A number of years ago, my wife went into labor and I took her to the hospital. I was an instructor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and had an office in the research lab just a few blocks from the hospital. So instead of waiting around at the hospital, I went a few blocks back to the lab.
It took a while but then the doctor called to say we had a new baby girl. There was a problem though with the baby. The doctor said she had a cleft lip and a cleft palate. He asked if I knew what that was and I said I did not have a clue.
He explained that while considered a minor birth defect, it was visually a problem as the top of the mouth was open to the nose and the lip was open like a cut to the nose.
When the doctor said a cleft, I thought of Kirk Douglas who had what I thought was a cleft in his chin that was a minor indentation. I thought better than to mention that to the doctor. I just told him I had no idea what he meant.
When I went to the hospital, I went to my wife. She seemed to take it very well but I know it bothered her; she concealed it with humor and lightheartedness.
Then it was my turn to take a look at our baby. I went down the hall where she was on display with all of the other babies. Because she had a problem (I assume) she was in the back, behind the others.
As I looked, it was quite obvious of the problem. It looked very scary to me. I am sure I prayed but I have no idea what I said.
About this time, a lady came by and saw me looking. She asked me which one was mine and I told her that it was the one in the back.
Now there was no question that she had this very visual defect to her face but this woman totally ignored it. She said that she was such a beautiful baby. She made such a fuss going on and on how good she looked.
I can never forget what that woman said while I could not describe her at all. I am confident that she was a real angel that was sent by God to tell me that God loved me, my wife and our child.
I still, over thirty years later, cannot relate this story without crying profusely.