We have a new baby in our house.
And we’re all fighting over her.
I’m now the oldest of five, my dad is off work this week, we have one set of grandparents staying at the house, and countless friends, aunts, uncles, and cousins coming to visit each day. Needless to say this baby is held A LOT! But as she gets passed from person to person, and we ooh and aah over her, it isn’t long before she needs to go back to mommy to eat. And when she is placed in mommy’s arms you can almost see this audible sigh of relief. She settles into mommy’s chest and she is as content as can be and I am reminded…
Attachment starts in the womb.
There is an undeniable biological bond between a mother and child. Infants can recognize their mother’s voices and smell. The mother produces milk at the sound of her infants cry. The nine months in utero have prepared the mother and baby for what is to come. The mother’s bodies releases the hormones needed for infant care. Baby recognizes mom and knows her as a place of nurture. To take an infant from their mother and a mother from their infant is unnatural.
Sometimes it is necessary. And when it is adoption is a glorious way to find beauty in the brokenness.
But may we never forget that brokenness. May we never forget that mother and infants belong together. May we do everything in our power to prevent them from separating. May we never let adoption become a business where demand creates the supply. May we never forget that adoption should always remain as an answer to a tragedy. And may we be careful as to what we label a “tragedy”.
I look at my two day old baby sister sleeping peacefully on my mother’s chest. I watch the way her body curls into my mother’s arms. The way her breath matches the rise and fall of my mother’s diaphragm. I know she is breathing in my mother’s scent and voice whispering in her ear.
Their bond is pure beauty.
And I can’t help thinking of the unnecessary breaking of that bond I have witnessed. I can’t help thinking of the grieving mother watching her milk dry up, her emotions rage out of control, leaving the hospital with no infant, healing from birth with no baby in her arms. And the infant, adjusting to new smells and voices, snuggling into a stranger’s chest, and drifting off to sleep in the arms of a new person.
Jesus will bring the healing to everyone involved, but there may be scars. And we should only be okay with those scars if they were a result of protecting a child from even greater scars.
Adoption. It is beauty. But it is beauty from the ashes. Let us not forget the ashes.