is involved with having a cleft. Most seem to think it can be "fixed" in one surgery and everything will be just fine. Don't get me wrong, we are all extremely fortunate to have our beautiful perfect kids, and really in the grand scheme of things a cleft is not that big of a deal. But as a mother, your heart breaks for your child to see the way some people react or behave. That's why we need to be strong and set a wonderful example for our kids, so they can grow up with the tools they need to teach others tolerance, dignity, and acceptance.

Your little Ian is Beautiful! I'm sure he's just a little sweetheart!

You can find out more about Abby at

Lori said...

I think some people just don't think before they speak. I have no idea how it feels to be in your position, and I can't imagine how difficult it could be at time. But babies are a blessing no matter. God doesn't give you more than you can handle --- and you and DJ are handling all of this with such grace!

Here's my, very different, but situation where someone spoke before they really thought about what they were saying (or maybe she was just not a nice lady)...Lainey and I were in Old Navy and this lady walked up to me and was like "what a precious little girl." I thanked her and she looked at me and said "and the moms just keep getting younger and younger" and walked off. It was so hateful and unnecessary in my opinion. Some people are just naive.

P.S. I took about 10 prenatal vitamins my whole pregnancy (they made me feel bad) and Lainey turned out ok. Remember way back when they didn't have all these cool thing they have now. They do help, I'm not discounting that, but people did this before there was all this technology. God lets happen what will happen. You have a beautiful little boy who is going to be such inspiration to everyone! Just think about everything he's taught you guys and everyone you've encountered and he's only a few months old. There's so much teaching to go! :)