Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15)
Does a mother forget her child? As a mother and a grandmother myself, I have a difficult time relating to these words of Isaiah. When my children were small I would have put myself in harm’s way without hesitation to protect them. They were a part of me. I considered them precious gifts from God entrusted to my care. Each one held a special place in my heart. As adults they are still very precious to me.
When they were babies, I cuddled them while I fed them their bottles. When they were sad or lonely, my heart hurt for them and I tried to fill the void. When they were sick I sat by their bed or rocked them to sleep. I played with them. I laughed with them and cried with them. I taught them to love God and to love others. I prayed everyday that God would grant me wisdom to help them to grow into good Christian young men and women.
I don’t understand how a mother can forget her child, but as a pregnancy counseling center volunteer I have seen that it indeed does happen sometimes. It makes me very sad. The following is an example of how a child can be forgotten in our society, not only by its mother, but also by the agencies which are set up to protect children. I will refer to the mother in this story as “L M”.
Can a mother really forget her child?
The story begins in early April of 2003:
L M calls our 24 hour hot line. Her baby is due soon. She has no one to watch her two small children (ages 1 & 2) when she goes in the hospital to have the baby. She has no transportation. She has had no pre-natal care. She is being evicted from her rental house. She has no one to help her and nowhere to turn.
April 21, 2003 – L M comes into the counseling center. We counsel her and witness to her about her lifestyle and God’s love and forgiveness. We give her clothing and a dresser filled with new items for her baby. We also give her a crib and mattress. We help her with transportation so that she can get the pre-natal care she so desperately needs. An ultrasound reveals that she will be having a little boy.
One of our counselors helps her find an apartment and then also helps her get moved in. She takes her to the Secretary of State to get a driver’s license and assists her with purchasing a car.
Early in June little James is born. Since L M had no one else, the same counselor coached her through labor and delivery, which ended up being a C-Section.
Several weeks later her counselor again helps her out by staying with the children so that L M can go job hunting. Things seem to finally be falling into place for this little family…or so we think anyway.
At the end of July our counselor gets a call from L M saying she wants to place the baby for adoption because he cries too much.
We get in touch with Bethany Christian Services to begin adoption counseling and proceedings, but in the meantime we advise L M that babies are little people and precious gifts from God and we don’t just give them away because they cry a lot. We wanted her to really think things over and be sure that this was what she wanted to do before she made a final decision.
On August 15, 2003 our counselor receives a call from a friend of L M’s saying she is concerned that little James may no longer be alive. She had been at L M’s apartment and there was a bad smell and no sign of a baby being around.
On Monday August 18, 2003 we call her CPS caseworker and report to him our fears and concern. He says he will be meeting with her later in the week and has requested from her that all three children be present.
A caseworker from another organization stops by her apartment that very same day and L M is on her way out the door to go to work. L M states that the older two children are with their father and the baby is with a friend. She agrees to meet with the caseworker on Wednesday and have all the children present.
On Wednesday, August 20, L M postpones the appointment stating she is too tired.
On Friday August 22, 2003 L M doesn’t show up for her scheduled appointment with her CPS caseworker. She later tells him that she ran into the woman who had adopted her first child, at a gas station and gave James to her.
By September 1, 2003 CPS is still dragging their feet. One of our counselors fearing the worst has happened to this little boy calls the police and reports the missing child.
L M tells the police that the baby is out in a village nearby being cared for by friends. Police check out her story and find no baby. They then arrest her on a larceny charge from several years previous in order to question her further.
She finally admits to finding the baby dead in his crib. Her story was that she had been exhausted and had slept for 12 hours straight. When she awoke and went in to check on him she found him dead. Several days later she threw him into the dumpster at a nearby Rite Aid. When asked why, she stated that she was afraid and didn’t know what else to do.
Police searched the area landfill for two weeks but due to the fact that so much time had elapsed they were not able to find him. They were told by employees at the landfill that he would have more than likely been somewhere within a 100 square foot area and buried approximately 20 feet deep. They had to give up the search due to the hazardpous waste they were encountering.
L M was charged with abandonment and unlawfully disposing of human remains and was put in jail to await a court date. She was never charged with murder because there was no body and therefore no proof and nothing to base the cause of death on. She was sentenced to two years in prison.
If we had not reported this missing child, he would probably have been lost in the system and his mother would have gotten away with not having to account for him at all. None of us will ever know what happened, but God knows and someday she will have to answer to Him.
I can’t help but be reminded of God’s words to Cain after he had killed his brother Abel; the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10) God knows what happened and he will demand an accounting!
There are so many children suffering today at the hands of stupid uncaring adults. Praise God for His assurance and promise that he will never forget us and he will never forget the little children either. Every soul is precious to Him.
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. (Matthew 19:13-15)
By Kristeen – To God be the Glory!