Juliana Wetmore was born with a severe facial deformity called Treacher Collins Syndrome which mangled what was suppose to be an adorable newborn face. She is beautiful just the same. While her face will need extensive surgery to limit problems and make her life easier, the rest of her is perfectly normal. She uses sign language to communicate because she can't speak or hear yet. She is an incredible little girl. I encourage you to catch the program Born Without A Face on Discovery Health. Our entire family watched it together and we feel very blessed to have learned more about her. You won't ever forget Juliana and your problems will seem miniscule in comparison.
Juliana has something three of our children didn't have. She has LIFE. She can receive and give love. While some would question the value of her life, her parents looked beyond the outside and saw their child. Watch their faces when she goes to surgery. The love they feel for her is so evident. She is a princess to them. The highest paid model pales in comparison to the beauty they see in their Juliana. Clearly, every bit of expense, worry and effort on their part seems a small price to pay for the joy she gives them.
There are many people who think their weight, hang nails, traffic jams, financial problems or a heel blister are worth agonizing over. They get completely wrapped up in life's small aggravations and forget they can continue to reach for and achieve goals. Then they see a child like Juliana struggling but living with gusto enjoying every moment she can. Upon introspect they suddenly realize they are the "disabled" person, not by conditions of birth, but by their attitude that limits them from being and doing more. They realize how very blessed they are, stop whining and start using what God has given them. Instead of questioning the cost to society for their medical needs, why don't we start looking at how much people with medical challenges add to our society? How many people are inspired, touched, motivated, softened or encouraged merely by knowing of their existence?
God sends us people with differences to help the rest of us learn about life and living each day for all it is worth. He gives them to us to add to OUR lives. Their contribution is an asset to society that cannot be measured and is certainly one we cannot afford to lose.
You can learn more about Juliana here:
UPDATE 6/4/06: Nurse Jeanne wrote us to let us know of Juliana's new website at: http://www.julianawetmore.net/
There were two parts of this program that particularly touched us. One was when she had to undergo a medical procedure and she reached out to her Daddy for comfort. He picked her up and gave her the love she needed. The other was when she was drooling and her mother, without a thought, wiped her daughter's mouth with her bare hand. Any loving parent can relate to these two scenes.
Our children really related to the scene where she licks her birthday cake. She can't eat and is fed through a tube in her stomach, but you could tell she liked the taste of that beautiful birthday cake when she turned her head to look at her Daddy like "WOW! Good stuff!"