I opened the door, after hours, frustrated that someone was pounding feverishly.
She was panting and sweating. She was out of breath as she was smiling.
I saw her then I saw a baby. His skin so beautiful and clean, his demeanor so calm. I looked up and she said, "I've never walked so fast, I'm glad you're here."
I regretted my frustration immediately and wept the happiest tears while I took the baby from her arms. I remember him in her belly, from the time she shared with me that she had made him with a man she didn't want to be with. Together we discussed her options when there was really only ever one; to have him and to love him.
She lived outside at night and in our lounge during the day. We counted the days and weeks and months until she hit month seven of nurturing him in her body. For homeless women month seven means eligibility for a maternity home. Everyday I called to ask if a bed was open and for three weeks, "We're full." On a Thursday morning the worker on the other line told me a couch was open and She could have it until a bed opened up. I agreed to send her via taxi by 11 am, "I promise, she will be there."
Off I ran to find her eating breakfast in our dining room, "A couch is ready for you, let's pack!"
Together we sorted her things and waited for a cab. I loaded her things and hugged her, I wished her well and knew I may never see her again.
Sweaty and panting she handed me her baby.
This is what we do at Maryhouse. We love and we listen and sometimes we have the privilege of seeing the outcome.