Today was a special day for many moms all over the world just like it was for me in 2003, 2006 and 2011. New moms are exhausted and joyful as they welcome their new child into the world. Today was such a day for a first time mother. I had never met her till I walked into her hospital room only to interrupt her breast feeding her first son for the second time. Even though I was a stranger she welcomed me into her room with the biggest smile as she held her new son like a pro! I remember with my first child I felt like I had no clue! As we were waiting for our mutual friend to arrive we talked about the baby and she asked if I would like to hold baby Jeremiah. I was thrilled! Of course I said YES! He was perfect! Silky light brown skin, dark blue eyes and a head full of thick dark hair. You could tell his eyes wanted to stay shut but he struggled to open them and get a glimpse of everything around him. His mother was so brave! Her first child and she did everything natural and didn’t complain. I told her how brave she was and calmly said, “well God was with me the whole time”.
Why would I be barging in on strangers breastfeeding right after birth you may wonder? And why would they be so happy that I did? Jeremiah and his mother are currently homeless. They were staying at a local shelter but are now sharing a very small motel room with another homeless family that already has three children. After meeting Jeremiah and his mother I realized something. It doesn’t take a mansion or even a “normal” home to be a good mother and have a happy family. It takes love and strong faith. Both of which I can tell this young woman has. I’m sure this is not the situation her or anyone would want to raise a child in but I know this young man is blessed with a wonderful mother no matter where they stay. I pray for this new family and every new mother blessed with a child. Some children are blessed with homes with many rooms filled with things and yet their heart is still empty. You can not always measure someones life by what you see on the outside. No one should be homeless, especially a child but everyone deserves a wonderful parent just like we all have in our Heavenly Father! Happy birthday baby Jeremiah and congratulations to a wonderful new mother!
As you tuck your children into bed tonight I want you to think about how your life or decisions may have been different if you were facing homelessness while giving birth. Many new moms face this everyday and it seems to only be on the rise. Homelessness is the face of our mothers and our babies. Not just the panhandlers on the corner that you try to avoid eye contact with as you drive by. It could happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, age or background. Homelessness knows no boundaries and still I was so naive to it just a few years ago. As I sat there holding baby Jeremiah I remembered my babies. Its hard to remember them being that young again but as soon as I held him all my memories of being in that same hospital came flooding back. The only difference was, I knew that when I was released I was going to my home and putting my baby in her nursery. This mother is so much braver then I am. She has strength most of us don’t get to test and I hope we can all keep them and every mother facing some of the hardest times during what should be the happiest moments in our prayers.
Good night sweet Jeremiah, sleep well and welcome to the world. We hope it treats you kind and that you use your new life to walk with God always and bless others through the experiences God has already brought to you. Happy Birthday.
3/12/14 UPDATE!!! We are pleased to say that this precious boy is now 2 months old and I got the pleasure to cuddle him and rock him to sleep yesterday! His mother moved back in with her father but unfortunately not all home environments are healthy. Remember the family I mentioned she was staying with at a local hotel? Well they recently were able to get into their own home and they opened up their doors to this wonderful mom and her baby so now these two families continue to be each others support and they are now one big happy family! Baby Jeremiah is doing great and growing like a weed! He is just the cutest thing you have ever seen and we are so happy that him and his mother are safe and have the love and support of some great friends! Thank you to everyone who has been asking about them and wanting to donate clothing to Jeremiah! It is greatly appreciated and it warms my heart to see a community pull together to help a stranger when sometimes their own family are unable to do so. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and with all the bad in the world today I am glad that when it comes down to it, we can take the opportunity to show Christ’s love to others and stand for what is the right thing to do!