So, pregnant ladies have some raging hormones I'm told. Well, I'm thinking adoptive moms-to-be share this same woe. On Valentines night I had to work at my "adoption job" (hostessing at a local restaurant). I saw many, MANY sweet couples come in to enjoy an evening together, but one couple actually made me cry.
This little family came in during the height of the V-day madness. A young dad, young mom, and a sweet little newborn baby girl. They had to wait approximately 30 minutes before a table was ready for them, and their little one was so well-behaved in her carrier the whole time. Both parents doted on her, and everyone nearby was ooohing and aahhing over her as they all waited to be seated. I was even thinking to myself that she was a pretty darn cute baby, and I was kind of wishing I had a little baby of my own!
Once they were settled in a booth, sweet baby girl started to cry. Not little whimpers but that kind of gut-wrenching newborn cry that pierces the ear and drowns out all other sound. Young mom rushed up to my hostess stand with a bottle asking if we could fill it with warm water from the kitchen. The crying persisted, and I kept watching as both mom and dad attempted to feed the little one her milk. They passed her over the table several times, both of them trying to no avail. Young dad brought her up to the waiting area to try feeding and consoling her there. Then, young mom took her into the ladies room. The crying persisted.
I started to feel really terrible for this young couple. No doubt they've had their hands absolutely full since having their baby girl, and they were probably looking forward to an evening out of the house. I know every other guest in the dining room was annoyed by the fact that their romantic evening out was being interrupted by a shrieking baby. The couple was obviously embarrassed and frustrated; they spent probably 20 minutes trying everything to settle their daughter, but she was persistent with her crying. Finally, young mom broke down.
She was standing right in front of my hostess desk, rocking her shrieking baby in her arms, with silent tears streaming down her flushed face. Young dad was hovering nearby rubbing little one's head saying, "It's okay baby girl, it's okay..." This image just got me. What a real picture of parenthood, family, love, and sacrifice. Young dad looked at me with an apologetic face and told me they were going to have to leave.
Little one cried and cried while young dad went back to the table to leave some money, and tears started to burn my own eyes. Why in the world was the sound of this crying baby making me cry on Valentine's Day? I can chalk it up to "adoption hormones..." ha! Or, it could've been because I was thinking:
"This is how it should be. This is what should happen when a baby cries. Mom and Dad drop what they're doing and they focus on loving that child. Babies should be consoled with hugs and warm milk, little boys should be rocked and held, and little girls should be oohed and ahhhed over. New parents should be wiling to drop their evening out so they can go home to take care of baby. That's just the way it should be."
I was also thinking of the many sweet babies in this world that are not born with these privileges. Their bodies are not fed warm milk when they're hungry. They are not rocked and cuddled when they are sick and crying. There is no one present to ooohh and ahhh over them and tell them that everything's gonna be okay. Some babies are abandoned on orphanage doorsteps. Some are abandoned in far worse places than that! Thousands of babies lie in orphanage cribs all over the world, and they never cry because they know it's useless; no one will come to comfort them if they do. My soon-to-be son or daughter may be one of those unfortunate little ones, and that just breaks my heart.
Nothing will make me cry quicker than to think of these realities in our world. I just didn't expect for a little family in a restaurant with a screaming baby on Valentine's night to remind me!
Arise, O Lord, O God, lift up your hand.
Do not forget the the afflicted.
I will be joining my blogger friend, Jillian, in setting time aside each day of Lent to pray for the orphans in this world. Will you join me?