DALLAS (KDAF) — Archie the Cleftie is a children’s book focused on raising awareness of our children’s differences, while also raising kids who are strong and brave.

The book was penned by a former news anchor and reporter Gloria Madera. She joined Inside DFW to talk to host Jenny Anchondo about the book and her own personal life.

You are a mom of a cleft-affected child. Tell us about your little one, Archie.

Archie, I think the best word to describe him is a rambunctious two-year-old. He is very opinionated and he is so strong and amazing.

This book is about him. You found out at your 20-week scan that you were going to be dealing with a cleft-affected child. What was that like? How did that process go?

During the scan, the sonographer doesn’t really tell you anything. I waited for the doctor afterward, and she came in. I pretty much blacked out after she told me because to hear anything is “wrong” with your kid, it’s pretty devastating. Especially one that you’re growing inside of you, and you can’t do anything immediately to fix. I was so ignorant of what a cleft lip or cleft palate was. I had seen commercials with people going overseas to help left affected kids. I thought, in my ignorant mind, this happens in third-world countries. Unfortunately, it just happens. It’s one of the most common birth defects here in America, actually.

I went on social media and just hashtagged “cleft” and I found so many other moms who were on Instagram, sharing their inspiring stories and telling me ‘It’s okay. It’s not my fault.’ I felt a huge burden lifted. When you give birth to your kid, and you hold them for the first time, all of that kind of flies out the window, I didn’t even see his lip, to be honest.

So, you decided to write the book. Talk about the inspiration behind the book, and what you hope people get out of it?

I’m a part of a lot of cleft support groups on Facebook, just from all of this. A common theme in there is parents saying they’re devastated that their kids are coming home because they’re getting bullied by their lip looking a bit different, or the scar that stretches from their nose to their lip. I just felt compelled to maybe empower my son, so that he doesn’t feel so self-conscious about it. It’s a superpower that he’s endured a lot through surgeries under the age of two. I want him to feel empowered and say, ‘Hey, I have a scar on my lip. But who cares? I’ve been through all of this. I’m brave, I’m resilient. I have courage.’ That was my hope. For the freedom and hopeful feeling like, ‘I have a scar. But that doesn’t define me.’

Learn more about Archie the Cleftie by clicking here.