The Fight

I have spent the better part of my life as a mom fighting.

The minute I found out I was pregnant in March of 2002 - I started fighting. Fighting for the life inside me. Fighting for the kind of life I wanted to give him. Fighting for the way I wanted to raise him. Fighting for the kind of mom I wanted to be. Fighting for the kind of man I wanted HIM to be.

That fight never stopped. Not after this brother was born. Or his brother after that. I never stopped being their mom. Not once. Even if they weren't with me, I still called. I still checked in. I still went to work EVERY SINGLE DAY to provide for them the life I wanted them to someday have. Parenting isn't a walk in the park for anyone. I worked three jobs. I kept a clean house. I went to college while raising the three of them alone. I had cars repossessed. I had my lights and heat turned off. I went to the food shelf to feed them. I had to borrow money to buy them birthday presents. I had to beg for help to buy them winter gear. I had to explain to all their teachers that there are three of them and one of me and I'm working and going to school and if things get hairy in class, check with me because chances are there's something going on outside of school that's making them behave a certain way. I continued, in countless ways, to fight for them.

There were many times I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to just say "FUCK THIS." and walk away, too. There were times I didn't think I could do it anymore. They were a handful and they were messy and rambunctious and hungry and the alarming rate at which they were growing was more than my pocketbook could handle.

But I never stopped fighting. Not once.

Even holed up in the bathroom sobbing at how in the hell I got myself into this mess, those knocks on the door, the soft "Mommy, are you OK?".  Those little fingers reaching under onto the linoleum- trying to reach me, those three sets of eyes that looked at me when I came out of that bathroom, sad and confused - that is what brought me back every single time. They adored me. They saved me. They gave me a purpose for which I never really knew I had. And at the end of the day, they were fighting for themselves, too. And they never should have had to.

Every child deserves to have parents that fight for them. That live a life with the purpose of making theirs better. They are worth every sacrifice we make.  Every sleepless night. Every dose of ibuprofen and middle of the night hospital visit. Every vaccination, broken bone, stitch, and x-ray we watch them suffer through. We live for them.

At least, we're supposed to.

These three boys of mine deserve far better than they were ever given. They were born into a situation and a life that was not what I ever wanted for them. I wanted more. They deserve more. They deserve to love and be loved. To have that wanting and playfulness and sacrifice reciprocated every single day. Not just when it's convenient or when it looks good. To know that they come home to people who want them there and who are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they have far better than they've had.

As we embark on this journey of their adoption - I could not be more grateful that I realized all those years of fighting for these boys wasn't in vain. I tried so hard to give them both worlds and make up for what the other lacked. Not for him. But for them. I fought FOR THEM.

But it turns out that when someone is there with open arms and unending love - my fight ends. And so does theirs. They're done fighting to be loved. Finally.

This story stops being about him and what he lost. And it starts now being about them and what they have gained.

To be continued.

Love,

The Owens Family

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