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Parents Abandon Baby at Hospital After Being Horrified by His Face - Then One Woman Takes Him in as Her Own
Jono Lancaster Is Now Inspiring Millions After Being Abandoned at Birth
Uplifting News

Parents Abandon Baby at Hospital After Being Horrified by His Face - Then One Woman Takes Him in as Her Own

"I hated my face but now I'm proud of it."

True power lies in embracing our differences.

Jonathan “Jono” Lancaster was only 36 hours old when his parents, "horrified" by his face, walked out of the hospital and out of his life.

Lancaster was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome. A rare genetic disorder that left him with an underdeveloped jaw, no cheekbones, and what he calls "little Bart Simpson ears."

It was a face his mother and father, heartbreakingly, refused to love.

"My birth parents were horrified by my appearance," he told the BBC. "My birth parents left 36 hours after I was born."

It was a rejection that would shape his narrative for years to come.

But not forever.

Today, Jono Lancaster is taking control of his narrative in the most inspiring way. And his remarkable transformation from self-hatred to self-love has not only changed his own life but has become an inspiration to countless others.

Jono Lancaster: Abandoned at Birth

Jono Lancaster childhood photo

Unable to accept their baby's craniofacial differences and faced with the prospect that he would never walk or talk according to his doctors, his parents instead chose to put him up for adoption.

Two weeks later, a social worker named Jean walked into his life. She never left. She took in the baby with the "ugly face" and fostered him for 5 years until she officially adopted him.

And while she loved him unconditionally, it wasn't enough to make him love and accept himself. It also wasn't enough to make others accept him either.

The victim of bullying, particularly during his high school years, Lancaster increasingly despised the face reflected in the mirror.

"Looking back at high school, I have so many amazing memories, but behind those moments there was me trying my best to fit in," he said. "The older kids would pull their eyes down. They would sing or make chants up about myself."

It was then that he stopped celebrating his differences and began to loathe them.

"As I started looking at my face in those teenage years, I tried to push my eyes up to look like everyone else's," he said. "I got so angry that I couldn't change my appearance and I hated my face...I genuinely didn't think I belonged in this world."

The heartache, self-hatred, and accompanying anger became all-consuming. He questioned how anyone could ever love him when his own parents, the ones who should have loved him most, rejected him.

The Ugly Truth

Jono Lancaster

Even into his college years, Lancaster was haunted by why his biological parents abandoned him.

"I was forming the pieces, I was creating the answers, and at that point, they left me because I looked different," he said.

"They left me because I looked like this and it destroyed me."

Jono Lancaster

At 24, Lancaster read a hospital document written at the time of his birth. It confirmed the ugly truth. It stated: "Both parents were horrified by the child's appearance. Both parents felt no maternal bond. Both parents left the hospital 36 hours later, leaving the child behind."

And yet, despite seeing the hurtful words in black and white, Lancaster wanted to let his parents know he was okay and open to a relationship. According to an interview with LadBible, he contacted an adoption agency to find them.

What he found was more rejection. His birth parents refused any contact. But somehow, Lancaster was able to move forward to find healing and peace.

Of his bio parents, he says only this: "Now I've stripped it all back and the truth is the only thing I know about my birth parents is they gave me life. They brought me into this world and it's down to me to live this life and make the most of this life."

"And it's a beautiful life, now anyway, so for that, I'm forever blessed."

From Self-Hatred to Self-Love: How He Embraced His Appearance

Today, Lancaster's overcome the dark periods in his life. He's grown to love his unique look and he's on a mission to change the way the world thinks about visible differences.

So how did he get from hating his face to loving it? The innocent words of one person made all the difference. While working at a bar in his twenties a woman approached him and said, "I find myself staring at you all the time. I just love your face."

It was the catalyst he needed. From that moment on, Lancaster's view of himself was transformed and so was his attitude.

"What's changed is my attitude," he shares in a documentary entitled, Love Me, Love My Face.

"Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I believe in myself. Instead of asking 'why me,' I'm thinking it's good to be me. Instead of hating the way I look, I love the way I look."

Jono Lancaster

Lancaster turned his pain into purpose and finally learned to love the one who deserves it most -- himself.

Inspiring Others Along the Way

Determined to make a difference, Lancaster decided to share his story with the world. He founded the charity organization "Love Me Love My Face," dedicated to raising awareness and supporting individuals with facial differences.

Through public speaking engagements, media appearances, his active presence on social media, and now a forthcoming book called, Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Lancaster has become a beacon of hope for those facing similar challenges.

His message goes far beyond physical appearance. He emphasizes the importance of inner strength, resilience, and self-acceptance. By openly discussing his own insecurities and vulnerabilities, he breaks down the barriers of shame and isolation, fostering a sense of community and belonging among those who have felt marginalized.

His advocacy work has not only provided support for individuals with facial differences but has also sparked conversations about society's standards of beauty and the damaging effects of societal norms.

Through his warmth, compassion, and infectious optimism, he has inspired others to see beyond physical appearances and recognize the inherent worth and potential within themselves and others.

He encourages everyone to celebrate their unique qualities, reminding us that true beauty lies not in the absence of imperfections, but in the courage to be authentically ourselves.

Regardless of our struggles or how others may try to define us, the truth is this: we all have the capacity to create change, uplift others, and rewrite our own narratives of self-love and acceptance.

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