For parents, few things are worse than outliving your children. Unfortunately, Dan and Cathi Johnson experienced that crushing feeling, times two. Luckily, they have been helped in healing by the gift of Matthew, a child they adopted after he was abandoned by his mother due to his cleft lip and palate, which sadly is not entirely uncommon.
In the United States, one in 700 babies are born with a cleft lip; the cause is not known in most cases. While there is nothing that can prevent the condition from occurring, cleft lips and palates can be detected before birth. After birth, surgery is required; the one for cleft lip is usually performed at 3 months of age, while cleft palate requires multiple surgeries spanning the first 18 years.