balance scale

Staying involved but staying out of judgment – a hard balance

I’ve been emotionally preoccupied the last couple of weeks with trying to get help for a newborn baby girl with Trisomy 21 who has been left in an institution while the parents decide if they should keep her or not.

I was asked to get involved by someone aware of the situation.  Initially I was told the parents definitely didn’t want her and she would stay in the institution until a home was found for her.  As I got more involved I learned the situation was much more complicated.  Through the staff members I’ve repeatedly told them the parents can be in touch with me to get accurate information about T21 to help them with the decision.

Eventually the grandmother reached out to me and I spoke to her at length.  My goal has been to communicate the importance of placing the baby with someone who will care for her while the parents make up their minds since Baby M is in a physically and emotionally sterile environment and every day that goes by is causing her emotional and cognitive harm.

Has any of this effort been helpful?  To my mind, not nearly helpful enough.  But after two weeks of no change in the situation, my two daughters and I were officially given permission to visit Baby M (the day we visited she was exactly a month old).   The next day, volunteers were organized to come for four hours a day.  Two of my daughters will also be visiting for 6.5 hours a day and this means that now she will have substantially more stimulation and social connection.  Clearly a newborn needs more than this but this is where it stands now.

There are a lot of details I’m not including and this has been a situation that has raised a lot of emotion for me. Dealing with this been a hard balance.  On one hand, I don’t want to judge the parents.  Everyone does the best he can with the resources he has.

On the other hand, I’m deeply, deeply upset to see an infant not getting the care she needs, especially since the financial and social resources are available to support it – and it’s appropriate to feel anger when you see injustice perpetrated.

On Tuesday the parents will be making a decision as to if they will keep Baby M or not.  I am hoping and praying that that very soon she will be in a good home and ask you to whisper a prayer for her sake as well.

**Update: I was notified by the grandmother that the parents were told to find a family for the baby.  Continued prayers, please.**


14 thoughts on “Staying involved but staying out of judgment – a hard balance

  1. Sounds like you are doing a much better job than I would have. I do wonder (assuming these are religious people) if having someone speak to the family’s Rabbi would help? Maybe at this point it is too late regardless. Thanks for stepping up to do something that needs doing but can’t be easy.

    1. They asked for rabbinical feedback through an intermediary and were told them to give her up a couple of weeks ago. They are now going to be speaking to him more directly to be sure all the facts were accurately given over and will accept the decision they are given at that point. That’s why we know that by Tuesday there will be a decision.

      1. Too bad someone can’t explain to the Rabbi why our kids should not be given up like this. I still have a really hard time with the fact that there are parts of the Frum world that is still advising parents to give up their children……. Hopefully the little girl will find a good home.

        1. Thank you for sharing this tender and painful part of your life, Rachael. How were you able to get in touch with this having happened and know that it is the root of the healing you need to do now?

          Yes, the trauma from the early days runs very deep and I’m so sorry you experienced this. ((Warmest wishes for deep healing for you.))

        2. Sometimes the wisest parents are the ones who know that they would not be good parents. My daughter’s birth parents were young, and were not prepared to handle the responsibility. B’H, they were self aware, and started looking for families as soon as they found out they were expecting. My daughter went straight from the delivery room to my arms, and today she is an amazing, well adjusted young lady (13). Her birth parents stay in touch, but not much, and she’s totally fine with that. I thank Hashem every day because the birth parents wanted to do the right thing, and make sure she had a good life.

          1. The way your daughter’s birth parents handled finding a family that would better meet their baby’s needs sounds really ideal.

  2. tears, may HaShem send so much love and healing to this baby s life and also to the parents. yes very hard not to be upset at parents. This is hard. hugs and thank you for sharing!

  3. Oy! Huge, huge tears and Tefillos. I was left in the hospital for 5 days when I was 4 days old. I’ve used energy healing work to get in touch with and heal the feelings of abandonment and fear from that time. The trauma of early days runs so, so deep. I pray she finds a loving, supportive, nurturing home very, very soon.

  4. I have always felt that Hashem sends babies to the best place for them. This is so heartbreaking. I will add her to my Tehillim list.

  5. As the adoptive mom of a special needs son with 2 different chromosomal disorders(not T21) AND Reactive Attachment Disorder, I thank you for you efforts from the bottom of my heart.

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