About Us

About Us

Keith and I (Jennica) have three fantastic kids: Adelaide (born 2008), Clarence (2010), and Eloise (2011).  Adelaide was born with a port wine stain on the right side of her face, which looked like a big, red-wine-colored map of China masking half her face.  The port wine stain is basically a proliferation of blood vessels that grows with her.  If left untreated, the mass of blood vessels would continue to grow thicker and darker, eventually getting nodular and interfering with functions like eyesight. 

Luckily, treatment is available in the form of regular laser surgeries at Children’s Hospital.  After her birth, the dermatologist originally estimated that she would need between 12 and 20 surgeries, but her stain is turning out to be more resistant than anticipated.  We’re well past 30-some treatments and still going a few times a year.  Every time she grows, the blood vessels beneath the skin grow, too; it’s a constant weed-whacking battle. 

Due to the effective treatments and our awesome surgeon, the stain has (in Keith’s words) faded “from grape jelly to strawberry jam.”  Quite frankly, it’s a lovely shade of pink now, especially in sunlight!  However, each treatment bruises the blood vessels beneath the surface for about a week, usually in a grid pattern, turning the stain a mottled dark purple – that’s usually when people ask about it. 

Eventually, the treatments will kill enough blood vessels to clear the stain from her face, but we don’t know how much longer, or how many more surgeries, that will take.  Then, we can do intermittent ‘maintenance’ treatments just to make sure the weeds don’t grow back.

In the meantime, our concern is raising a confident girl in today’s world who loves herself, loves her beauty, loves people, and shows grace and gratitude even when people are less than perfect toward her. Please feel free to leave your comments, experience, & insight!

  1. Hello! Interested in getting permission to use a photo of Addy (here – https://whathappenedtoherface.com/2013/08/22/when-we-thought-about-treating-baby-addys-port-wine-stain/ – or other) within an online Bioethics course. I’m happy to give more details. Let me know how I might get in touch with you other than on this website.

  2. Hi. Can you tell us how Addy is doing now? Did she reach the maintenance part?

  3. Awesome! Its actually amazing paragraph, I have got much
    clear idea regarding from this post.

  4. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog and I am thrilled to have found it. My daughter was born in July with a port wine stain almost identical to your daughters. It is mainly on the central area of her face and we are planning on starting laser treatments when she is six months old. (She was a preemie born at 30 weeks and is now at home on oxygen, so we have to wait until she is off of that to begin.) I have a lot of the same feelings and emotions about her stain that you have expressed… Obviously I think she’s beautiful and perfect in every way, but I also know how cruel kids can be. I just pray that my husband and I can give her confidence so that she can handle all of the stares and comments with grace. Your daughter is beautiful and it seems that she is extremely confident. I am excited to follow your blog and hopefully learn how to instill that same self-worth in my daughter as she grows. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much for your comment! It made my day. 🙂 I’m glad to be of some encouragement. It’s overwhelming enough to be a new parent (of a preemie, no less!), and then more so to have something unique like a port wine stain thrown on top of it all.

      I hope you continue enjoying the blog here! I’m learning more every day. Keep me posted on your journey, too – I love finding other parents in this situation!

      Take care,
      -Jennica

  5. computeraddict1962

    I’m a parent of a disabled child who doesn’t always show his disability. I got questions all the time about why he acted this way; when he got older it was more of, what’s wrong with him? People can be cruel in how they present their questions but there are a lot of people I educated (as I am sure you have regarding your daughter’s port wine stain) about Autism and developmental delays. God bless you and your family.

    • Thank you so much! (Sorry it took so long to reply here!) I’ve heard another mother similarly talk about her autistic son, who’s high-functioning enough to confuse strangers when he acts out his autism. I can only imagine the dirty looks a mother would get when her older kid ‘misbehaves’ like a toddler! (A friend of mine would get dirty looks whenever her strong, solidly-built 3-year old behaved like a 3-year old in the grocery store, rather than the 5-year old she appeared to be.) And I’ve probably given such looks myself. Now that I’m older (and, I hope, wiser with 3 kids of my own), I’m slower to judge other parents’ kids, knowing that they might be younger than they appear or have a hidden disability like autism…

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