I remember the pouring out being more like falling in love than giving up. Relief and wonder flooded my heart as I held my son for the first time, rising as if from the depths of my soul. I remember thinking in amazement, "is this really how God feels about me?" There was humor as we noticed that he looked like a miniature version of his father! And so much thankfulness. The birth of our little pink girl was different. The labor was different, the hospital was different, adding a girl to our family brought a new dimension of delight. Yet so many of the emotions were the same; wonder, joy, gratitude.
As I prepare to travel to Serbia I wonder what it will feel like to hold someone else's child in my arms for the first time. A child that isn't used to being held by a mommy. What did their mommies feel when they held their child for the first time? Were they afraid? Where they sad and filled with longing? Did they feel love? I wonder if some of the children's mommies got to hold their babies at all before they went to live in a long row of cribs with other broken babies.
I think often of the children I will see in Dom Veternik's rooms. But I also wonder about the parents who said goodbye, parents whose hearts still bear the scars. Many of the mother's must have been surprised by their child's disability or illness. The moments leading up to that revelation surely were similar to my own. Picking out baby clothes and a name, the pain of labor and relief of delivery, the joy of becoming a mother. Do they still remember each smell and sound, each sensation and emotion, strange details and every conversation?
I doubt they have forgotten the nightmare of learning that their child was not perfect, the pain of being told it would be better with other's of it's kind and not at home with her. I imagine each will remember that moment until the end of her life, but I pray it won't haunt her. As much as I pray that their disabled children are set free from their captivity of pain and healed by love, I pray that each mother's heart is set free from it's own captivity of remorse and healed by forgiveness.
Won't you pray with me for the healing of the disabled children of Dom Veternik as well as for the healing of their parents hearts?