For last few weeks, I’ve been keeping a prayer journal of things I hope for with regards to our new son or daughter. The odds are pretty good that our child has already been born, and although we haven’t officially been matched with a child yet, I have felt such a burden to pray for that baby who will one day call me “mom.” It’s ambiguous (and probably a little silly even) given that we don’t even know the gender yet, but there’s this strange thing adoption does to your heart…you feel a connection in this strange, cosmic way to someone you’ve never seen, never spoken to, never touched, and, in our case, who lives half a world away. I can’t explain it any other way than that. Deep down inside, I know there is a missing piece of my heart that is living and breathing more than 7,000 miles away from me, so when it’s late at night and I have no other way to cope with missing that baby I’ve never met, I pray.
And the overwhelming prayer and wish I have for our child is this…
Lord, please let my baby feel loved. I pray for hugs, kisses, and that someone holds that little one close every day.
I realize for most of us, this is SO simple. Of course, you hold a baby every day. Of course, you hug and kiss him. Of course you do. But our child is more than likely living in an orphanage, sleeping in a long row of dozens of cribs at night. When he or she cries at night, I can’t know with 100% certainty that someone goes to the baby to see what’s wrong. When it’s feeding time, there is no guarantee in an orphanage that a human being holds the bottle and feeds our child while looking into his eyes. I hope, I pray, that someone is engaging our child with songs and touch and toys at play time…but I just don’t know that to be true.
But, oh, I can pray for it.
I can pray that our child is cared for and loved on by a consistent nanny who shows him how to love in return. I can pray that she holds and hugs and kisses and nurtures him the way we would if we could.
I can pray that when that baby feels sad or lonely, that God would surround her with love in our absence.
I can pray that our child is embraced by happy and energetic nannies who encourage his development through songs and colorful toys and reading.
I can pray that our little one receives solid nutrition each day that is being fed to her by a human being and not a prop.
I can pray that those caregivers celebrate all the milestones we are missing and write them down so that we can one day tell our child when he began sitting up, got that tiny first tooth, and took those perfectly clumsy first steps.
I can pray that the orphanage seeks medical attention for our child when she has that first cold or needs to be evaluated for her medical needs.
I can pray that, even in some cosmic sense, our sweet child feels our love from half a world away.
It may all be wishful thinking…but it’s what I can do for now. I can pray. I can pray daily, hourly, every minute. There’s not much I can control about my child’s early days since I won’t be there to see them or intervene. There’s a lot that I will miss out on, and that hurts. Some days, it’s unbearable to even think about. And in those moments, I do the one thing I can do – pray. I give my worries to God and pray for someone to shower our child with hugs and kisses. Again, and again, and again.
And for now, that is enough.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7)
(1 Peter 5:7)