First of all, living in a two-bedroom condo with this many people feels like camping. Constantly.

That has nothing to do with my post today, but I just wanted to get that off my chest. Anywho, I just want to take a minute to give a shout out to all you moms who are working so hard to be good at what you do. I’ll explain why.

Since I have been thinking more and more about adoption someday, I’ve been picking up on info here and there whenever I can…learning bits and pieces of what it’s really like to take on a child who has come from a less than ideal environment.

I was learning just the other day about the attachment issues many of these kids have. Even babies adopted before their FIRST year of life can grow up to have extreme behavioral issues and problems because of the lack of care during those first few crucial months.

I found this to be very sad…but also extremely fascinating. It is just such great hard evidence on how important that first year really is. These babies who are in institutions and orphanages their first year aren’t necessarily abused or completely neglected. They just aren’t given the attention that most mothers would normally give to their children. Due to a lack of staff members in many cases, babies are left to cry longer periods of time before being fed. Many are held very infrequently or given small amounts of physical touch, and many are in cribs for extended periods of time with little or no developmental stimulation.

Just those few things alone can cause a LIFETIME of issues and serious behavior problems in many kids. They grow up with anger issues, feelings of insecurity and mistrust, and most are completely and utterly afraid of everything and everyone. They have no ability to connect with other people and are developmentally delayed.

This is just so terribly sad isn’t it?!

Mother Holding BabyBut then I also started to think…If this is true, then that also means that the opposite is true. With just our two hands, we mothers possess an unspeakable power. Simply holding our babies and feeding them when they cry is reaching down to the very souls of these little people…and touching them DEEPLY. These things don’t  just help them to survive, they help them THRIVE. The simple care we give our babies is what shapes their ability to love, connect, trust, AND how they will perceive their entire world when they are older. It is in those first few months of life that they learn whether the world is safe or unsafe, good or bad, and whether they will be nurtured or abandoned. The little things we do every day that we don’t even realize we’re doing half the time…they are absolutely transcendent. It is something so miraculous, we can’t even totally understand it. We mothers are forming human hearts.

Obviously, I’ve always known the holding our babies was important, but I guess I just didn’t realize how incredibly VALUABLE it was. Of all the times we feel like we should be doing SO MUCH more as mothers, it’s the absolute simple things we do every single day that matter most. And they matter a LOT. The little mundane things like making bottles, bathing our babies, and rocking them to sleep…they MATTER. Even for those colicky, cranky babies that you can never seem to soothe…I used to feel so helpless! But now I see that just being there is teaching them something. Just holding them is telling them you love them before they even know what the words mean…even if they cry through it all, they still feel you there :) These “little” things we do are the miracles that speak to them forever.

Seeing what happens to kids just because they aren’t held or touched shows you just how incredibly important those things are. In some babies, the negative things they learn that first year seem to be unchangeable no matter how much treatment or therapy they are given. But if that’s true, then that also means it’s possible to instill a sense of trust and security in our kids that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives…with just a simple touch.

You moms are doing awesome things for your kids just by loving them. You are Soul-Touchers. Remember that the next time you hold your litte ones!

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Missional Women
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