Monday, May 11, 2009
it takes a village to raise Bobito
Tommy is in DC this week, Ana is on a tour de 64 de grandchildren and I started grad school today. All of this can mean only one thing: Bennett is watching Juan Bobo all week. I dropped him off on San Marcos Ct. this morning before work and Santiago gave me this warning, "Ruthie, I will watch him but I will make sure everyone knows he is not my dog."
Yesterday at church at least 3 people asked of Juan Bobo's whereabouts. People whose names I can't even keep straight. "He's my bud!" a nameless person told me, "Let me know if you ever need someone to watch him!" I smiled and sincerely thanked him. I mean, I actually spend time worrying that my dog has drowned in the toilet while I am at work- - I need all the help I can get.
Last week at work I received a call from a woman seeking shelter. She was 19, pregnant with twins and living on the street until she went into labor-- 3 months early. I had to tell her that because her babies were not yet born she did not qualify for our services. This girl was calling from the hospital where she was in pre-term labor with twins and was worried that if she went to Social Services for assistance that they would take her babies away.
She is having twins. She is 19. She lives on the streets!
I have never felt as helpless as I felt during that very brief phone call. Once I hung up my brain started working again. I could call someone at church, she could move in with me, I could call Ana! But I didn't know her name or where she had called from.
Since working at ForKids I have asked myself one question over and over again: How can you have no other option than to live on the street with your children? And I realize, my life and my wide net of support are not normal. While I want to find this girl's mother and shake her, I must remind myself that her mother probably lives on the streets as well.
It's situations like this that leave me thankful for my mother, who I have grown up watching fill her house and life with people in need. That is my normal.
King David said God "places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:8)" and I know with my whole life that that is true. Bobito reminds me how much I need a family and this girl and her two babies remind me of how far that family extends.