I was thrilled to tag along with my infant granddaughter on her first trip to the zoo. I anticipated seeing all the various animal species.
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
Polar bears that is.
I was especially looking forward to the gorilla exhibit.
I am intrigued by their human like behavior. I especially enjoy watching them with their young.
Gorilla Mommas maintain skin to skin contact with their infants for 5 months, nursing and cuddling them. At which time, they, will let the infant venture off about 16 feet while the male gorilla stands guard to protect his young from aggressive predators.
If I were heading toward a gorilla baby and saw that big 500lb male species mean mugging me, I would go the other way fast and in a hurry.
As you can imagine, I was taken aback as I approached one of the gorilla rooms and to my surprise, there
lying on the cage floor,
firmly holding a premature gorilla baby in her arms, was
Yes, A WOMAN! Not a female gorilla, but A WOMAN!
This lady lying there cuddling this baby gorilla was one of the dedicated gorilla care staff at the Louisville Zoo.
Kindi, the gorilla preemie was born via emergency cesarean section. Her mother died shortly after her birth from complications. Until Kindi is ready to be given to her prospective surrogate mother, the keeper staff will care for Kindi with around-the-clock bottle feeding and mimicking her gorilla mother in ways that will help Kindi adjust accordingly when she goes in with the adult gorillas. Keepers are quick to note that it is very important to teach her what it means to be a gorilla just like her mother would have.
German born psychologist Erik Erikson’s eight stages of development theory (1956) poses from birth to 12 -18 months an infant is in what he called the trust versus mistrust developmental stage. His theory is that if a child is properly handled; nurtured, fed, loved etc.,he will learn to trust. If the child is neglected, he will become insecure and mistrustful.
I was born in the sin family on Iniquity Avenue but when I believed and confessed that Jesus is Lord, I was adopted into the family of God and he became my Daddy. (Romans 8:15)
Just like Kindi the gorilla baby, I would have been lost and alone, failing to thrive had it not been for the tender affection of my Daddy God.
I crave this dependent relationship with my father, my Daddy God!
Another name for God can be found In Genesis 17:1 when God introduced himself to Abraham. The original Hebrew word here is El Shaddai which can be interpreted as The Many Breasted One indicating sufficiency and nourishment.
Our Daddy God knows how to properly handle us. He nurtures, feeds, and draws us with his loving kindness so that we can learn to trust him. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I encourage you to crawl up into the arms of God, your nurturer and let him love on you. His arms are waiting on you.
Lang, K. C. (2005, October 4). GorillaGorilla. Retrieved July 02, 2016.
Faris, M., & McCarrol, E. (2010). Crying Babies. Retrieved July 2, 2016, from http://www.childcarequarterly.com/pdf/fall10_babies.pdf