Kit Steinkellner
Updated Feb 27, 2015 @ 8:34 am

We’re only in February and we already have a couple who are crazy-strong contenders for Parents of the Year. Seriously, this story out of the U.K. 100% has us reaching for the tissues.

When Tanya Phillips gave birth to her daughter Honey-Rae, she and her husband Adam immediately had to deal with their child’s medical complications. As Tanya explained to The Mirror:

“She struggled to breathe when she was first born and was rushed to the special care unit. When I went to see her she was just lying in a little incubator and that’s when I saw it. It broke my heart. I just sobbed and sobbed knowing my baby was going to be permanently marked for the rest of her life.”

Indeed, Honey was born with a birthmark that has grown as she has aged, now covering the majority of her right side. Honey, who is only 18-months old, gets whispers and stares from strangers when she goes out with her legs uncovered, and Tanya worried that if ADULTS were going to be that casually cruel, lord knows how kids her own age would react when Honey was old enough to go to school.

Up until this point, the Phillips family were putting their youngest in pants and just not dealing with the birthmark situation in a public way. But they’ve now decided to stop hiding what makes their daughter different and start celebrating it.

To show their support and love, Honey-Rae’s parents got tattoos that perfectly match their daughter’s birthmark, all in order to transform her mark from something that makes her different into something that makes her a part of their family. Adam gave the tattoo to his wife as a gift this past Christmas, and Tanya, in turn, gave her husband the gift of the tattoo for his 40th birthday this past week.

“[Getting the tattoo} was incredibly painful, especially as I had a flower to cover some old star tattoos, but it was worth every second of the pain,” Tanya explained to The Mirror. “When the swelling went down, I showed Honey-Rae, and she gently touched it and smiled as she said ‘Match,’ pointing to her own leg.”

As Elite Daily reports, “. . . Honey-Rae now loves to touch her parents’ tattoos and then her own birthmark, laughing each time.”

Not only are the Phillips’ seriously in the running for Best Parents of the Year/Ever, their bold move is a much-needed reminder of what family is at its core: a team that does everything it can to make every player feel valued, supported and included.

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