Her chubby hands clutched the two tiny babies as she lifted them to her chest, as if guarding them from harm. She swayed back and forth, just as any expert mother would do. My daughter had just found her two new favorite babies. In the moment, nothing was more important than them. She refused to climb the stairs and get ready with Daddy – one of her favorite activities – without her new babies.
Four years ago, when I worked as the spokesperson on Colorado’s first Personhood campaign, I was given a treasured gift: two tiny babies, made of polymer clay, complete with their own blankets, hats, and bottles. The babies are no more than an inch in size, but they are perfectly formed. To me they are the perfect symbol that “a person is a person, no matter how small.” Last night, my toddler daughter discovered them.
Isn’t it amazing how babies seem to feel an instinctive need to protect other babies, specifically those smaller than them? I know my daughter is absolutely enthralled by babies. She often mimics what my husband and I do when she cares for her little ones. She wraps them in blankets, dances to music with them, rocks them in a chair, and feeds them. You can tell she is convinced that babies exist for one reason: to be loved and cherished. Sometimes the first word she speaks in the morning is “baby.” To her, babies are all-important creatures that must be cared for.
I showed my daughter this picture of a 7-week-old unborn baby. Babies this age are not as fully formed as the little polymer clay babies she held and cradled last night. They are even smaller…measuring in at less than half an inch in length. But when I showed this baby to my daughter, she quickly proclaimed the name of her cousin (who is a baby…she thinks all babies share his name) and stated that he needed “nummies.” To her, this was a baby like any other who needed food – right now!
It breaks my heart to think that there are grown adults all across our nation who do not have the compassion for babies that mere children have. When was that compassion and love, that nurturing heart ripped out of us? When did we decide that our own convenience and desires are more important than choosing to save the life of a small, helpless baby? How have we become so callous?
I pray that our nation will one day welcome each child – both in our laws and in our hearts. We must indeed pass laws so that every innocent baby is protected from death. We must reform our foster care system. We must make adoption easier and cheaper, while still keeping it safe. We must provide further training for parents who want to keep their babies but are unsure how to raise them.
However, we must also realize that every baby deserves the right to life right now - not only when our systems are perfect. I do not believe that a day will ever come when we will find that all of our systems have been 100% reformed. We will always find something to work on. But faulty systems are not an excuse to prevent a child from entering this world, just as inconvenience and the lack of finances are not excuses.
A child would rather be given away through adoption than be killed. A child would rather live in poverty than be torn apart. Even babies know that other babies should be loved and cared for by whoever can do that best. Let us let the little children of our world lead us…