A Story of one of our Male Clients

           I  was witness to a beautiful moment here recently.  Of course, it didn't start so beautifully. A young man came
in with a pregnant friend who wanted to enroll in our program.  It just so happened that he had a 3-week old baby with
him. It was his child, and he and the mother were no longer a couple.  The baby's mother had an emergency and asked
him to take the baby overnight on a moment's notice.  It was his first time caring for his baby girl, and it was obvious he
was nervous and clueless.  She was crying from the moment they walked in the door. We suggested that he try feeding
the baby, but he said that she wasn't hungry because she had a bottle just before he picked her up two hours ago.  He
took the baby out to the car to '"look for something",- and then they were gone.  We couldn't figure out where he went,
but we knew he had to come back for his friend who was still in the building.  When we looked out a little while later he
was sitting in the car.  Lori went out to check on them and found them with the baby crying loudly and the radio turned
up nearly full blast.  The young man was very frazzled, nearly in tears.  He said he left hoping that driving the baby
around in the car would put her to sleep.  It didn't work, so he turned up the radio to drown out the crying.  While I was
considering whether to contact Children and Youth Services, Lori invited him back in, and this time she insisted that he
try feeding the child.  He got out a bottle, but he wasn't even sure how to mix the formula. Lori cleared her desk and
spent the next two hours showing this strong and handsome young man how to care for his baby girl.  She walked him
through how to make a bottle and then how to hold his little girl while he fed her.  I never saw a baby suck down a bottle
so fast!  The young man felt relief but was also embarrassed that he was wrong in thinking the baby couldn't have been
hungry so soon. Lori showed him how to burp his daughter and change her diaper.  The little angel soon fell asleep on
her father's shoulder.  After that, Lori spent time talking to the young man, both about infant temperament and about his
life.  She even gave him a mini-version of our "Doctor Dad" class.  By the time he left I could tell he was overwhelmed,
but he seemed much more content than when he walked in. He made an appointment to come back the following week.  
I honestly didn't think he would come.  For one thing, he lived on the other side of Uniontown, and for another, the
whole situation was very embarrassing for him.  I was quite surprised when he arrived for his appointment.  This time
there was no baby with him, but he said he hopes to get to spend lots more time with his little girl. He wanted to continue
coming back to learn skills on being a good father. He thanked us for helping him and said he doesn't know how the day
might have ended had Lori not given him so much hands-on help when he needed it most.  I turned away so he couldn't
see my tears of joy, and I thanked God for giving us the opportunity to make a difference in his life and the life of his