Monday, May 16, 2011

Genesis, A New Life

Babies.  Tiny little hands and feet.  Tiny little toes and fingers.  Totally helpless and totally dependent on the care and support received from parents. 

All that "tiny" and yet they scare the pants off new parents.  Our thoughts begin to haunt us. Will we be good parents?  How do we know what this child needs when she's crying?  How will we keep her safe? Are we up to the challenges?  Will we ever eat a hot meal again?  Or sleep?


Growing up in a two-parent, middle class family as the first born in a series of 5, I look back in awe. Really?  FIVE?  I'm sure they had plenty of "what have I done" moments when I came along. Eventually, they either got comfortable with the idea of kids (because I was SO perfect), or they took the "never give up" approach and kept trying for a good one!

On that day so MANY years ago, my parents left Mounds Park Hospital with their new "bundle of joy" (that would be me) and walked through the parking lot to the car.  But what if circumstances decreed that our vehicle was also - home?  If all (most) of us experience the anxieties of parenthood as we leave the hospital, what's it like knowing that you have no place to go?  What's it like to feel that right out of the gate, you are failing to support and care for this tiny child? What's it like to know that the first night as a family will be spent at the local Wal-Mart parking lot in a 15 year old sedan?

For most of us, it is as impossible to imagine moving from maternity ward to homelessness as it is for us to imagine what the national debt actually means. There's no way to wrap our heads around it.  And yet, there are those who might not understand a trillion dollars, but they know all too well what homeless with a newborn means. 

Thankfully, there are people working hard to provide a solution. They are the staff and volunteers at an organization making sure there is place for newborns and their families.  They make sure that a young woman's very first night with her baby will be spent in private rooms - with real beds and a crib and something to eat.  They make sure that she has the help and support needed to get her life on track.  They make sure that a newborn begins life with a decent start helping to insure a better future.

What's that worth?  Maybe we should make another attempt to get our heads around that 'unknowable' number. Knowing that a safety net has been created for this newborn child, I'm imagining a young parent saying "thanks" a trillion times when, in the privacy of her own room, that tiny baby grasps her finger with one of its own.

Meet Genesis, A New Life, Atlanta, GA

You'll want to check back Wednesday when I'll tell you more about how they accomplish their mission!

2 comments:

  1. SO very well-said, Mike! Thanks for sharing the story of one organization that's making such a difference!

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  2. Thank you for the very kind words... last article is tomorrow -vote begins the 25th!

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