© Mehta family
The Mehta family turned homelessness into a great adventure, before CPS.
Amber is one of those free-spirited people who takes even incredible hardships and turns them into adventures, inspiring others in the process. When her young family wound up homeless, through no fault of their own, she and her husband Krishna Mehta made the best of it. Their children didn't even know that they were homeless; they thought that they were having great adventures and making lots of friends.
This latest chapter in their saga, however, is a nightmare, and the rainbow is really hard to find in the storm that Child Protective Services has allegedly brought into their lives. Their children, ages 6, almost 2, and 9 months, have been seized by CPS and placed into 3 different foster homes. The two babies were still being breastfed. Social services has gone so far as to accuse Amber of having a mental disorder because she is "homeless."
Their homelessness was not by choice. Last spring the family was living in a small town in Missouri. Krishna was working, and Amber was a stay-at-home mom and childbirth doula. They were expecting baby Mira to make her appearance soon by mid-summer.
Emergency Trip to Oregon for Dying Mother
Then, they got a call that changed everything. Krishna's mother's cancer had come back with a vengeance. The doctors gave her just weeks to live. Krishna, a dual Irish-American citizen, and Amber scrambled to pull resources together to get to Oregon, hoping to see her before she died, and let her see the children. They drove cross-country, but arrived too late. She was gone.
The plan had been to stay at her house, have an unassisted homebirth, or "freebirth" in Oregon, and go back to the midwest when they got back on their feet. But life didn't work out that way. Mira was born peacefully at the end of July, at home with her family. But shortly after that, they found themselves with no place to live.
Making the Best of a Tough Situation
© Mehta family
Newborn baby Mira.
They sank what money they had left into an RV and made the best of their situation. Amber says:
"We faced homelessness with all the courage and hope we could, believing that we were strong enough to make it."
Winter was coming on fast, and it was expected to be a cold one. An RV in Oregon was no place to live. They headed south, stopping in various places, "helping others where we could," says Amber, "which is more often than one might think, considering all it often takes to HELP someone is to CARE."