My baby?! - Mixed up at birth - my missing baby!
"When I looked at him closely...I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne," said the real mother in the royal court, the court of courts, of the dead child that she had found in her bed at the twilight of dawn. (1 Kings 3:21)
Je l'ai regardé attentivement à la lumière,
In the greyish light, her mind was racing. Perhaps at first, when she thought her child was dead, before she looked at the baby closely, she herself had thought of switching babies to have one to nurture. She then found that her true child was with her supposed "friend"! Her baby was even in the same house! He was "missing" in the same house!
et j'ai vu que ce n'était pas mon fils. French
Doch als ich es genau ansah,
merkte ich, daß es gar nicht das meine war. German
Cuando...fijándome en él por la mañana,
vi que éste no era el mío. - Spanish
There is this idea that privacy and secrecy will limit important problems at least officially in this bible story.
(Directquote - 1 Kings 3: end of verse 18)
"We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us," said the real mother in court.
(Her statement was not technically true, since the babies were there.)
Nous vivons seules dans cette maison, il n'y a personne d'autre que nous deux. - French
These women had supported each other during the birthing of the babies.
No había ningún extraño en casa, salvo nosotras dos. Spanish
Kein Fremder war da; nur wir beide waren zu dieser Zeit im Haus. German
Why in the world would her "friend" even consider doing this? A baby switch? An act to kill any relationship. Yet...
The woman's son was "missing" to her, yet he was so near! Near enough to see him a lot and ache for him. The future was uncertain. What would happen in this supreme court of courts? Would she not be able to see her baby any more at all? Would she ever get her child back rightfully? What would be her relationship to her "friend" afterwards? Was she now killing her chances to even see her son at all times? He would be "missing" far away.
It was her "word" against the other woman's word. If she had any dark thoughts herself, she would never state these for sure! No official had been able to break the stalemate.
Solomon devised a test. He found the answer. He "awarded" the child to the true mother.
But...and I believe this strongly,... Solomon also found a compassionate answer for the other woman.
Since I have been a mother, I know what it is to well up with milk. Solomon had to devise a test to see if the other mother was able to mourn her true baby as well as nurture a motherless child with her milk. Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, knew about loosing a child to death. She would empathize and along with the royal midwives would suggest how to help the desparate mother and would discuss possible ultimate outcomes for her and for the benefit of others.
I believe too, that the "real" mother found a compassionate answer for the "other" woman. Forgiveness and flexibility re: modus vivendi are the key in situations like this in any era!
Today Solomon's successors still must devise wise tests.
Today's "claimants" must still consider the well-being of children. They should also diligently consider the well-being of any other claimants, especially if these are innocent.
People claim they are the true parent and not someone else....adoptive and natural parents. Surrogate parents versus the donors. Divorcing parents. Parents and grandparents. Childrens' foster caretakers and others. Orphanage people and infertile couples. An abusive parent vs. the "passive" parent. A rich parent vs. a poor one.
Each case is individual, but can be grouped with similar cases. What happened in other cases throughout history in various jurisdictions of the kings of various countries? How were judgments derived? Did judgements prove true even years later? A search could be made, with the help of the written records of the scribes.
Today's arbitrator or judge could devise many old and new wise tests.
Blood typing and DNA testing could be ordered. Paternity and Maternity tests are available.
The "Plaza de Mayo" grandmothers can be told if a young person is related through a missing and murdered daughter by particles in the blood passed on from grandmother to daughter to grandchild. Men pass on their Y chromosome to all their sons and grandsons...and so on. Yet...Solomon's wisdom is needed regarding any abductors and those around them who were and are "not in the know".
There could be questions to psychologists. What is the body language between pairs of participants and all of them together? Who takes responsibility for daily tasks or visiting the doctor, going to school interviews etc.? Who is in snap pictures with the child?
There could be questions to law enforcement officers. Have the participants ever tried to take other children or have they claimed others? Do they show evidence of any type of abuse? What other circumstancial evidence is there? Is one of the claimants or both addicted to anything?
There could be questions to people who know the participants. What groups do the participants belong to? Do they hate whole groups of people? What are their reactions to other similar cases?
There could be questions to the child. If the child(ren) are old enough, what do they think? Should there be visiting rights of not so distant relatives--by uncles, cousins.. at holidays or funerals? Should the child(ren) have to travel often and for long distances? Should they be forced to go on access visits?
There could be questions of those who have been in the "same boat" before. How should things be handled, for example, if a someone has been told sympathetically or maliciously that someone loved is dead, but really isn't?
Wisely administered "tests" may show a clear cut answer...to make a definite compassionate decision possible...for all concerned.
Lord, Jesus, we may wonder too, if anyone ever switched our babies?
Let the truth set us free!
You have called each one by a special name!!!!
Thank you that there are identity procedures in place so that our babies are tagged at the moment of birth. They are not left unattended. But there are still a few babies even now being switched. This happens even in the diligent States, according to US News and World Report. Have mercy on these families!
Lord, we put before you all the cases where people fight over "rights" with children and people. Inspire the people around them to come up with good and workable solutions.
Lord, be with people when their children have been "awarded" to them. Lord, be with people when their children have NOT been "awarded" to them.
Lord, we pray for adopted children and their parents, who do not know their natural families. Help them overcome the time when they do not get any information. Help them if someone does NOT want to see them. Help us to rejoice when there are reunions.
Help the Holy Spirit groan with and for us when we do not have words. Help people overcome related depression. Help people not take drastic hurtful actions. Help people find meaningful work. Give everyone hope and a future.
In Jesus' most Holy Name.