Written by Steven Liechty
"You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." - Psalm 139:14
After some last minute drama with the birth mother—no one could find her for several days—a baby girl was safely delivered, ahead of schedule, on New Year's Day. After a short waiting period, the birth mother gave her final assent to the adoption, and the adoptive parents gave the baby a name—Dorothy, gift of God.
Soon after her birth, she began showing signs of drug withdrawal. She'd have to stay in the hospital until she finished treatment. No one could say how long. Her new parents would have to stay there too, complicating their plans with many unknowns.
When her new grandparents found out, they were alarmed. Her new aunts and uncles wondered if the adoption had been a good idea. Her new parents' friends texted and talked about people they knew whose adopted children had begun life like Dorothy, physically ill, laden with emotional question marks. Their stories about raising those kids were painful. Maybe it would've been better to hold out for a healthier birth mother, a healthier child.
But it was too late. The adoptive parents had already seen their child. They'd already given her her name. They'd already held her, smelled her smell, smoothed her damp dark hair. And, forgetting all the songs they ever knew, they'd made up new songs, just for her.
If you could hear them sing to their beautiful sick child, you would know who God is. You would have to remind yourself to breathe.
Nothing warns you away from us, O God. Nothing about us gives you pause. You don't look elsewhere for better children. You've already sung us our song, the one you made up just for us, sick and beautiful and wanted. Praise to you now and always. Amen.
Mary Luti is Visiting Professor of Christian History and Worship at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, Massachusetts.