I am the MOM and I was here FIRST!

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I am a 44 year old mother of three children and grandmother of one. I am divorced from my children's father whom I share joint physical custody of our youngest two children with. I have been married to my fabulous husband for over 9 near-perfect years. I LOVE this man! He is a wonderful generous, affectionate, tolerant and all forgiving husband. He is also a terrific step-dad/male role model to my kids and an even better grand father to our two year old grand daughter. My oldest daughter attends college to obtain her nursing degree. She has been on her own for over three years now (no longer part of a shared custody arrangement like her brother & sister) My middle daughter is in high school and plays on the freshmen volleyball & soccer teams. She's really creative and talented. My son is in middle school and plays hockey and lacrosse. He is a sweet sensitive boy who still says "I love you Mom" frequently. I work part time running an online ebay store. I have terrific and supportive relationships with my family, friends and of course my kids. I am extremely close to my sister, my Mom and my sister-in-laws. They are my best friends.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Adopted Son

We moved in this house the second weekend of October in 1998.

My son was 4 years old. My daughters were 6 & 13.

We were all playing in the driveway on a Sunday afternoon, after unpacking all weekend long. A little boy kept walking back and forth in front of our house. After a few minutes of this, it occurred to me that the little boy probably wanted to play with my kids. So we invited him over. His name is Nino. And he was 4 years old, just like my son.

It wasn't but a few short minutes that Nino was playing with us, when his Dad came looking for him. He introduced himself to me and my husband and welcome us to the neighborhood. He told us that his wife had just died of ovarian cancer a few short weeks ago. Poor guy. He could barely speak without crying. He and his son were going to be staying with his parents, three houses down from us, for awhile.

Unfortunately, Nino's Dad was involved in a serious car crash shortly following our first conversation with him. The accident left him badly injured, unable to walk without the assistant of braces/crutches.

That was almost 10 years ago now. Since then, Nino has become a part of our family. He is our "unofficially" adopted son. He's the dark haired boy that shows up everywhere with my two blonde kids. He's the child that sits in the middle of the back seat when we ride in my car.

He spends at least one night at our house during the weekends that my kids are home with me. He's here for hours on end. He eats here. He swims here. He plays here and sleeps here. He knows my children's visitation schedule with me, better than any other relative, living outside of this house, does. Our granddaughter thinks he lives here.

We take him places with us. To the movies. Putt putt golfing. Blockbuster. Lazer tag. Dairy Queen. Go Karts. Shopping. He has long since stopped having to ask permission to go anywhere with us. It is a given that he is safe when in our care.

And so, I've had a subtle hand in raising this boy. He knows what words I don't approve of. I've warned him about too much sarcasm. I've told him to wash his hands, shut the door, throw that away and quiet down right along with telling my own kids the same thing.

My husband and I have told him good job, nice manners, thank you, and you're welcome, as we echo those words to our kids.

Nino is my son's best friend. Another brother to my daughters. An uncle to our granddaughter.

His Grandma has thanked me countless times for all we do with Nino. I know that she and Nino's Dad are grateful that we take such good care of him.

But we are truly grateful Nino found us.

My kids have been with their Dad since Wednesday evening. I just picked them up this morning.

And there's my adopted son Nino, at the front door now ...

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