Monday, October 01, 2012

home sweet home: miracles

Wislene and her entire family, back home.

Edline with Shane and her husband at home

One of the most beautiful moments in the process of getting to know these strong ladies is the joy of being allowed an opportunity to take them home. 

We all attempt to know one another better throughout the entire program and process. During intake, prenatal care, class time, labor, delivery, and postpartum care, we slowly build relationships. 

It used to be intimidating to me to wind deep into neighborhoods uncertain if I'd ever find my way out.  I remember averting the job of discharging and transporting in the beginning, leaving it to Beth whenever possible. Avoiding visiting their homes saved my heart from pain, their suffering and living situations are difficult to see. Truth be told, it's much easier not to see it up close. 

Something changed once I recognized that sorrow and joy, and pain and triumph all constantly dance together. They are a paradox far too intertwined to experience one without the other.  

While it might bring a measure of heaviness, I now know what an honor it is to be on their turf, to see and experience life sitting in their chairs, in their homes.  

It can be culturally and socially awkward, but as we sit there all fidgety and unsure and we're willing to be a bit uncomfortable together and allow that awkwardness, it almost always builds relationships and trust. 

Edline's husband reminded me of the importance of leaving my own turf on Thursday afternoon when he shook his head and incredulously repeated, "You came here Ms. Tara, You came here." 

These two families are too precious for words. I won't ever comprehend their moxie and courage. I won't ever comprehend their lives. They allow me to peek in, they allow me to see the paradox dancing, and that in and of itself is a gift.

With these two births we experienced the depth of intense fear and the height of great joy.

We witnessed miracles. 

Wislene lost half of her blood volume on Monday night and returned home to her family today, just one week later.

Edline set aside her fear to deliver her son and return home to her extended family support system to begin the work of caring for her son in spite of her visual impairment and added challenges.

These ladies are home. They are home loving their children and raising them themselves. In doing so, they are hoping for and believing in change for their families  -  and their country. Because of that, we very well may witness more miracles.  

~     ~     ~     ~

“Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.”  -Henri Nouwen