My Heart Breaks

A co-worker came by the office today to show off her brand new baby boy. He was born just two short weeks ago.

We ooh-ed and aww-ed over the precious baby, took turns holding him, and laughing at the funny faces he made while he slept. The new mom was positively glowing with pride as we exclaimed over the perfect child.

It was the high point of my day. And a well-needed respite from the heaviness I had been carrying throughout the morning.

I read a news story earlier this morning that broke my heart and, at the risk of breaking yours, I am going to share it with you here.

It was from Australia and told from the perspective of a Dr. Brian Hoolahan who was a medical student in the 1970s when babies here inhumanely taken from their young unmarried mothers immediately after delivery.  What he described chilled me to the bone; I can only imagine the lasting effect such an experience would have had on both mother and baby.I’m given to believe that similar things happened in Canada and the US as well; more about that in the coming weeks.

I grieve for these young women who had no say in the matter; who were treated in unimaginable ways. I don’t imagine they ever recovered from the experience.

I grieve also for the innocent babies who never had an opportunity to know their mother’s touch. I suspect the experience for the babies was similar, if not the exactly the same, as that of other babies who were taken from their mother’s immediately after birth to be put up for adoption.

Adoption. For many prospective parents it’s a source of immeasurable joy; for many adopted children it’s a blessing that changes the course of the rest of their life. But you can’t escape the fact that in the beginning there is a mother and a baby who are ripped apart.

How could either of them ever be the same?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Indeed. What a horrendous act, the separation of mother and child, usually for no good reason. I am always uncomfortable around infants for that reason. Since the only child I ever had was given up. I’m glad seeing you coworker’s baby was a good experience for you.

  2. I love that you share about adoption and the effects it can cause. I love that you open the doors in a way many of us have never looked at it before!

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