Yesterday afternoon Jake picked Yael up from nature camp. She had just spent three hours digging in dirt, talking through all things soil and worms. Could there be a better time spent when you're five years old?
On the ride home, in the midst of reviewing her morning of dirt and grime she caught Jake's attention with both question and enthasium,
"Dad, do you know how to fight against bad guys without killing them?"
"Tell me how."
"You become a doula."
"What? Tell me more."
"Well, If you're a doula you can help moms become better moms and gooder moms will have good kids and then there's so many good people in the world that all the bad people in the world will say, 'Oh, there's so many good people. I give up.'"
In late spring I attended a birth of a most generous and loving family. After a long and emotionally heavy pregnancy they found themselves at the hospital anxiously awaiting as they began the induction process.
What so many, including myself at one time, aren't aware of is how very long the induction process can be most of the time.
Still, there we were - anticipating mom, anxious dad and myself, carried away in conversation to pass the initial hours when the body is learning to engage in the process of laboring, when the mind is gearing up for the often long road, when the encouragement to rest trumps all other recommendations.
When suddenly, the birthing mom asks, "What are your hopes for your business?"
She's a business minded numbers woman and her question was born from wonder and want, hoping to be a part of the processing. She is such a gift of a client.
"Oh. I have so many hopes..."
With permission and available minutes I shared openly with her what I felt pulled toward, what kind of creative business I see being manifested.
"Above all though, I hope to offer a doula sponsorship program where women and families who want to support young moms, but don't know how. I want to offer them an opportunity to join me in providing doula support services, primarily through financial support or more if wanted."
The response from her facial expressions alone was enough encouragement to begin spinning the wheels and make this aspect of my doula business a reality.
Four days later as her daughter rests in her arms, partly nursing, partly sleeping, this new to two mom handed me a check, "For you. Go to Disney if you want or we would be happy to sponsor a young mom to receive your services."
Shy of four months later a young mom gave birth and and was offered the very same birth doula services as her sponsor had received. Her family welcomed me bedside for the entirity of her birth as well as during the intial days of the healing postpartum season.
Two weeks later another significant donation came in. "We believe in the work you do", read the accompanying note.
One week later, another check. Another note that read, "We would love to sponsor a new mother for your doula sponsorship when you encounter the right mom who needs your services."
This coming week I meet with a young mom, a referral from a social worker who serves teen moms in Grand Rapids. Another inquiry came last night from a young mom who is friends with another teen mom seeking support and encouragement.
So maybe, bit by bit, in the words of a little girl who is just learning how to put the world together, as each young mom is served by a doula, maybe, just maybe, they will feel supported and become better moms. And maybe, just maybe, these "gooder" moms will have good kids and one day there will be so many good people in the world that all the bad people in the world will say, 'Oh, there's so many good people. I give up.'
Because doulas do help to make the world a better place.
And all because you chose to support a young mom to receive the support she deserves as she builds her family, as she welcomes her child into not only her arms but her everyday.
All because you chose to give greatly, and generously.
All because you chose.