Elijah Grey

Posted: May 18, 2007 in Children, Family, Homelessness, Hopes, Misconceptions

A couple of days ago my other half and I ran into a friend of ours: a young woman who is also homeless.

She had been pregnant when we first met her and about three weeks ago she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy – Elijah Grey.

The last time I had seen her was about two weeks prior to the birth of her child, so seeing her a couple of evenings ago was a pleasant surprise – and especially since I was able to finally see her son. And what a cute little thing he was (and is!).  

The biggest joy of running into her was getting the chance to hold this tiny new life in my arms. There he was – bundled up in his newborn clothes, a tiny little hat on his head and a pacifier in his mouth – and oh so content to be adored by everyone.

Most adults like to put on airs of how mature they are. I’m no exception. But, also like most adults who have any sort of character, once I get around a newborn I turn into a babbling idiot.

So there I was, with this wonderful miracle of life in my arms, making every sort of cooing and baby talk sounds imaginable. I’m sure that any passer-by’s must have thought that I was ready to be shipped off to the funny farm, but I’ll bet had they the chance to hold this beautiful new child, they would have behaved just the same.

There’s just something about a newborn child that brings out the best in most of us. Perhaps because it let us know that there are some priceless blessings and treasures in life. Maybe it’s just that the wonder of life – in its profound simplicity and grandeur – are worth all of the struggles that each and every one of us face each day.

I’m sure that someone somewhere is going to bark at the idea of a homeless woman bringing a child into this world and not having a place to raise the child as being irresponsible. Some are probably going to argue that this child should be taken from his mother by the government and either adopted out or placed in some facility. But since, those people have no idea of the reasons or circumstances of why this woman is homeless, I would caution them against being too overly eager to pass judgment.

I’ll agree that this child has started out life at a disadvantage. But there are many such children born in our nation each day. In the time I’ve been homeless, I’ve known of a number of children who have been born into homelessness. I’ve also seen a lot of children who have been thrust into homelessness because of economic problems that their parents encounter.

Homelessness doesn’t lessen the value of a child’s life. Nor should it make them any less wondrous to the rest of us. If anything it should compel us – as a nation – to seek more effective ways of dealing with homelessness in our communities. It should cause something to burn in our hearts and souls, making us truly desire to help those who need our help.

We shouldn’t turn our back on these children. We mustn’t continue to believe that the solution to homelessness is in the adoption of laws and ordinances that curtail and limit the movement of the homeless within our communities.

We must realize, that as a nation, we are morally obligated to reach out a helping hand to those who need our help. We must seek a way to re-establish the homeless back into our communities. We must find a way that lifts them up – and not a way that keeps them down.

We must not turn a deaf ear to the cries to the Elijah Grey’s of our nations communities. We are capable – and worthy – of so much more.


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