There have been several times in my life when someone tried to give me their kid. Seriously. They truly were wanting me to take their kid and raise them as my own. The first time this happened was in the slums of Kibera, Kenya. I was a 19 year old college student on a mission trip. I have always loved babies, so I immediately fell in love with this new baby, named Grace. Her mother let me hold the baby for hours and hours. I have a picture of the baby strapped onto me in a traditional African wrap. I loved that little baby girl very much. When it was time for our team to travel home to America, Grace's mother asked me to take the baby to America with me. I know she loved her. She wanted her to have a better life. She thought of America as a promised land and wanted her daughter to have everything she couldn't give her. I cried and cried. I wanted that baby. I wanted to take her with me. I would have given her everything possible, but there was no way for this to happen. I had no idea how adopt that baby legally and get the baby out of the country in 24 hours. Plus, I knew deep in my heart that Grace was loved by her mommy and that God would provide everything they needed. I told the mother no and we held each other and cried. I left Africa, but sent letters, clothes, money and toys to Grace for years.
Years later, I was a single ESL teacher, living in a duplex by myself. I got a phone call from a friend at the pregnancy crisis center in town. She asked if I could rush right over for an emergency. When I arrived, there was a woman talking with my friend. She was clearly disturbed, maybe demon possessed. She told me that she hated her 9 year old daughter and she wanted to give her away. WHAT?!! This was insane. I kept blinking really hard because I was sure this was some sort of freaky dream.
The woman was serious about how much she HATED her daughter. She HATED her. She told us over and over. It made me want to vomit everytime she said it. How could anyone hate their child. We tried to pray for the woman and collect information so we could rescue this child. I told the mother that I would adopt her child. I would come and pick her up that very night. I would raise her as my own and love her forever. I was serious. I wanted to rescue this child and show her true love. At some point, the woman got cold feet (or came to her senses) and changed her mind. My friend and I knew that we had to report this issue to the authorities because this child was in true danger. Sadly, there was a social worker already working with this family and they chose to do almost nothing about this issue. The mother was very angry that I told on her, so she would never speak to me again. Years later, I heard that she actually gave the girl away to a priest at the bank in our small town. I wish I had that little girl (who would be a teenager by now).
I did unofficially foster a teenager years before this give away child situation. This "foster daughter" lived with me for a year (until she went to college) and is still like a little sister/daughter to me. My kids call her sister aunt. I remember 10 years ago when I went to her mother to ask for permission to parent her, her mother said, "I hear you want my daughter. I have two more in the back if you want them too." I think she was joking, but I should have said yes. I did want them, but I was 25 years old and incredibly overwhelmed by one addition to my family of one.
Why do people keep trying to give me their kids? Does this happen to anyone else? I think the Lord has annointed me for this. These women could see it, I guess. Send me the kids. I will take them. I will take all of them.