A full year has gone by since the last blog post and what a busy year it has been. First of all no one could of told me that by the end of 2018 that I would be back in my home state of Michigan because that was the furthest thing from my mind on January 1, 2018. What was going through my mind was that we made it to a new year and there was infinite possibilities for any and everything good to come our way. Years one and two had me feeling like this was some trial experiment and if we didn't like it we could stop at any time. Of course I knew fully well that I had one hundred percent of the responsibility for the three amigos but there was still this feeling of a shoe would drop at any time.
Getting in the position of "mom" seemed to be the most difficult thing to do although I had functioned as mom in every sense of the word since the 3 amigos arrived to my house. Funny how your mind can make an easy thing super complicated. Every meeting, appointment and or assessment I was mom but I had to some how still grasp on the fact that I was grandma but we adopted them. I was still feeling cheated out of my rightful title and not seeing or fully accepting my new title. It was as if I was somehow demoted and yet I was upgraded and I couldn't see or accept that fact. However, life always has a way of showing you by example. Truthfully my denial of "mom" was because I knew the boys still called Vanessa that and I didn't want to confuse the situation but Trinity on the other hand flat out called me mom and I answered. Talk about dual roles🤦 So what happened to finally get me to stop straddling the fence? I grieved for the lost of my title of grand mom this title that came way too early for me but I somehow had become accustomed to slowly over the years. Yet, I celebrated the recognition that I was mom in every since of the word. Heck, I brought all 3 amigos home from the hospital not to mention naming 2 out of 3 of them. The main reason of my acceptance is because I finally not only saw myself as mom but I began to feel it as well. I was no longer a substitute, I was the lead role.
During the 3 plus years of having the 3 amigos, they had many specialist appointments and some results came but unfortunately in some cases there were more questions than answers. So what does a parent do? In my case, I felt it was time to return to Michigan where we can not only get the best doctor access but as a bonus have in state family support. Sounded great! At least on paper. You see when we moved to Arizona 11 plus years ago we have two daughters who had the ability to tell their wants and needs. Moving to Michigan we had 2 kids that have delays and not to mention all of them are under the age of 10. Could a road trip even be a good idea? Will the little patience I have survive the trip? The first thing was to make sure the move was even possible. When would we move? What city would we select to move to if we are able to move? Was I jumping the gun in looking to move out of Arizona? Here I am again with a bunch of questions and few answers. When you decide to become a parent, there's a part of the position that requires sacrifices and selfishness. Every real parent when it's time to use them.
In May 2007, I came to Arizona and fell in love with the state but in 2018 the love wasn't as strong plus my life was way different than when I first arrived. The daughters I arrived with in Arizona were now legally adults. I now had 3 children under 10 who all have different needs. Then again what about me. I have an established nonprofit organization. I am making connections and having events. Am I just to leave all of that behind? I worked hard to get this far. I wasn't the only person to have to deal with moving though. Chris had a job that he liked and Regina was attending college and had a job. An out of state move would shake up their worlds too. Time for a family meeting. After the conclusion of the meeting the decision was made. We were Michigan bound! How incredibly terribly exciting! The original plan was to leave at the end of the school year in May 2018 but the actual move didn't happen until October 2018.
Preparing to move across the country again was easy but I had so many questions about road tripping with little kids. Not to mention being afraid of my legs cramping up and delaying us in driving through the various states. I asked all of my experienced parents and grandparents about road tripping with kids and I truly felt ready. We had secured our new 4 bedroom 3 bathroom apartment so all was good. I hired a house and carpet cleaner. The truck was rented. All systems were go! Then the call happened. What call? The call from our soon to be apartment complex saying that the tenant requested an additional 2 weeks. That 2 weeks turned into them refusing to move out of the apartment. As a temporary fix until the tenant is removed from the apartment we were placed into a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment but the complex would still work on getting the tenant out of the apartment before our arrival on 10/15/2018. Everything was all good. Right? Well there was no time to worry about that because the move out day was fast approaching and packing was in full swing.
Moving day finally arrived. The tenants were still in our apartment but it was time to vacate the house that had been our home for 2 years. Not to mention the State of Arizona where all three of my children were born. The realization hit me that for the first time in our lives, Vanessa and I would reside in two different states and she had no idea. By 12 am we were out of the house and decided to start on the road once the sun rose. There was something so surreal about leaving Arizona. When I arrived in 2007, I was looking for a fresh start and now here I am in 2018 heading toward a fresh start in my home state of Michigan. I broke a promise to myself and I realized it. When we reached Arizona I said if I left the state, I would not be driving because of how we had to come down the mountain. Here I am in 2018, driving out of the state but I was not leaving the same way I came in because I was not returning to the same city I lived in prior to moving to Arizona. A new city with new opportunities was where we were headed.
The road trip was ROUGH! The three amigos got sick in New Mexico. Maybe this was a sign to turn around and give up. No. We were moving forward after showers and a good night's sleep. Over the entire trip from Arizona to Michigan we stayed the night in 3 states New Mexico, Oklahoma and Missouri. Truly it was the way it was destine to be for this trip because we didn't plan on it at all. The visitors' centers in each of the states were beautiful and provided history of the states. We were on Route 66 how about that! There was a celebration clap and scream when we crossed a state line as well as taking a picture of the state welcome sign. This happened in every state except Michigan. When we got to Michigan it was dark and I didn't want the flash to bother other drivers. I will say that when were arrived on 10/14/2018 in Michigan the internal celebration moved me to tears externally. I was in my home state after 11 plus years. Wow! After seeing the Pure Michigan commercials every year I was home in Pure Michigan. I arrived and not one cramp through the entire drive. Thank you, Jesus!
After spending the night at the Battle Creek visitor center we drove to our new apartment complex on 10/15/2018 with the hope that all of the apartment drama was over and we was going to get into our 4 bedroom 3 bathroom apartment. Our hopes were dashed. The tenant didn't move out and we were stuck into a 3 bedroom apartment upstairs. Then the apartment complex was sold and new management arrived in January 2019. New management said we couldn't move out as promised by previous management. We had to live out our lease. What could be worse? Snow came and reminded us just how much we missed Arizona. The 3 amigos on the other hand loved the snow. I loved seeing the wonderment and beauty of Michigan through their eyes. It rekindled the love that I have for Michigan.
So it has been a year since we arrived in Michigan and it's our 3rd adoption anniversary. The process of getting established with the various doctors and therapists was a long but it got done. I can say that although nothing went according to plan we ended up just where we need to be, with each other in a home full of laughs and love.
Happy 3rd Anniversary Chris, Regina and my 3 amigos Daniel, Deondre, Trinity. You see our home has 3 adults and 3 kids. There are still hurdles to cross but as long as we remain focused on the goals we will be just fine. After all this year 3 is definitely our magic number 😉