Two Mothers, One Baby

by , on
2019-11-24

A Story Of Judgement

Two Women Came to the King.

One woman said, “Oh king, this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. Three days later, she also gave birth to a child. We were the only two in the house. 

“Then, her son died in the night. So she switched our babies while I was asleep. When I woke up in the morning, I found my son, dead. But when I looked at him carefully, I realized it was not my son.”

The other woman said, “No! This living baby is my child. The dead son is yours!”

But the first woman said, “No! The living one is my son!” And they argued like this before the king.

Then the king said, “Both of you believe you have a claim on the living child.” So he turned to his servant and said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought the king a sword.

The king said, “Divide the child in two!”

“Give his heritage and nature to the one and his rearing and education to the other. Let him always be torn between two warring identities, having affection for both mothers but never fully belonging to either. In this way, let him suffer as long as he lives so that you will each have what you claim to be yours.”

Then, the woman who was the mother of the living child spoke to the king, for she loved her son fiercely, and said “Oh king, give her the living child. Do not let him suffer this way!”

But the other woman said, “Divide him!”

Then the king said, “Give the first woman the living child and by no means tear him apart. Surely the woman who is willing to lose him completely in order to spare him suffering, is his true mother.”

When all the land heard of the judgement the king handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that God had given him wisdom to administer justice.

Storyteller Note:
Sometimes I read a story and my mind wonders. I see threads of connection that my imagination runs with it. With all the researching and writing about the adoption industry that I’ve been doing, I read the story of Solomon in 1 Kings, and another story emerged.

I saw the dynamics of modern adoption corruption, where children are stolen. I saw a child’s identity being erased and replaced in order to fill a void in a grieving woman. I saw a vulnerable mother seeking justice and finding a horrific “solution”. I saw a women with no choice, relinquishing her baby because she believed it meant his life would be spared. I saw the powers-that-be, who know the devastation of family separation, using it as a strategy to manipulate the vulnerable, and being praised for their good judgement.

The story in the Bible ends with justice, with the baby being given back to his mother. But that does not always happen in our world. First mothers who have been tricked or coerced, do not always receive justice and get their baby back. Many adoptees are forever divided, spending our lives trying to stitch together two identities that keep pulling us back apart.

So I changed details of the story as a creative writing exercise, not a spiritual meditation or theological statement. Don’t read too much into that. I hope this helps illustrates, though, how different the perspectives of adoptees can be.