Henry’s Smileversary

Post Shared by Tara, Henry’s mom. Originally posted on April 1, 2015. Feel free to follow their story here.

Today marks 1 year since Henry had his first surgery. He had his lip/nose/gumline repaired April 1, 2014. In the cleft community it is usually referred to as their “Smileversary.” It’s the day we said goodbye to his old smile, and fell in love with his second smile.


When I found out at my 20 week ultrasound that our child would be born with a cleft lip and palate, I remember finding the online support groups and everyone would always say, “Just wait, once his cleft is repaired you will miss his old smile.”

I honestly thought this was just something that parents said because it makes the new parents a little more at ease. Why would you miss their cleft?

 Caitlinn Mahar-Daniels PhotographyCaitlinn Mahar-Daniels Photography

Well, the day of surgery I remember feeling really sad that his lip was being repaired. This is how God gave him to us, this is how it should be. Of course, I knew it had to be repaired.

Now when I think of the parents that said, you will miss his cleft after it’s repaired, I wouldn’t say that I actually miss it. I feel like it was a lifetime ago and it was who he was. He was perfect in our eyes then and he is perfect in our eyes now. So it kinda seems like it was just a phase or blip that he went through. I don’t miss it. I am so focused on how big he is now, how he likes to laugh in our cats faces as he touches their nose, and how he thinks he’s jumping when he squats down and stands back up.

I guess I should say I don’t miss it in a sense that I yearn for it again. I miss it in a sense that when I look at old pictures of him my first thought is “He’s so small!” The cleft doesn’t even show, it’s just him.