There are days where the only thing I want to see is the smiles of my children and to know that they are truly happy, even if the only thing that they want is chicken nuggets in the shape of a dinosaur. I’m sure that these moments will not be orchestrated with perfect timing to happen all at once, but I will take them when they come.
When Jayden was born in September of 2006 I was barely 27. I was living with my parents and working full-time when I brought him home from the hospital. His biological father and I co-parented but a majority of the responsibility fell onto me. Motherhood was new to me and was quite hard at times.
Having a simple smile from my half-Peruvian, brown-eyed boy melted my heart every time and there was nothing I would not do for him. We relied on each other for much of our needs. He is a Mama’s boy and we have a strong and unique bond that has lasted for eight years now.
Jayden is a 2nd grader and loves to read books about science facts and wants to be a ‘Scientist of the Universe’ as he puts it. He is fascinated with nature and how mechanical things work. I’m glad that the spark of curiosity is there and I’m more than willing to feed it.
Ribs, sausage, bacon, steak, and chicken hearts are a few of the things that satisfy his appetite as a carnivore. My belief is that his Peruvian heritage has shaped this boy’s pallet. Nothing wrong with that, just hope to be able to get a vegetable in there somewhere.
My second child is Eli and he surely has a unique and special story, so I will try to make this as short as possible, so please bear with me. In September of 2008, right after Jayden turned 2, I married John. After two months of escalating verbal, physical, and sexual abuse I was able to leave this man with Jayden in tow and another child on the way. With a protective order in place the harassment continued another 4 to 5 months, I knew that this unborn child needed to be protected from his biological father.
In June of 2009, I placed Eli into the arms of his adoptive parents. This was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, but it was the right choice for all involved. We have a semi-open adoption which includes emails with pictures and two visits a year, which happen around his birthday and Christmas.
Having raised Jayden then placing Eli was especially difficult because I knew what I was missing. I knew that I’d never hold him again as mine. He has my red hair, freckles, and baby blue eyes, so seeing him grow up through pictures and occasional visits was heartbreaking. I still have my moments of grief, but I know that he is happy and loved; it doesn’t make the pain go away, but it makes it more bearable.
When Tony and I married in May of 2011, I became the step-mother of Tyson. He was just shy of 3 years-old at the time and is now 6. He was named Tyson because being born at 29 weeks gestation he literally fought for his life. After four brain surgeries for Hydrocephalus, three months in Primary Children’s Medical Center, two worried parents, and one surgery to remove half of his colon he was finally able to come home. Whew!
Tyson is loud and loves to be heard and acknowledged. He is a slow eater because he likes to talk, move around, announce his bodily functions, and negotiate how much to eat. He loves sugar, juice, sugar, candy, chocolate, sugar, and cookies…..did I mention SUGAR?
Being a premie also delayed his social skills and learning abilities, which is why he is attending Kindergarten for a second school year. Completing homework is now much easier now that he wants to learn and focus more.
Tyson is a great brother and loves to have someone to play with. Jayden and Tyson are growing up and trying to find a good balance of sibling rivalry and their own individuality. I love it when they can play great together and laugh, it sure makes my heart happy.
The Bun in the Oven
After I had Eli, my body started having several health concerns, especially in the reproductive arena. I began to have several large ovarian cysts that had to be removed with surgery, and eventually one of my ovaries was removed. During one of these surgeries I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. So the thought of more children didn’t seem possible, so Tony and I became used to the idea that we were done having children, but God had a different plan in mind for us. Just after a year of being married, we had the prompting that there was another one waiting for us.
For two years we worked with my doctor and tried many different methods, hormone balancing acts, and procedures that the vision of conceiving was growing dimmer. Finally in August we found out that we were pregnant. Such an amazing feeling of excitement, relief, and joy! I am currently 15 weeks pregnant and couldn’t be more exhausted! Just ask my husband. We are due at the beginning of April and we are crossing our fingers for a little girl.
With each child in my life that calls me mom, or birth mom, I find that the most sacred and intimate times I share, or have shared, with them are snuggle times. These are the moments that I cherish and look forward to having more of, even when they’re 12 and need a hug. This is what being a mother is all about, nothing but me and this child making eye contact and smiling at each other, sometimes giggling and making funny faces. From our example as a mother, these moments teach our children to love one another. There is nothing more important than love. Once a child knows and understands that, they can do anything.