This is the reality of the poverty orphan dilemma that we wrestle with. I wrestle with it every day. I know that I could scoop up any poor mother’s child- and she would gladly give them to me and I could give them three meals a day, lots of love, protection, education and an American passport.
This reality for me has never been more challenging for me than the past few months.
I have an adopted daughter- the beautiful Ember Eve (7 years old) who came to me as a tiny 10 day old bundle weighing 4 pounds after her mother had died in child birth. Her father was distraught and overwhelmed and I didnt have enough of a business or opportunity to help him in other ways, so I was given the baby and raised her as my own. After the adoption was finalized, I was able to give her father a job and he is now able to care for his two other children (one with his new wife) well with his earnings. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that Ember’s dad is OK and can take care of his family.
About four months ago, it came to my attention that one of our most long term artisans was pregnant. Again. With her SEVENTH child! This after she almost died in childbirth with her sixth. I was frustrated, but supportive and committed to helpig her with a job that didn’t tax her fragile body and offered her flexibility. After several conversations about her pregnancy, she revealed that the father of her baby was no other than Ember’s father. Oh boy.
My artisan and I have the same baby daddy.
Neither one of them wanted this child.
This child was my daughters family.
My heart has never been so distraught about what to do.
Over the past 4 months, I have gone back and forth as both parents would very much like me to take this child off their hands. I felt pretty sure that that is what I would do at one point, but as the due date approached (Feb 18th), I felt a small whisper in my ear about what I knew was the right thing to do. This child has a mother. This child had a father. Both are working. The responsibility and priviledge of being this child’s parent needed to stay with the biological parents. They both had jobs.
For me to step in and take their child in an effort to “rescue” Ember’s sibling would be using my power and influence over the God-ordained gift that my artisans had been given. But it is still so hard. I want Ember’s new baby brother to have every opportunity I could give him. I wanted to step in and be the mother. I really did.
I bought a crib, some clothes and diapers. I was disappointed. I really did want this baby. I started to have those new baby feelings, picking out names and looking at cute baby clothes. But I knew that this child was not mine. Even if I could take it easily. Even if the mother would give him to me gladly.
Maybe some day I will have that again.. those warm baby snuggles- with a child who has no other chance. But this one was not mine.
A Baby is being born this weekend. It could have been mine. Instead I will celebrate the gift it is to this mother and will do everything I can to empower her to raise him well. And I will be his guardian angel. I will watch over him from a distance, as I do so many of my artisans children.