High school sweethearts Dayna and Matt from Ann Arbor, Michigan were over the moon at the birth of their daughter Luella in October 2015. A short while later Dayna posted a photo to her Facebook feed never thinking for a moment that it would ever go viral and that the story behind it would touch so many people. The photo shows Dayna cuddling up to Luella inside her crib.
“My husband came home to this, and I am re-posting because this captures the essence of my heart. There I was in the heat of this exhausting, beautiful thing we call parenthood, and I remembered a promise I made to her.” She wrote. The story that accompanies the photograph is so powerful.
Matt and Dayna went to a worship conference and it was one of the first times they’d left Luella. At the conference was a missionary from an orphanage in Uganda. In the nursery there were over 100 cribs filled with over 100 silent babies. They were healthy but there wasn’t a peep out of them. Not a cry just an eerie silence. The missionary enquired of his host why they were so silent. The answer left Dayna shocked to her core and was the reasoning behind her photograph and why she had climbed into the crib that day.
Dayna wrote the following…
“This was from several weeks back, yes, I climbed in the crib in hopes to soothe my screaming, teething, blushed faced, and tear soaked little girl. My husband came home to this, and I am re-posting because this captures the essence of my heart, and my “why…” There I was in the heat of this exhausting, beautiful thing we call parenthood, and I remembered a promise I made to her.” 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.”