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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.


Homeless & Pregnant

I rolled down my window & saw her dirty hand reach out for the dollar bill I was offering. I looked in her eyes, I saw the gaps between her teeth, & I saw her round belly. I said, "I'm sorry, that is all the cash we have." Her response was a grateful one, she said she'd be able to get a cheeseburger at the Burger King behind her. Her sign read: PREGNANT & HOMELESS, anything will help. There I was on our beach getaway only weeks after I lost our baby & I couldn't hold back the emotions as I saw this woman carrying a child. At first I thought the sign was just to collect more money, we had only hoped, until we saw that it was true. She was pregnant.

We drove off in our rental minivan with our sweet Magnolia in the backseat. We went to a nice dinner. We went back to our hotel & slept in our clean white bed linens. We enjoyed the luxuries of our vacation. Since we've been home there has not been a single day that passes that I do not think about that woman & her baby. I have thought about every single detail from where she sleeps at night, what will happen when she goes in labor, is she doing drugs, will her baby be born addicted to drugs, will she get to take her baby with her when she leaves the hospital, will she even deliver at the hospital, what will the baby wear, what will the baby eat, where will the baby sleep? Her face & her situation has played out in my mind on repeat every single day.

image via

National Geographic has an article called, "Babies Fall Victim to the Opioid Crisis," in 2012 there were 22,000 babies born drug dependent, one every 25 minutes. Over the last five years the opioid crisis has escalated & surely the number of drug dependent babies has climbed as well. 
The babies shake, sweat, vomit, and hold their bodies stiff as planks. They eat and sleep fitfully. Swaddled, they lie in bassinets or in the arms of nurses, parents, or volunteers. The place doesn’t have the hustle or beeping machinery of an ICU. Instead there are dim lights and hushed conversations because the babies need calm and quiet. Many also need methadone or other medication to relieve their symptoms. They are weaned from it over days or weeks.
I rarely leave the safe world of suburban America. I'm hardly ever exposed to this dark reality that exists. I do not turn on the news because I cannot handle to see the sadness. One homeless pregnant woman is pulling at my heart to do something.

The book I'm reading at the moment, Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp, said something to me about all of this.
We can be concerned for the poor - but be no less concerned for us rich who claim not to be rich so we can excuse ourselves from giving. Go ahead and show concern for the poor - but be no less concerned if we've merely done enough to assuage our consciences, just enough to pat ourselves on the back, but not enough that we've ever felt true sacrifice, that we've every actually broken and given. Go ahead and live concerned for the poor - but no less concerned for avoiding suffering because someday we will face Christ. What if caring for the poor was more than just caring about easing our consciences? What if caring for the poor may mean sacrifice, and what if this is the way to be satisfied and know abundant living?
Hand raised. I'm guilty of this.

The thought of helping those in need can be overwhelming. I don't know about everyone, but for me & my circle, it's almost like if we cannot save the person, then what is the point? That is the mind shift I feel I need to make. Part of me feels guilty for only sparing enough to buy the homeless pregnant woman a cheeseburger, and then the other part of me thinks if I did a small form of sacrifice every single day it may add up to something big.

I intend to spend more time in prayer about this topic. God is putting the vision of the homeless pregnant woman on my heart for a reason.

I was moved to share this story when The Recovery Village in Cincinnati Ohio reached out to me & asked that I share about them on my blog. My initial thought was, how is my Motherhood blog supposed to share about drug addiction? It didn't take long, maybe two minutes, for me to connect the dots to the homeless pregnant woman, to the book I'm reading, to sharing their resources.

In 2017 the state of Ohio has been the most severely affected by the Opioid crisis than any other state.  In 2016, opioids accounted for 42,249 deaths. The recovery from drug addiction is possible & thankfully there are organizations like The Recovery Village to help & provide treatment. To be equipped with the knowledge that resources to help with recovery exist is one way to help make an impact. To find a local rehab click here.  If you know someone struggling with addiction I encourage you to simply provide a resource for help.

Wendy Correen Smith
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