Why Babies In Orphanages Don’t Cry

5 Min Read

Dayna Mager met her husband, Matt, back when they in high school. The two were high school sweethearts from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and in October 2015, they welcomed their first child, Luella, into the world. A few weeks later, Dayna posted a photo of her sleeping with Luella.

She never expected it to go viral.

There’s a powerful and moving message accompanied by Dayna’s photo. She explains that there is a perfectly good reason for why she climbed into her daughter’s crib when she screamed. It’s because Dayna “remembered a promise [she] made to her.”

Dayna recalls a story she had heard while attending a worship conference with Matt. The two were sitting in the audience when a missionary shared a stunning story. On a recent trip to Uganda, the missionary visited an orphanage but was shocked by what he heard and saw. There are 100 cribs filled with babies there, but not a single baby was crying, yelling, or making a sound.

You’d expect babies to cry and call for comfort, love, and support, but these babies all stopped. That’s when the missionary said something that will forever be engrained in Dayna’s mind.

Read on to hear why Dayna climbed into her baby’s crib…

“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 babies. 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 babies 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.”

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