Hear from Lucia, 24, seen here with her son Israel, 2 months. This story was translated from the original Spanish.
August makes it one year we’ve been in Baltimore. My family’s from all over Mexico, but we came from Guerrero, out in the mountains.
Everything was going well throughout my pregnancy; I got all my care here at the clinic, and all the tests they ran were normal. It was only during the birth that I had complications. My due date came and went, and the baby wouldn’t come; they had to induce my labor. It was scary, because when I had my first son, everything was normal—I never expected the emergency C-section.
The cesarean, and then sending the baby home with my husband while I stayed in the hospital—eso es lo más feo. It was terrible. The pains were killing me, and I thought I wasn’t going to recover. It hurt too much to walk. And without them by my side, I was so, so sad. I couldn’t eat—couldn’t feel him.
But my husband was so good with the baby. He told me he watched him like a hawk, barely sleeping. Once we were all back together, I felt much better. And he is healthy, gracias a Dios, él está saludable. Once he was with me, I felt like I could start to recover.
We named the baby Israel, after his father.
Our eldest son is five and living with my mother-in-law in Mexico. His grandma sends me photos every day, and we Facetime as often as we can. He got to meet his little brother over video chat.
It’s hard. He wants to know why we don’t come back home to him. But my biggest dream is to bring him here with us, as soon as we can. From here, he can study to be anything he wants to in life.
I want to study too, to make a better life for him. In Mexico, I always liked to study, especially computers, but I didn’t have much opportunity to learn. Now, in my free time whenever Israel is sleeping, I like to study English a little, speak it with him, or write on the computer; whatever’s in my imagination. I used to make crafts, embroider little things to sell—napkins and tortilla warmers, though now it’s hard to find the supplies, or the time.
My husband works construction, but the work comes and goes. I want to be able to work and help provide for us. I want us to have our own house, a ver si Díos quiera que tengamos.
I’ve had to get used to how different things are from home. To tell you the truth, I’m still not used to it. The food is different. I still don’t know many people, and I don’t speak the language. Sometimes I can feel like I’m locked in—like I’m not learning anything new, and my imagination even goes out.
Since my son was born, though, I’m better off, because he’s with me. Look at him. He’s beautiful, he’s healthy, he’s happy. What more can you ask for?
That’s what I want people to know: whatever troubles life gives us, you cannot give in. We have to fight to keep moving forward. Whatever you dream of, the future you want—as long as you stand by your family and do well by them, you can achieve it.
If you have a reason to get up in the morning, if you have your family and you have work and enough food on the table, we have to thank God, because everything we have is from him, yo creo en esto.
“Pass the Mic” is a storytelling space featuring the voices and stories of people with a lived experience of homelessness.
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