As a Mother whose children didn’t grow “under my heart – but in it” – I am always amazed and in awe at the miracle of birth. What a wondrous God we have who knew that babies would need the bond and unconditional love that comes from being cradled in a womb, carried by a Mother, and then protected and loved.
This miracle does not just occur with humans but also in nature as we watch the love and care bestowed upon puppies, kittens, lambs, bear cubs and even newly hatched chicks. Their mothers watch over them, feed them, love them and then send them off to live their lives … but those early days are the foundation that sets the path for their life.
As breeders of champion Arabian horses, my family gets to experience this firsthand each spring as we welcome new foals to our herd. How awesome it is to sit up all night watching and assisting as needed as our beloved broodmares go through the labor and delivery process to bring these amazing little creatures into the world. Within an hour of their birth – these tiny foals are up walking and eagerly seeking out their first meal from Momma…and she is there to meet their immediate needs and guard her precious offspring with her life if need be.
It is always an emotional and God filled event for me – this Miracle of Motherhood. And probably more so because I have never carried a child in my womb, or gone through the labor of love to deliver them into the world. But I do know the love of a Mother for her children. I learned it first from my dear Mother who never let her children want for anything and who protected us like a lion until her death. I can still feel her protective presence from Heaven – guiding me still today 23 years after her passing.
As we watched the recent birth of our newest foal, I was as always, moved to tears of joy, of love and yes amazement at God’s great gifts to us as Bailamos LOA gave birth to our little filly – Barranca JMH. And I know that Barranca will be cared for by Bali until ready to be on her own. What a lovely gift to cherish as we praise our God for the gift of Mothers!
But in the human world we live in, this is not always the case. Children who deserve to be loved and cared for just as preciously as my foals, all too often find themselves motherless and fatherless in a child welfare system struggling to provide for all of the abused, neglected and abandoned children in our midst. We look to others to step in and provide the love, the care, the safety and comfort these children so desperately need.
Occasionally in our horse breeding world we will find a mother who is overwhelmed by the process, and unable or unwilling to nurse or care for her foal. Sometimes this is due to medical issues, death or sometimes just because there is something missing that makes this one mare say “nope – not for me”. Then we bring in a “foster mare” to nurse and care for the little foal. These mothers – just like our foster mothers do all the same tasks for “their babies” that we do as foster parents in the child welfare system. The protective Momma syndrome is there for them right from the start even though these foals did not grow under their hearts – but in them.
These mares are angels to us and to these foals. Just as the loving, wonderful families who take in our children as foster and adoptive parents are to us at Kids Central and to the children we serve….and they love. I am more grateful than ever before for the gift of Motherhood God has given me and all the blessings that have come with it. I would not change one minute of that gift. I will spend the rest of my life thanking Him for these, His gifts to me.
Thankfully we have not needed a “foster nurse mare” for Barranca. But I know that if need be we have the resources to care for the foal. How I wish I could say that about every child that comes into the foster and adoptive care system. That there was enough room in enough homes so these children would not be overcrowded, so they would each get the individual attention they need, they crave. That our system had enough families to provide for all, always and in all ways.
Perhaps this is something you have thought about before. Perhaps you have been praying about this very thing. Perhaps you have the ability to provide these gifts to children who need YOU! Can you open your heart and your home to children in need? More importantly – WILL YOU? If not now, then when? And if not you, then who? Will you reach outside of your comfort zone as a Mother or a Father and allow these children to grow – not under your hearts, but in them?
The lives you change will not only be those of the children. You may find your life changing in blessed ways you never imagined. Trust me – this is how I found the “miracle of motherhood”. God Bless All of our Mothers and Fathers as we head into the season of Mother’s and Father’s Day!
Strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in the time to come.
She opens her moth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up and call her blessed….Proverbs 31:25 – 28