Sometimes a sad and tragic event can open the door to something good. When Mary Davis and her partner had a miscarriage in 2012 they were devastated. It was going to be the first child for the young married couple and they were incredibly excited about the idea of having a baby, but it was not to be. However, they took that moment as one of inspiration to do something for all the kids who don’t have the opportunities they wanted to give that child.
Mary and her partner Ari were volunteers when the miscarriage happened. They were both helping out at a shelter in one of the most impoverished areas of Los Angeles. When the miscarriage happened it shook their world and they took time to heal from it. When they did heal they realized they had a lot of love to give and no child to give it to. In 2013, Mary turned to her partner, it was the day that their child would have turned one. She looked at all the kids in the shelter and pointed out to him how they never have a birthday.
Instead of throwing a party for their baby, they were able to throw a party for all the homeless children at that shelter. They took over one room, got some cake, put up some banners, and even had some gifts ready. Less than 20 kids showed up, but it was a huge success.
Many of the children had never had the opportunity to celebrate a birthday before. When the party ended both Mary and Ari had the same idea. They needed to do this every month for all the kids in the shelter who were not getting the chance to celebrate a birthday. Since then they have been doing it every single month. Volunteers have been happy to help and the birthday party takes on a bigger and bigger space all the time. There are now clowns and DJs. Whatever child has a birthday that month, always gets a present.
Mary says that she still cries after every party, they have thrown nearly 100 to date. The fact that these kids don’t have the chance to live a normal life breaks her heart but this small token helps. Once a mother who had just come to the shelter was devastated that she got nothing for her child, they had moved in on the night of her daughter’s birthday. The fact that the shelter put on a party for her child and gave her a gift made everything ok for that girl. Her mother was delighted.
Since then Mary and her partner have encountered further tragedy, they had a second miscarriage. However, good news came too. They now have two children aged two and four years old. Mary says that the parties were fantastic for the kids in the shelter but that they helped her heal.
After two miscarriages she wasn’t sure if trying for a baby was a good idea. It scared her. Yet the joy she saw on those children’s faces and the bravery they show every day in the conditions they face, made her try for a third time. She was so nervous when she found out she was pregnant but when she gave birth to two children she was delighted to find out that on both occasions they were happy and healthy babies.
By giving something to those kids in need, Mary and Ari got something back that was far greater than they could have imagined. The bravery they learned gave them the confidence to try again to have children. The bravery they learned gave them the opportunity to be parents again.