February 13, 2012

"Why is one nostril bigger than the other?"

That was the question I got over the weekend from my 7 year old son, Quan. We adopted Quan from China in 2007. He had a cl/cp. Both were repaired upon arriving home, he was in speech therapy until 2010, and he has done AMAZING.

I know not every experience with cl/cp is this simple. I do not take for granted how easy Quan's special need has been in our case.

Or maybe I do.

Because honestly? I've forgotten about it. The repairs and therapies seem so long ago!

So when he asked me this, of course I said, "What are you talking about? One nostril is not bigger than the other!"

"It looks that way to me" he said with his eyebrows all scrunched up.

I got right down close to his nose and scrunched my eyebrows up too....searching....really trying to see the smaller nostril.

"Nope. I don't see a difference. Kimmie? (same age sister adopted at same time as he) Do you think one of his nostrils looks bigger?"

"Not really. I can't tell any different," she said with all honesty.

Quan said, "Well, it looks different to me."

I really tried to look at his nose from a different perspective....not from my momma-who-only-sees-an-adorable-dimpled-7-year-old-bundle-of-silliness-and-fun.....but from somebody else's perspective. I remembered how many people have met Quan and didn't even know he had a cl/cp. Maybe there IS a teeny tiny little difference in the size of his nostrils....so I say,

"You know, one might be a little smaller, Quan. But I certainly can't tell much of a difference if at all!"

That was good enough for him, and off he went to finish his lego plane.

Quan has an upcoming appointment with an oral surgeon to see if it's time to get his cleft in his gum-line repaired. Maybe since he's aware of that appointment, he is really processing and thinking about his mouth and nose and how he was born with a cl/cp....maybe that sparked his question. Or maybe he's just 7 and was picking his nose in the bathroom mirror and realized one nostril is bigger.

Regardless, it is what it is. We take the questions as they come, we answer with honesty, and we pray for wisdom as we navigate the road of parenting. Thank the Lord we do not have to do it alone!!!!

I don't know about you, but nostrils are not the first thing I see in a person. :) And in Quan? Yep, pretty much all I can see is 100% CUTENESS!!!!!!


  1. 100% cuteness, for SURE!!!
    Keep us posted on the upshot of his upcoming oral surgeon visit... hope that all goes well :)

  2. Oh wisdom. Yes, we pray for that in this journey as well.

    But I can confirm that all I see is 100% cuteness too!

  3. Pure cuteness, indeed! And as a cleft mama I have to say that his repair looks GREAT! I can't even notice a thing!

  4. Wow - your doc is BRILLIANT - I would not have noticed any kind of repair either!

    But yeah - pray for that wisdom every day - I know I do!!

  5. My husband's family is full of dentists and oral surgeons and it's amazing what can be done with CL/CP. They really look beyond functionality and turn it almost into an art form. Seriously, every dentist I've known, including my husband, has a strong art aesthetic and they're proud of their 100% cuteness patients!

  6. What a sweet post. Bless him. He's beautiful! And so precious that he looks to you {of course!} for reassurance about the way he looks. Our son is only five and notices things about himself that are different than us...scars he has, etc. Precious babies.

  7. My seven year old daughter has been asking me the same question about her nostrils. She too is thinking about the next round of surgeries, which could include the big gum-line repair.

    He is a cutie, that's for sure!!!