Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Proud Mama

I'm not sure where to start. Perhaps with the picture I got minutes ago from Mexico. Not everyone knows that my son, Shaun, was born with a cleft lip and palate. It is not something that defines him, but rather something that has been part of making him the person he is. And I am so very proud of the adult he has become!

Shaun, who is the Creative Director at Royall Media, went down to Oaxaca, Mexico with the owner, Will. Will decided that it was time for his growing advertising company to give back and chose Share. With camera in hand, they went with the Share medical team to work on children needing cleft lip and palate repairs.

That is Shaun on the left! They were allowed to scrub in and help out. Amazing! I'd give a lot right this minute to find out exactly how Shaun felt when this picture was taken. What an experience for both these young men who first met when they were part of Stetson University's Digital Arts program!

Obviously what they are doing is close to my heart as well. It is never easy to find out that your baby is going to need multiple surgeries. When you first hear about what your baby is going to have to face, your heart drops, your eyes fill and you wish that you could go back in time and change... what? You don't know what you did, what you could have done differently. The doctors still don't know why this craniofacial deformity occurs so they really can't tell you what you could have done differently.

All you know is that it is, what it is. You need to make the best of it. You have to make the best of it. You need to be strong for the little one that you have just seen rushed to the NICU. You need to be strong every time that you have to place your infant, toddler, child, teenager in the hands of the surgeons and their medical team. You need to smile as they are taken away and hold your sobs until your baby is out of sight and can no longer hear your heart breaking as you wait the inteminable hours and minutes until he or she is placed in your arms again. And so my heart is full of many things tonight. Pride for what my son and his friend are doing in Mexico and incredible empathy for the mothers and fathers that are placing their children in the hands of the surgical team that is helping change their children's lives for the better.


Lynne said...

This is such a great entry M-C. I can see why you'd be so proud! You'll have to do a follow up after you talk to your son about his experience.

Miss Crystal said...

What a great story M-C. He is doing fabulous work. It is obvious that you did a great job raising him =D

Kenda said...

How awesome it is that Shaun got to do that! What a wonderful and I'm sure life changing experience.

Shaun Whalen said...

She's a pretty darn good mom I think. Oaxaca was pretty amazing. I need to post some of the pictures I took while down there. I've also started editing the documentary too. I'll send my mom links to all that when it's done should any of you want to see it.