Web Blog: KHQ's Kalae Chock reflects on 'The Road Home' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Web Blog: KHQ's Kalae Chock reflects on 'The Road Home'

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Josh and Jalisa say they’re thankful their mom continues to keep them at Stevens. They say they know the people there love them and care about them. Josh and Jalisa say they’re thankful their mom continues to keep them at Stevens. They say they know the people there love them and care about them.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

I keep thinking about the Bais kids.  They won my heart when I met them a few weeks ago.  They were so excited a news crew had come to visit and talk to them about their life.  10-year-old Jalisa hugged her mom right when she got off the bus.  It took her about 2 minutes before she warmed up enough to hug me.  Her brother, 9-year-old Josh, had a sweet smile and won over my photographer Josh Godfrey, who has two boys about Josh’s age.

Their excitement for life and the similarities between our own kids and Josh and Jalisa was probably what had Photographer Josh and I still thinking about them in the days to come.  More likely though, I think it was the differences between my kids and this brother and sister that had my mind continuing to go back to them and their mom and the blue broken down motor home where they live.

The night after I met Josh and Jalisa, as each person in my family lay comfortably in their warm beds in our big safe house, I cried.  I thought about where Josh and Jalisa were sleeping and where they’d spent so many scary, cold nights before.  I thought about how helpless I’d feel packing the people I love the most in this world into a car for the night knowing there was nowhere else to go.

I thought about how unfair it is that I’ve been afforded opportunities simply because of the life I was born into.  It wasn’t a fancy one, but I never once worried about going hungry or not having a place to sleep.  That night, I thought about the life Josh and Jalisa’s mom, Jennifer, was born into and the life she’s creating for her kids.  The older I get, the more I understand that we are products of our environment, I understand that poverty is generational, and I know for a fact that the life I’m living today is directly related to the love, encouragement and opportunities my parents gave me.  I write all of this because I think the world needs more empathy for the homeless, the poor and even some criminals (this is a blog, I’m allowed to say that, right?)

Despite my admitted initial sadness, this story is a happy one - one that reminded me that there is joy in everything.  Josh and Jalisa live that everyday.  They aren’t sad about where they’ve been; they’re excited about where they’re going.  They have a mom that loves them, they have teachers that care about them, and they have people rooting for them.  A sincere thank you to Josh and Jalisa for inspiring me to celebrate everything and everyone in life.  

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