You won’t believe this incredible story from a grateful father!
Dear Alliance for Smiles,
I want to tell you the story about how I brought my son Ji Wu to you.
I was buying vegetables at our village market and heard about a group called “Alliance for Smiles” doing free cleft surgery at HuangShi Central Hospital.
I ran and bought a newspaper and brought it home to show my wife. She said we must hurry because there are only two days left. We immediately took our cleft child, Ji Wu, and caught a bus to HuangShi. On the way we had to change buses in two different towns and our trip took us 6 hours.
We got to the hospital only to learn that we had arrived too late. There were only a limited number of days and children that the team could treat. Out of desperation my wife and I took a chance and went to the team’s hotel.
We begged them to take our son, Ji Wu, and they did! He was operated on the next day.
We are a family of six. We have two sons and elderly parents. Before we had the opportunity with Alliance for Smiles, I was prepared to leave my family and find a job in the city where I could earn more money. It would have taken me 10 or 20 years away from my family to earn what I needed.
My wife and family did not want me to leave them so I agreed to put our son into an orphanage.
In my heart I firmly disagreed. We should be happy to have a son we love, and we should take life step by step. Even though my parents are old, they wanted to go into the city and pick up scraps to sell for Ji Wu’s surgery. My older son said that he loved his little brother and will happily stop going to school so he could work to help the family. He said he would do anything as long as we did not put his little brother in an orphanage.
Every night, I heard my parents and wife cry themselves to sleep. I was near my breaking point with this heavy burden. I saw other children laughing with their parents and playing with other children and yet my son had never been out of our house. We never go out as a family. I used to socialize with my neighbors, but after our son was born, I felt inferior and I had nothing to say to my fellow villagers.
In my village, I have seen several cleft children. There was a child about the same age as my son that was abandoned in the streets because he was born with a cleft lip. On the child, there was a note with information about when the child was born, but no one picked the child up.
In my country, it is a big burden to have a child with a cleft lip because they are never accepted and as a parent, you are considered less than everyone in your village.
I am very thankful that Alliance for Smiles operated on my son.
You have given us hope and a bright future for our son. I want to thank you for your contribution, not just to my son, but for all the suffering cleft children. I will tell my son when he grows up that there are a lot of kind aunts and uncles in HuangShi Central Hospital and across the Pacific Ocean, in a country called America where there is an organization called “Alliance for Smiles” that does free cleft lip and palate surgeries.
They have restored the happy smile to my son.
If we have a chance we will come back to the Hospital to meet and thank the Alliance for Smiles Team. We will never forget your kindness. There is no border, the World is one big family. There is still kindness in the world and you have given unconditional love.
I wish you all a life of peace and safety.
– JhiJhi Hu (father)