When we found out that Carson was going to be born with a cleft, we made a the decision that we were not going to hide it. If we wanted people to accept him, then we needed to be completely open. The helpful comments that many gave were always meant well, but didn’t always hit the intended mark of comforting us. And so the story of Mr. Wiggles came to us …
While I was still carrying him, we talked about Carson’s cleft with our church family–answering questions and asking for their prayers. I remember thinking I want to talk about this so much that it becomes common to me, so people won’t feel sorry for me anymore, and so I won’t cry anymore when I talk about it . I chose to have joy. Even though it was not always an easy decision, I know it was the right one.
A sincere and sweet lady walked up to me after church. She was very serious when she said, “I’ve been praying about this, and really feel like the Lord would want me to tell you this. I really think this will help you see that everything will be all right.” She held my hand at this point and teared up. “I have a dog named Wiggles that was born with a cleft lip. The vet fixed it, and you can’t even tell. Now, he’ll never be able to father puppies, but he is just fine. I just wanted to encourage you , honey.”
Now, I could have been offended and hurt, but I chose not to . I couldn’t help it; I laughed out loud! My unborn child was being compared to a dog, that couldn’t have pups, but he’ll be okay? What sort of response was I to give to this? All I could think to say was, “Thank you?”
The story has now become a staple in our family history. Even today, we have friends who call our son, “Mr. Wiggles,” although he doesn’t know the story or why they do so. Maybe you think we’re nuts or twisted or crazy, but we chose to laugh instead of cry. We chose joy.