A mother took to Facebook to share a stunning story about orphan babies in Uganda who wouldn't cry for one heartbreaking reason.
Dayna Mager posted a photo of her and her daughter, Luella, alongside the post -- which quickly went viral for its powerful message. The photo, she explained, was from several weeks before she posted it and showed her laying with Luella in her crib.
The photo, she said, was taken by her husband and captured what it's like "in the heat of this exhausting, beautiful thing we call parenthood."
She posted of a story:
"One of the first times Matt and I left Luella, was to a worship concert. At that conference, a missionary shared his story, and it shook me to the core. A moment that would forever be burned in my fragile, hormone raging, new mommy heart that had already become 100xs more fragile after meeting her.
"That missionary was in an orphanage in Uganda, and he has been in many before, but this one was different. He walked into a nursery with over 100 filled cribs with babes. He listened in amazement and wonder as the only sound he could hear was silence. A sound that is beyond rare in ANY nursery, let alone a nursery where over 100 new babes laid. He turned to his host and asked her why the nursery was silent. Then , her response to him is something I will never, ever forget. EVER. This was my 'why' moment.
She looked at him and said, 'After about a week of them being here, and crying out for countless hours, they eventually stop when they realize no one is coming for them...'
"...They stop crying when they realize no one is coming for them. Not in 10 minutes, not in 4 hours, and maybe, perhaps, not ever...
"I broke. I literally could have picked up pieces of my heart scattered about the auditorium floor. But instead, it stirred in me a longing, a hunger.. A promise in my spirit.
"We came home, and that night as Luella rested her tiny little 10lb body against mine and we rocked, I made a promise to her. A promise that I would always come to her.
"At 2:00am when pitiful desperate squeals come through a baby monitor, I will come to her.
Her first hurt, her first heartbreak, we will come to her. We will be there to hold her, to let her feel, to make decisions on her own, and we will be there. We will show her through our tears and frustrations at times, that it is okay to cry, and it's ok to feel. That we will always be a safe place, and we will always come to her."
Mager's post quickly went viral, garnering more than 54,000 likes and 21,000 shares on Facebook. Independent Journal readers shared their reaction to the story in the comments, with many expressing their sorrow for the orphan babies.
"God, how tragic -- Anytime anywhere women are forced to bear children they already know they cannot possible feed or shelter, this shall be the outcome," one reader commented.
"Desperate needy children abandoned in orphanages overwhelmed by sweet babies with no hope at all. God save the human race!"
"What a sad, very sad story, It brought tears to my eyes," another wrote.