I have no idea why I can’t get that baby out of my mind.
This baby – this tiny preemie kiddo – was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the same time our firstborn was. The little guy was cute as a button and not much bigger than one, all things considered. Big, bright brown eyes and beautiful soft skin as well. And such a happy baby!
I had the luxury of spending copious amounts of time in NICU when No. 1 was there because there weren’t any other kids at home to worry about (yet) and our small upper flat didn’t need much maintenance.
I noticed that this baby was completely unhooked from the tubes, monitors, and wires that the other NICU babies did. I also noticed that Baby was in an open isolette and there were no medical charts hanging from the foot-end like the other kids. There was no name tag – nothing, except this gorgeous little boy. Not knowing his name (either the mom hadn’t named him or I wasn’t allowed to know it), I called him simply, Baby.
I asked the nurse why this was so. Her faced suddenly clouded over and her tone was stern.
“That baby was released a week ago and the mother never came to pick him up,” she said. “We’re still waiting.”
“He’s all set to go?” I asked in disbelief.
“Yes, he’s all set to go,” she responded.
I rocked the rocking chair back and forth a few times, tears coming to my eyes.
“Could I have him?” I asked.
Obviously, I was pretty naive back then, a young wife and a new mother with all of the gushy emotions that comes will all of that.
The nurse explained to me why that wasn’t possible since the mother first must make contact with the hospital and then would have to surrender parental rights. There would have to be an adoption process and, well, it was complicated.
Tears came to my eyes. I rocked a few more times. My own baby boy was sound asleep in his bed, just inches away from me.
“What happens now?” I asked.
“We wait,” the nurse replied.
When I took my own baby home after another many days, he was still there in the NICU. I never found out what happened to him.
I can remember every detail of that baby’s lovely face, even to this day decades later. I think of him from time to time, wondering what became of him. When I do think of him, I say a prayer for him and for his mother.
Lately, though, the little guy won’t leave my mind and I’m wondering why. I’ve tried to figure it out, but can’t. So, I’m chalking it up to Divine Intervention and assuming that our Lord or my Guardian Angel, or some heavenly being is putting Baby on my heart.
And so, I’m back to praying for him, with consistently and vigor.
Although this is my memory and my heart-thing, I’m going to ask you to do the same. My sense is that there’s a reason and I must become part of the answer.
I ask only a minute or two of your time. Could you, would you, pause and pray with me for Baby?
Image: Public Domain