A Motherly Mission
Growing up I never aspired to be a mother. Maybe because I always saw my mom struggle as a single parent so the title of "mother" never seemed to call my name. Let me clarify, I was NEVER “Anti-children!” More so, I was always dream driven. I knew I wanted more. I knew I did not want to be limited by my environment. I always felt a burning desire to be more than I saw. This meant I had to go to college (even though I had no role models). It also meant I would wait to have children if I ever did and I had to be brighter, not better. There’s a difference.
I will never apologize for bettering myself and wanting to create the life I was destined to live. No matter how many times it felt impossible or how many times the rug was pulled out from under me.
I never lost sight of this major inner motivator: If God placed the desire in my heart it meant I had His full blessing to proceed.
There is no such thing as ever having it all or ever being ready for children. However, by all accounts my life seemed pretty solid. I had an exciting and high profile career in PR, a husband, a big house, the shiny four door sedan with the status emblem, and was the big “30.” This was a very matronly age to have kids in my culture. Sometimes being Latina can lead to the typical stereotype leading one to believe we only get married to procreate.
I had what I call a Hollywood pregnancy. I was super healthy and happy every month. My prince’s nursery was ready the moment I knew he would be a boy. I researched a strong name because if he was my son, he had to be strong just like me. My husband and I agreed he would be named Alexandro (after Alex-the-Great). The name was perfect. A conqueror, warrior and a leader would be the perfect name for a perfect child of God.
Fast forward two years my perfect Prince was not meeting his cognitive milestones which made me nervous. I was in denial because I did not understand why or how God would do this to me. In my eyes I had done everything right and different than I had seen and experienced growing up. Why would my child, who I had envisioned to go to Harvard even while in my womb, not be talking? It was not fair.
After several doctors, specialists and therapists, MRI’s and more there still was not an explanation as to why my beautiful prince was not talking or waving bye-bye. This was a difficult time in my life because during all of this I was going through a divorce (my marriage of nearly ten years was over) and my son’s father was heading to prison. It was two life-shattering events overtaking my life all at once. I was trying to see black and white but everything was just a grey haze.
By worldly standards I had it all and I was doing it all. I never missed a beat in my career. My face was on as I wore my red bottom heels. I was still standing, but inwardly I was shattered. The life I had created for my prince was going to be unlike anything I had dreamed for him. I was angry at God. I felt He was punishing me for wanting a better life for my son and me. I felt this was His way of putting me in check and reminding me He was in control.
I blamed myself for the decisions of my son’s father while family members were whispering and blaming me too. I felt lost and alone. What I knew was certain in that difficult moment was "I was a mother not by chance, but by a Divine plan." I had to dry my eyes and work towards a diagnosis.
I had to let go and let God. This was not an easy task. I had to let the negative and toxic people in my life continue to do what they did best, talk and whisper behind my back. Other times it was blatantly in my face, but I kept going. All of the negativity served as my fuel to keep striving on my "motherly mission" to find the blessing behind the misery. I was determined to not let the struggle and pain be in vain. Through God, I succeeded.
After nearly five years of age my prince, my son said his first word, “Mom” (on the day of my graduate commencement ceremony). We were diagnosed last year with Autism Spectrum Disorder and today our future is looking brighter than ever. Our lives are full of hope and sunshine. We no longer live in "the grey haze."
I remarried to the love of my life. He's an incredibly strong man who gives me hope and reminds me life is worth living. I thank God for blessing us with only the kind of love He can give us. I also thank God daily for allowing me the privilege and honor of being chosen to be Alex-the-Great’s mom. God loves me so much He gave me the most beautiful and perfect child.
God makes no mistakes! I am blessed to be on my motherly mission to provide hope to others dealing with special needs parenting because all parenting is special.
Elvia Espino, A NEW ME Blog Contributor
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Get ready to embrace “A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly.”
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