Living with Cleft Lip and Palate, Josh and Alissa

Josh and Alissa’s Story - Written by their mom, Susan

Josh and Alissa with their mom, Susan

Susan shares her family’s story of two of their children, Josh and Alissa. Josh and Alissa were adopted, both born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Read their family’s story below.

Our experience with cleft lip and palate has expanded over the years through the experiences of two of our three Chinese-born, adopted children: Emily, Alissa, and Joshua. Alissa, was adopted at 18 months. She had a minor cleft palate that was easily repaired in the United States with the help of a cleft lip and palate team. She has experienced no issues since her repair. Joshua, on the other hand, was adopted at age two, and he has had multiple surgeries with the expectation of many more throughout his childhood. His first two surgeries to repair his lip and palate were completed in China. Since coming to the United States, Josh has had two more surgeries to repair his birth defect. He receives specialized care through a cleft lip and palate team. We travel over two hours each way to ensure that he has the best care possible. Because kids with clefts need a variety of special services, cleft teams help provide this specialized care in a coordinated manner. Even though we know there are multiple surgeries in his future, we are so pleased with the efforts of specialists and national associations in this country to provide exceptional care for children like Alissa and Josh so that they can have the best possible future.