I work with women who are rejected. They are rejected from the moment they are born. Simply for who they are. I need to know how to reach them. I think it is harder for many of us to understand the depths of their rejection, of not being wanted. I could tell you their stories, but they would be foreign to us. We would shake our heads and say, "can not imagine". But we have to. We have to try to feel their hearts. I need to. I need to write for them, to write so that they even begin to listen.
I can't start with their stories. I can start with stories I know - closer to home. Times I have seen or experienced rejection up close and personal. The story of this one baby - a true story - shocks us and hits us in the gut. We shake our heads in horror... how could someone say that?! They did... that is what is so abysmally sad.
Now imagine a whole nation like that. I met a family who had a baby when I went to visit them. Lots of people have babies - what made this one so unusual? Well...
Their age for one. They are at least 60 years old.
How the baby came to be in the family. Talk about surprise pregnancies! At least they give you nine months, perhaps less if you didn't know your were pregnant right away. This baby was even more surprising. This is her story:
The older man went to the hospital for some tests. On his way out, he saw a woman sitting alone sobbing. Being old enough to do so without a problem, he walked up to her and asked, "Daughter, what is wrong?" She said, "I have just had a child. It is the fifth girl. My husband came and when he saw it was another girl he said, 'Don't even think about coming home with that child. If you don't leave her in the hospital, you are not welcome in the house. We do not need another girl.' What am I to do?"
The old man thought. He looked at the woman. Then he said, "I already have three grown daughters. What is one more? Give her to me." So the mother handed him the newborn, and he went home.
When he arrived, his wife was out shopping, so he lay the baby on a blanket in the one room. The baby was sleeping, so he went to the other room to rest. While he was resting, his wife walked in the house to find a newborn asleep on her living room floor. Very shocked, she woke her husband to ask, "What in the world?!"
He yawned and calmly told her, "Oh, that is your new daughter."
Once over the shock, she was happy enough to raise the child and when I met them, the baby was an adorable nine month old.
You'd think this was a happy ending, and it is a happier ending than it could have been. But there is a sadness to it, too, when the couple explain why they adopted the girl.
"We are getting old, you see, and in a few years, we will need someone to take care of us."
I smiled with them at their good deed and their good luck. I was truly thankful for the old man's actions. But my heart broke for this child, too. Rejected, ripped from her sobbing mother, now raised as a quasi-daughter, quasi-servant.
And I want to tell these women that there is a Father who loves them. Honestly, it is hard for them not to reject that news with a snort of disbelief.