Friday, May 20, 2011

How the US Government Humbled Me

I am a proud person. Aren't we all? Don't we all like to puff our feathers out a little bit when we do things better or quicker or just get it right?
And if you've noticed, a large chunk of that preening and pride is between the haves and the have-nots. Life is good when you're a "have." Not so much when you're a "have-not."

When Mac was tested for all his allergies, he was put on a special non-dairy, non-soy, high-calorie milk like supplement. He loved it - he still loves it. He still takes 2-3 cans a day of his special "Mac Milk." If we had had to pay for this supplement, we would have been paying well over $500 a month to maintain his habit nutrition.

Thank goodness for the US Government because being a (now former) foster child, Mac qualified for WIC (Women, Infants & Children) and that would give us the Mac Milk we needed and we did not have to pay out of pocket (Thank you, Taxpayers! Ourselves included!).
But this also afforded us produce, bread, cereal, juice, eggs and more. With our financial situation, the "free" groceries were a blessing.

But I was embarrassed.

I was a 28-year-old mother of two who's husband was self-employed. I am a stay-at-home-mom by choice.
In my mind, people who needed "assistance" were 17-year-old unmarried girls who's baby-daddies were wash-outs and these girls were still in school & didn't have a job.

The first several times I used the vouchers I had to ask for help. I had no idea what I was doing. But I announced everywhere, "I am a FOSTER MOTHER and we get WIC from that!" or "I'm a new FOSTER PARENT and unsure what brands to get!"
My pride was telling me to be sure everyone knew I didn't NEED the vouchers, but I would use them since my son got them and I didn't want them to go to waste.

But we did need them. Now SB gets them. I don't hide my folder like I used to. I take no qualms in letting people know that we receive WIC. My husband is self-employed and his business is not something that's a commodity - times are tough. Keeping afloat means our finances are very tight. And WIC saves me upwards of $60/month in groceries. Some weeks WIC items were all I brought home from the store.

God has humbled me greatly through this US Government program. We've never needed assistance before. Hopefully in a year we won't need it anymore. But right now we need it and it's provided. That's nothing to be ashamed of - in fact I feel very blessed that we live in a place where we can get government assistance.

How many others around the world are starving because there is no government assistance? No eggs, no apples, no cheese to help little bodies grow strong.

I'm humbled. Thank you, God, for using the US Government to humble me.

1 comment:

sheridan said...


I agree it is humbling to present those vouchers. We've been there too.


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