special need highlight: adopting a child with cleft lip and palate

February 12, 2014 cl/cp, cleft lip, Craniofacial, Family Stories 1 Comments

Two years ago I fell in love with a very small 7 month old little boy with big sad eyes and the hiccups. He didn’t cry much and loved to be held. He was the most beautiful little boy. He also had a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate. At that time, I was on a trip to China visiting an orphanage and didn’t know that I would ever see that little boy again. I didn’t know anything about cleft lip and palate and I had no idea how that sweet little boy’s life could be changed.


Two years later that same little boy lives in my house and still holds my heart! He has grown older and bigger. He has gone through several surgeries with more to come. By looking at him now you would never guess the changes that have been made to his beautiful little face. This mamma has learned a lot about cleft lip and palate since that trip two years ago and the learning is ongoing. He has had surgeries and attends speech therapy. Some sounds come easily and some he struggles with. He drank out of a special bottle until just last month and I have to often explain to others that at 2 and a half he still can’t drink a juice box because he doesn’t know how to suck. His teeth aren’t quite in the right place and some are fused together but he is the most beautiful boy to me!


Cleft lip and palate can be scary to some because it is an obvious facial deformity. And although it is a process it is a very fixable need! Some children with cleft lip and palate only have that one birth defect and some children have other needs as well. Our son also has issues with hernias which could indicate more is going on than just a simple birth defect. These babies were created perfectly by God and need parents to love them on their journey!

~Post by Heather (NHBO Advocacy Team)

Waiting Children with Cleft Lip and Palate

Lance is a beautiful 3 year old with post-operative cleft lip and palate. He also has a significant developmental delay in language and emotional development. He communicates with just a few sounds. He enjoys playing with his hands in bed and he is very happy when it is time to eat! Lance is considered special focus but must be matched with a family that is logged in by July 1, 2014. More information can be obtained by emailing Small World Adoptions.


Adam is just 10 months old with cleft lip and palate. This little boy is described as active and restless. He likes playing with caregivers and he smiles at people he knows. He is described as a smart boy. His file is available to families logged in by March 15, 2014. For more information on Adam email Small World Adoptions.


Vivian is a darling 6 year old girl diagnosed with cleft lip and palate. She is able to drink liquids using a special bottle and she enjoys solid foods such as cookies and fruits. She also experiences some weakness in her left hand and has stiffness in her left arm and leg although it does not impede her ability to walk or climb stairs. She has normal mobility and flexibility on the right side of her body. Her language abilities are also delayed. Vivian is loved by her caregivers and enjoys laughing and playing with other children. Money is currently being raised for Vivian to assist with lip surgery. For more information on Vivian contact Dillon International.


Update! Vivian has had surgery on her lip, and she is said to be so very grateful to the doctors and loves her new look!


Alice is a 17 month old baby girl with cleft lip and palate. The information given was from a year old and states she could sit up and stand with support. She had a very strong connection with her caregivers. She is able to imitate and is very curious and engaging. She likes being held and enjoys colorful objects and toys that make sounds. For more information on Alice contact Gladney Adoptions.


Visit Rainbow Kids for more information on Cleft Lip and Palate.

Families who have adopted children with cleft lip and palate:
Under the Sycamore
One More Ladybug
Aging with Grace and Strong Will

Contact the Advocacy Team more information on beginning the adoption journey.

One response to “special need highlight: adopting a child with cleft lip and palate”

  1. kathrynlbaker@hotmail.com says:

    Can you tell me what other conditions you are referencing (when you consider the hernias too)? We are in the process of adopting a CL/CP palate with hernias also. Please feel free to private message me if you feel comfortable sharing. Thanks!

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