Amina told me yesterday that her brother’s wife was pregnant with her third child. She is two months four days pregnant, and because she was ill last month, she forgot to take her tri-monthly birth-control shot. She has two girls already, and her husband does not earn enough income to feed one more mouth. Now if the baby is a boy, then obviously they would be happy. But if it is a girl, well they already have two girls!! They love their girls, but another one??

The husband hasn’t said whether he wants the child. The wife has taken things in her own hands, and took some herbal medicine for twenty taka to try to nosto kor or “ruin” the baby. The medicine didn’t work. Then the wife told Amina and her other neighbors. They all told her not to try to get rid of the baby, as for one, the baby is older than 40days, and Muslims believe that at forty days, that Allah gives the baby a soul. Killing the baby is a sin. And secondly, due to the wife’s recent sickness, having an abortion at the hospital would most probably lead to infection and possibly death for the mother. But the wife is worried about how she will run her household. How to feed one more mouth. So she went to another herbal doctor in the neighborhood and got some stuff that cost 35 taka. The doctor said that if that stuff didn’t work, she is not to try again, that the baby is meant to stay.

Amina’s reason for telling me about it all is to ask if we have any such medicine. She thinks “ruining” the baby is sin too. But she feels for her sister-in-law, and she knows how it is to split the food and clothes between family members. I told her that we didn’t have such medicine, and if we had, then we would not give it. I told her that I’d rather have the baby than see the baby be gotten rid of.

It’s so true, though. I am ready for a baby. I want a baby. My little one is walking and my arms are empty. Jacob and I have talked about adopting, and we want to. Yet with all the stories of baby-stealing in Guatemala, the 40,000$ or so that it takes to adopt, then there is the fact that we don’t live in one place for a long time, and then non-Muslims are not allowed to adopt Muslim children here in Bangladesh. So many barriers. So adopting might happen, but it will be more of a miracle if it does as there are so many things standing in the way. But then, in my mind, children are always miracles.

Questions: What physical scars will the baby have from the mother twice taking poison? How would it be to adopt a child from the neighborhood? Would the legal process be long and expensive if the mother literally says “Have my baby.”? What help should this woman’s community and family give? How can we help children in the neighborhood have enough to eat? And then the big question, how is the Lord calling us to be compassionate?