I should start at the beginning. I was born in Ukraine, but given up at 6 months of age to the Kremenchuk orphanage outside of Kiev. At three and a half, I was adopted and brought to the United States of America, Where I have lived with my adoptive family since. One day I’d like to meet my birth parents. The rest of my life is pretty normal, school, friends, family, etc. Except for my Cleft.
I was born with a cleft palate, pharyngeal flap, and lip. I’ve had over ten surgeries in 14 years, and I’m still going. So, that kinda sucks honestly. A Cleft palate is basically where the roof of the mouth does not finish fusing together before birth.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that occur very early in pregnancy while the baby is developing inside the mother. Clefting results when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available does not join together properly. In most cases, the cause of cleft lip and cleft palate is unknown. These conditions cannot be prevented. Most scientists believe clefts are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
It takes repeated surgeries to close the gap, and more to repair the cleft lip because it spreads into the nose and nostril cavity, deforming both of those. When it becomes repaired, there is a ton of scars. The roof of my mouth is all scarred up, and there is o jagged one that runs up from my mouth to my nose, but unless I told you, most of you will never know. My nose and lip are still slightly malformed, but you’d never really notice unless it was pointed out really. Here are a few pictures to demonstrate. (The adorable guy on the bottom is not me)