Aug 14, 2013

Zoe & Aiden

I left work today at 4pm, headed home to play with the girls before the rain arrived.  As I exited the parking deck, I saw a woman with two small, small children and two big, big suitcases crossing Peachtree Dunwoody. 

I made a right out of the parking deck, stopped at the traffic signal and continued to watch them cross over to the next block, now on the same side of the street I was on, my guess they were headed most likely to the MARTA station which was at least a 10 minute walk.  

When the light turned green I drove slowly, caught up with them, rolled my window down and said "Do you need a ride, where are you going?"  - I saw a smile, I saw RELIEF and heard the words "Sandy Springs station and shelter".  

I parked my car on the side of the road, got out, got honked at by a few cars. I packed Zoe, Aiden, their MOM and the luggage in the car and said where are you going? They were headed to a shelter in Decatur via the Marta train. I asked if she had the address and directions, the MOM said yes, I told her we would go directly to Decatur and off we went.  

Amazing what you can learn from and about someone in a 30 minute car ride.  

Where they're from, how they got to Atlanta, how old the children are, (Zoe and Aiden are 3 year old twins) how you get accepted in a shelter, what it means to live there and for how long, the pregnancy particulars of carrying twins, immediate family, what they are all doing, job prospects, and lots of stories about New Orleans, where this family is originally from.  

Zoe and Aiden were a bit fussy when they first got n the car, Aiden did not want to wear his seat belt.  Mom had some snacks, (gummy fruit shaped snacks) and this seemed to settle them.  We had significant rain on the way to the shelter, perhaps the constant sound of the heavy rain drops and the wipers going back and forth, put both the children in a deep comfortable sleep.  

I love the way children can make any space work when they are indeed ready for sleep. This photo was taken when we pulled into the shelter parking lot and MOM was unloading the suitcases out of the trunk. They were both I am sure tired and unsettled from the move, hotel to shelter. 

The MOM gave me a huge hug and thanked me sincerely for helping her make the trip across town much easier.  The shelter staff was waiting for them when we got there.  I did not ask for details, did not inquire about the "story".  I wanted her and the children to feel safe and cared for a tiny fraction of their lives. I told her I would keep them in my prayers and indeed I will.