Thrown away?

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This phrase itself is interesting to me: thrown away.

If you read the article below, you’ll see that a man described this baby found in Washington State as “tossed away like nothing.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/abandoned-baby-found-dead-washington-state-highway-article-1.1613768

I’m not saying that his observation is inaccurate. The child was just tossed into a ditch, left along the side of a road wrapped in a blanket. What I question, however, is what this child’s mother was thinking. Was she making a conscious decision when throwing away her child? Did she consider her child to be “nothing” and worthy of such a short life?

I don’t know. We might never truly understand, and anyway, is it for us to judge? I know I have my own things to be looked at with scrutiny and God is all over that. Or should we learn from what happened, and try to prevent it from occurring to another child, another desperate mother?

Yes, those of us who are parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are abhorred. Anyone who is intoxicated by a newborn’s smell and soft skin can’t imagine what in the world this lady was thinking. It’s unimaginable.

That’s the point, though, right? This is without rationale. A hospital was just down the road. It’s puzzling. Yet, background knowledge is critical here. Was she being abused? If she had a baby, would she and her child’s life be in danger? Was she so young and terrified that she didn’t even know what to do/where to turn/how to process the enormity of the situation?

These are things we can help with before a newborn is found in a ditch, wrapped in a blanket, dead.

gone

We have the opportunity to educate, to be a light, to let these moms know there is another way, there is another option. The Safe Haven program was developed for a reason, and those who know about it, want to rewind the clock, be able to walk up to this woman and help her: to give her and her child a chance.

I don’t believe she thought her child was nothing. I don’t believe that she thought she would just throw it away. I believe she probably was lost, scared and alone. How does she feel today? At this moment? Wow.. that is something to ponder.

And here’s the thing: haven’t we all felt that way at one time? Scared? Confused? It’s human. It’s life. I always have been lucky enough to be surrounded by friends, family and resources to help me through those times. I had a situation just this week where I was full of anxiety, and I was not alone for a second. I am blessed.

When we realize that we have the opportunity, and even more so, the responsibility, to be the blessing for those we may not even know, the world will see less babies thrown in ditches. This mom needed a blessing. She needed a Safe Haven. While she did the wrong thing, she is someone who desperately is calling out for love and needs a big serving of grace along with it.

Our pastor has been preaching from Paul’s letter to the Philippians lately, and wow, God is amazing when he weaves things together.

“Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection on mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.” Philippians 2:1-3

I know the Wisconsin group, Safe Place for Newborns, has done recent research on this topic. The coordinator has spent time with women who have left their babies to perish, and is doing a great work for the surrounding community. To learn more about her efforts, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Place-for-Newborns-of-Wisconsin/85757952188

Thanks for helping me continue the Safe Haven conversation. I know that my life is so gloriously ruined because of this law and my prayer is for others to be too!

37 responses »

  1. I worked as a legal intern during law school for a non-profit legal council in upstate South Carolina, and that job really made me question humanity. We had a case where a mom threw her newborn in a trash can (luckily, the dad found the baby within minutes of the abandonment), and another where a husband shot his wife’s leg off with a sawed off shotgun. I would get off of work each day emotionally drained, wondering how in the world people could be so horrible to one another. But then I realized that I was missing the point–there were awful people doing terrible things to others, but the clients that I dealt with were trying to right those wrongs. They were trying to get custody of their children, they were trying to get themselves into a safe environment away from their abusive spouses. They were trying to better themselves in the only way that they could. Bad things happen in the world, but it’s what we do with it that makes all the difference

  2. Our life wasn’t Gloriously Ruined by a safe haven baby, but by two babies that had one bio-parent that wasn’t ready to be a parent and another that just saw them as another notch on the he belt like a status symbol. How blessed are we that these bio-parents chose life for our children! I am so grateful that these mothers held in there that far, but to know that you can’t be the parent that these children need and to give them the gift of a family life. One they felt they couldn’t themselves give our children, well that is an amazing gift!! I will forever be in her debt for my children’s lives!! That selfless gift made us a family, a family that I had prayed for, that I have petitioned God for, and the family that He brought together!!!

    I have also been blessed to enjoy your blessings, and they ARE a blessing. I am here for you and your family, I support you in this endeavor to bring light to a law that could use some tweaking, I will do whatever I can to help and support, your family is in my families prayers often and we love you all. Keep putting a voice out there to inform and change the world. You are a wonderful caring mom, and a voice an have done a wonderful job so far. Let’s do what we can to make a difference in more lives both for the parents that just can’t and for the children that they bring into this world!!

    Thank you Jennifer!!!

  3. I wish more people knew about these sorts of programs. A lot of women, especially women would live in very bad cities, or small tiny towns, don’t know that there are ways to make sure their babies have safe homes to go to and that they shouldn’t just be left to perish. Everyone needs to try and get the word out about programs like Safe Haven so more babies will live.

  4. We have 15 children, 13 of them are special needs adopted. Children are our future – no good deed done for them is wasted – God blesses those who care!

  5. A beacon of light in a world of darkness is what I perceive of the “Safe Haven” program. I hope that you may reach out to more young woman who have felt that their lives have been expended. Keep up the good work.

  6. It’s a strange culture that we have going around the world, I think. It really seems like we don’t give everyone the tools they need to succeed, and then when they don’t… we tear them down more, as if they haven’t already reached rock bottom. How did this woman end up pregnant? Perhaps she was abandoned by the father, and even her own family did not want to her support her through the hardship. Perhaps abortion was not an option, and she thought of all the stories where babies were found and met happy endings. Perhaps, somehow, she thought that is what she was giving the baby. Education is key, and as long as we continue to not take the educational system seriously, and fix the issues with it… things will not get better. I hope the world as a whole finds the strength it needs to make the world a better place for us all.

  7. I never heard of the Safe Haven program but I am grateful to hear that something like this exists. What saddens me is that it is even needed. But it is and perhaps it will save lives, not just those of these innocent babies but perhaps also those of very confused and hurting parents. Thanks for sharing about this option.

  8. I have never heard of the Safe Haven laws and am glad to hear of this option. Perhaps it will save lives; not just for those lovely innocent babies but their troubled parents as well. The whole thing is very grevious.

  9. My SIL works in an emergency where young children can be brought and placed by their parents. She has taught opened my eyes to the many many different walks of life she sees in a situation where they cannot take care of their child. Your sentiments of not judging, but instead education and compassion are important ones.

  10. It’s hard to imagine, but like you I can’t help but think there must have been some circumstances that led her to that horrible act. I’m thankful everyday for my children’s safety and well-being and pray that others will care for their children with the love and attention they deserve.

  11. I’m glad to hear there are options. Every time I hear stories like this on the news/internet – it makes me cringe. There are ALWAYS better choices.

    -Stacey

  12. This post is both heartbreaking and encouraging. Heartbreaking in that the mother felt she had no other option and that this baby suffered the consequence. Encouraging in that this reminds us the importance to reach out to others, to uplift others by extending ourselves to them. I appreciate the verse you included. An excellent reminder to be selfless and how we can make a difference to others in the simple act of showing we care.

  13. Ugh… as someone who has struggled with infertility for 2 years, these kinds of stories just make me sick and break my heart. I wish more people knew about Safe Haven laws and Safe Haven locations. Thanks for spreading awareness. Stopping by from Blogelina Commentathon

  14. Thank you. This is such a great reminder that as Christians we should not and can not judge others for doing things differently than us. This is heartbreaking and as a mother I can not imagine why a mother would do this but I understand the fear that motherhood brings with it. I pray that they will at least be able to identify the mom so they can give the baby a name. Thank you for your encouraging words, the world needs to hear them.

  15. So hard to be reading those kinds of stories about abandoned babies and difficult not to judge the mother but we have no idea of the circumstances she faced. Safe Haven sounds like a good organization.

  16. It is very painful to hear these stories of how women abandon a helpless baby to die for the sack of social convention. We do not know the details of each circumstance but even if we did, we would judge based on our own beliefs. My belief is the same as yours. More people need to know about organizations like Safe Haven. In our area, people can go leave an unwanted infant at a local hospital. I don’t know if there are any repercussions to that, if so it is all for naught.

  17. Thank you for your thoughts of kind, loving compassion. I can often be quick to judge but like you said, we don’t know her circumstances. I cry for that child but also for the mother who was so desperate that she could commit such an act.

  18. I could not imagine what could have been going through the woman’s mind, but I am glad we had this conversation because things like Safe Harbor need more attention.
    If one person can learn from the other woman’s actions and a baby is saved, then it’s worth it.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  19. Thanks for sharing such important information. Your compassion for the mother in this story is inspiring. Not that what she did was ok, but that understanding where she was coming from is important if we are to save more babies in the future.

  20. You made some good points. We need to let mothers know there is help and options. We need to be there for them instead of just judging them. Thanks for sharing!

  21. This kind of thing breaks my heart for both baby and mama. For awhile now I’ve been thinking that we should go through the paperwork and home study process required by the county or through to become eligible as a foster family or even a forever family, motivated by a situation as this, so when a mama does make the decision to forego caring for the baby, we would be ready to care for a baby.

  22. I believe there’s a reason for everything even if we may not understand or see what it is. So, you’re right, we should try not to judge and instead be of help to anyone who might need it. I myself, love babies and can’t imagine having to throw away one like that. So, I hope you continue with all the good work you’ve been doing so that more mothers find out that they actually have other options.

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