Babies don’t have mommies.

I have a friend to whom I’m connected through Reece’s Rainbow, the organization that was such a huge help in us finding and adopting Paul.  This friend has adopted four children (referred to below as E, A, Jy, and J) from orphanages .  This past week, the family spent a lot of time at the hospital because one of the children (E) was having surgery.  Throughout all of this, the other three children got to witness what a parent really is-seeing my friend care for their sibling with tenderness and love.  You see, children who come from orphanages don’t understand what a family is. How could they, never having seen or experienced one?  Each child seemed to have their own way of reacting to the stress of being in the hospital and the reality of having a mom and dad, but one of her son’s (J’s) reaction paints such a poignant picture of the perspective of an orphan and the sad understanding of life that they develop when they do not have families.

The portion below is from my friend who is the very blessed mother of these dear children.  She’s describing the conversations she’s had with J this past week.  Just for your reference, J had heart surgery in his country prior to being adopted.

But last night, he really talked- about how he remembers being in the hospital, of how he had his owies- pointing to his zipper scars on his chest. He also explained that he was alone, and scared, and no one stayed with him. Keep in mind- he’s FOUR. He was thankful that we’re staying with E- that she’s not alone, so she won’t ROLL OUT OF THE BED and fall and hurt!!!! FOUR years old. What has he seen? lived? experienced? 

But the most heartbreaking thing of all- I was telling him that I was really sorry he was alone for his heart surgery, that it happened before I knew he was alive and saw his picture, and that if I had been his mommy then, I would have stayed there with him just like we are doing with E. His response- “Itsa ok Mommy. J (referring to himself) just a baby, so J doesn’t have mommy yet. Babies don’t have mommies, have to wait til get big!” 

He then went on to explain that no babies have mommies, you have to wait until you get big for a mommy to come get you maybe. Like E, and Jy and A and some “fwiends”. He was so matter of fact, as though it’s perfectly normal that babies are hatched and sit in orphanages until they’re big enough for a family to claim them. 

And it just broke me into pieces. Here’s my tiny, 25 pound 4 year old, who has solemnly accepted that he had to have open heart surgery twice, all alone, because he was a baby and babies don’t get mommies.

But last night at the hospital, while E was quietly resting, a baby down the hall started crying- that high pitched cry. All three of my littles froze, then Jy got more anxious and started spinning :( A got upset and started sympathy-crying for the baby, saying “baby cwy baby owie”, but J walked over to me and motioned for me to kneel down and pick him up. I did and he took my face in his hands and said “that’s a baby cwying do you hear?” I said yes, and he nodded sadly. “Dat babys awone? No Mommy yet.” I said, no, that the baby did have a mommy I thought, and she was going to take care of him. He looked at me in total disbelief and shook his head no. I said yes, the baby had a mommy- and she would take care of him, and right then, the baby stopped crying. He looked completely confused. (This was before the conversation where he explained that no babies have mommies and only kids get mommies later). 

So he’s starting to figure out that his early life was different- he’s starting to understand what being an orphan was.

This is the view of the world that these children have.  Babies don’t have mommies, they have to wait until they get bigger.  Then maybe they’ll have a family.  It’s all he knew.  And most children will wait and wait and will never have a family.

What will we do for these kids?  These ones that God has entrusted to us to take care of?  It is not enough to simply let our eyes fill with tears when reading the story, and then do nothing.  We can at least pray.  Can we donate?  Can we  participate in, start or support a mission?  Can we adopt?

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7 thoughts on “Babies don’t have mommies.

  1. Joy Beyond the Cross

    Meg – this post does break my heart and your friend writes in such a beautiful way. Orphans have been on my mind and heart a lot lately and there is so much to pray about. I was looking in on Elizabeth last night before I went to bed and I caught myself thinking about all those little ones who don’t have someone to check in on them and love on them and sadness came over me. Thank you Meg for being such an inspiration in showing the beauty and joy in adoption, I love watching Paul thrive under your care. I know I don’t comment much, but I am reading and loving the posts. Please thank your friend for writing this reflection, it really means a lot. I am going to share with my husband tonight and maybe there is something we need to start talking about more in depth. God Bless!

  2. Meg Post author

    The other night Paul was crying in his sleep, which he has never done before, so I went in and held him and he just cuddled with me for a while. And all I could think about was all the kids who have nightmares and have no one to comfort them.

  3. alison

    i have been slow to comment on your new blogs, partially because new motherhood has a way of being so physically exhausting that it is even more exhausting to think about all the world’s problems when you are so spent and feel like you are barely surviving yourself. it just all seems so hopeless. but a few nights better sleep and i’m finally able to relay these thoughts…these thoughts that i had when sam was just a newborn and all i could think about were these babies that already exist, somewhere alone in the world, with no mother to cuddle and kiss them and stay COMMITTED to them to give them everything that I want to give Sam. its heartbreaking. I know God has put this on my heart for a reason, maybe the same reason that he’s spoke to you to share your story and your passion. so thank you. praying we can all follow through on what he’s asked of us.

  4. Meg Post author

    I don’t believe they do, plus for their privacy, I don’t want to reveal who they are. Sorry!

  5. alison

    Just as a clarification, that is not to blame the parents of these children at all, and that’s not how I hope it came across, I just think of those kids who for not fault of their own will be the ones to suffer unless someone steps in.

  6. Brandy Calvert

    I’ve been thinking and thinking about this story all week. The day you posted this story, I was playing with L, my daughter, and I turned to my husband and blurted out, “I wonder what it’s like to be her. I don’t know what it’s like to have a mommy loving on me like this.” My mother died when I was 2, and my “new mommy” that I got when I was 4 wasn’t the cuddly, lovey-dovey kind. Mom’s made a huge impact on my life, got me my first hearing aid and taught me how to deal responsibly with my disability, but she’s not cuddly. I love her anyway! It hit me that I really can’t relate to my bio children in regards to what it’s like to have a mommy from birth-a mommy that can tell about being pregnant with them and how exciting it was to hold them for the first time. For me, the perspective that “babies don’t have mommies” is less foreign than my children’s capability to take Mommy and Daddy for granted.

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