Brian Pierce felt an instant connection with a particular baby in China when he saw her adoption photo.

“We opened her profile and saw that beautiful face looking back at us. We wanted to scoop her up right then and hold her, but she was on the other side of the world,” says Brian.

Even just looking at a photo, there was never a doubt that this little girl was the perfect match. She was born with a cleft lip and palate, just like Brian.

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He vowed to make her life better, like his parents did for him. So once the baby, whom they named Hattie, became a little older he brought her in to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta—the same hospital where he had his surgeries when he was a boy.

“I knew what was in store for Hattie. I knew that I could help,” he wrote in a blog post for the hospital. “I couldn’t keep her from having to go through any of it, but I could be there for her.”

Brian knew that he could also help her through any sadness she might feel because she looked different than other children.

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“I could say, ‘Daddy went through that, too. And here I am, smiling at you, proof that it all turns out okay in the end,’” he added.

Soon enough it was time for Hattie’s surgery and Brian found himself back at Children’s—this time, with his “sweet, precious Hattie”.

“She was being wheeled into the operating room instead of me. I was sleeping on the sofa at night instead of my dad.”

But one thing was different, says Brian. “She is tougher than I ever was.”

After two surgeries, and possibly more on the horizon, Hattie, now age 4, is a “confident, happy girl.”

CLICK to Share the Joy – (Photo via Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)

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