Success Stories

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Kerris

Kelly Manosh of Hyde Park and her husband, Jeff, adopted their daughter, Kerris, from China when the girl was 2 years old. The Manoshes knew beforehand that she had a cleft lip and palate.

Kelly Manosh says that one reason they chose to adopt Kerris was because she had been a dental hygienist for 15 years and was familiar with complications of the mouth and jaw. But another big factor, she adds, was because she knew Vermont has such a good "cleft team" to help families every step of the way.

"They were amazing," Manosh says. "They sat in a circle around us, and it was every profession that we needed and even some we didn't ... I knew we'd have the guidance we needed without having to research everything myself."

When Kerris first arrived, Manosh adds, she could barely say "mama" due to the irregularities in her mouth. Today, Manosh describes her now 9-year-old daughter's speech as "amazing." In fact, she adds, most people wouldn't guess that she ever had a cleft. For that, she credits Laub.

"He's very thorough, and he's very compassionate," she says. "It feels like he's super knowledgeable and experienced, so you feel safe and secure."

For kids who started life with so many challenges to overcome, that's something worth smiling about.