Hey! My name is Anna Zine and was born with a cleft lip. Now a teen, I created "Cleft Cafe" to be a safe support place for other youngsters with a cleft lip or a cleft palate. Whether you're looking for empathy, self-esteem tips, interesting ideas, or you just want to chat, you're welcome to the cafe anytime! It sucked that there was never anything for us on the web that we, or at least I, could relate to. It was time to spread the word about clefts! So, here I am to offer support to all of you, and hopefully I can get it in return...
We are all amazing people, I have learned... it sounds really stupid now that I'm typing it, but gosh is it true. It's crazy that it is such a big deal that people have differences! It isn't gross, it's awesome to be different! It shapes each individual into their own being and gives wisdom for the times ahead... I'm still trying to feel that inside. Besides, none of us are perfect... we are all different in some way. Personally, ours is frankly just a little more noticeable than others.
"We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all." --Andrew, "The Breakfast Club"
Here's My Story-- What Inspired Me to Make This:
Hi there, I'm Anna.
I enjoy many things including math, fashion, baking, family, film, nature, blogging, and art. I spend my time diddly-daddling around, re-sale shopping, watching retro TV shows and crude British comedies, walking my two silly pooches, playing cards with my family, and going to an alternative high school in Madison, Wisconsin.
Oh, and not to forget, I spend much time blogging about my cleft.
On January 16th, 1995, I was born with a facial difference called a "cleft lip". When I was younger, it felt like I was constantly being judged because of my facial difference, ever since the moment I was born. I hurt deeply and severely hated myself because of my imperfection.
In some ways, it was true. I had been looked at differently; put down, made fun of, scared away from, even once told that no one would ever love me because of my cleft. I realize now, though, that we are all judged because of something about us.
Making this website is, in a way, like a self-love rehab; I am weening off of dislike and hurt and building confidence and understanding. I am learning about teens like myself and gaining support by helping others. No matter if I connect to one person or a thousand, it feels good to know that you guys are all out there.
So go ahead, take a look around the site.
It was wonderful meeting you, and I hope we can talk soon.