Here is an interesting article today from a UK paper about the foundling homes in New York City back in the 19th century. The notes left with the babies from their mothers were very moving to read. It’s difficult to imagine 81 babies being left in the basket outside the home in just a matter of a few months, but times were tough then. One man lost both his wife and daughter in a few days’ time and had no choice but to deliver his newborn baby to the home. The note that touched me the most was the one where the mother asked the sisters to wash her baby’s eyes with warm water so they would heal. I can’t imagine the pain of leaving a baby behind, but these mothers knew it was their child’s only chance to survive.
What we often refer to as the “good old days” often weren’t so good at all. But the foundling homes provided a safe haven for these precious children who had nobody else in the world to care for them. How wonderful that anyone cared enough for these babies to take them in.