Bentley Boyer was born with a cleft lip — a condition that affects 1 in every 1,600 babies in the USA. Although at two years of age he’d already undergone two corrective surgeries, he still has a further operation due when he’s older. But one thing is certainly helping the youngster: he has a buddy with the same condition, thanks to a visit to a farm.
In fact, on a trip to Jackson County Animal Shelter in Michigan to look for some chickens to add to the family’s numerous farm animals, Bentley’s dad got a little side-tracked. While there, he spotted a little puppy called Lacey who also has a cleft lip like his son.
Right away he phoned his wife Ashley and showed her the puppy. Without any hesitation she told her husband: “You need to get her, we need her.”
Bentley’s father spoke to the women at the shelter and explained that his son had a cleft lip and that the family would love to adopt Lacey. According to the Belfast Times, the ladies agreed and believed: “it was meant to be.”
Ashley shared what happened when her son met Lacey and spotted her cleft lip:
He pointed it out, he said ‘puppy’s got a booboo’ and I said ‘puppy has a booboo just like you used to.’ He said ‘puppy has booboo like me?’ and I said ‘yes.’ So I think he’s starting to understand that he and the puppy have something in common, because when he sees pictures of himself with a cleft lip he says ‘that’s Bentley with booboo.’ I think it’s going to mean a lot to him.”
A friend for life
Ashley also pointed out: “As of right now he’s [Bentley] practically fine, he’s the happiest kid ever. He’s the most open, loving kid ever.” And with Lacey by his side, the young boy will certainly thrive and have his four-legged friend to turn to as he grows older and faces further surgery.
For the shelter, the adoption was particularly moving, as they shared on their Facebook post: “It’s so hard to put into words how meaningful this adoption is to all of us, so we are going to let the pictures speak for themselves…. We wish many years of joy as this special pair grow up together!”
While it’s a delight to see this adorable pair together, shockingly a cleft lip is considered a justifiable reason to abort a baby beyond the 24-week cut off point. In the UK, 17 abortions were carried out on babies with a cleft lip in 2019. And out of them, three were performed between 24 weeks pregnancy and birth, according to Right of Life.
Hopefully stories like Bentley and Lacey’s will show just how fulfilling life can be with their little differences.