Dear Ms. Feverfew –
As the initial planning stages for Love’s Labor are cogitating around in my brain, I have been wondering what I can do right now – today – to support mothers keeping their children. As you might know, one of the main reasons that women in foreign countries relinquish their children is because of poverty. And we are talking about bone-grinding poverty unlike anything most Americans can ever wrap their minds around.
These women – these mothers – do they love their children any less because they are poor or because they don’t speak English? No. And who are we are rich, white westerners to rush in and scoop up their lovely-hued babies, all in the name of rescuing them from the poverty of their natural mother’s circumstances?
Why not help solve the problem of why these mothers feel like they need to give us white folk their babies, namely why not offer them a way to provide for their children in a way that builds self-reliance and self-worth? One of the most successful models of doing exactly that is through buying hand crafted fair-trade items. I first stumbled upon this idea when my friend recently returned from Uganda, bringing me back some of the most lovely hand made beads, made and sold by mothers to support their children. When my little nursling plays with those beads in her pudgy Welsh/Irish/German white hands, I often think of the African mothers who created their colorful swirls. Those paper beads serve as a talisman of sorts, reminding me of my connection with all mothers and their resourcefulness to provide for their children.
So, today I will honor those mothers who are working so hard to provide for their families so they can stay intact – so their babies can grow up with their people and with the sound of their mother’s voice stitched onto their heart . I think I will buy some more gorgeous paper bead jewelry to support moms in Uganda. Also, I have my eye a couple of darling aprons from moms in rural China. I actually have a couple of them on my Christmas gift list for other mamas in my life who I love and admire. I will buy Princess P. her first tea set for Christmas. Instead of ordering from my much adored seed and gardening catalogs this Christmas season, I am going to donate money so that poor women in South Africa can be taught how to reclaim lands and grow gardens to feed their families.
I know it isn’t much, but it is something. And it is something I can do right now, today.
So to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month, I am going to empty the Christmas fund purchasing gifts from women who need my $$ way more than the big box stores around town. Maybe it will help just one mother not feel like she needs to give away part of her heart.
Much love and belief –