Everything changed about a week and a half after Yasmina and Odin moved out of the house. It all started one morning while the kids where at school. I was still feeling so depressed and worthless, but overall, I was having a slightly better then average day. I was actually able to look at Maya and Mason without resenting them for being so cheerful.
I remember the doorbell ringing. I ignored it as I had done for weeks because even though I was feeling better, I still wasn’t up for having company. The doorbell rang again. Then a third and fourth time. Each time with more urgency, and then it all just stopped.
Something inside of me said to go downstairs. Something told me to go and check to see what this was about. That’s when I found it.
A baby carrier and a note…
Inside of the carrier were two sleeping infants. The note read:
I have been following your challenge for many years now. My wife and I have lived in Sunset Valley our entire lives and she has always wanted what you have: a large family.
That’s why we have been so interested in your challenge. After many years of trying for a family, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. Our chances of having a large family quickly diminished as my wife’s health started to get worse, but incredibly, my wife’s health started to improve out of the blue. Doctors couldn’t explain her recovery. A little over a year ago, we found out that we were going to have a baby. It was the happiest moment of our lives. The doctor’s actually believed that the baby – or should I say babies as we found out we were having twins – was helping my wife’s health even though her pregnancy was anything but easy.
She had heard about your many pregnancies and didn’t expect her own to be so difficult. I guess you could say my wife was a wishful thinker.
Unfortunately, my wife died only a few hours after giving birth to our two sons: Theodore and Zeus. I am so lost without her. Some days I don’t even have the courage to get out of bed. I don’t know how I’m going to survive without her here with me. She was my everything…
I have a favor to ask of you Christy. I know that we have never met, but I also know that you are the only woman that I would ever dream of asking this favor of. In my current condition, I’m not able to give my sons the proper care that they deserve. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to take care of them. I don’t want them to end up in an orphanage or be sent to different homes to grow up without one another. They have already lost their mother. They are about to loose their father. They deserve someone who will love them.
I’m asking you to take care of my children, Christy. I’m asking you to raise them as if they were your own. I feel silly asking you this favor through a letter, but I have been trying for weeks to ask in person. The problem is, no one seems to see you around anymore. You are never at the supermarket selling your crops. I never see you or your children at the park anymore. I felt a letter was the only way that I would be able to get a hold of you.
Please, Christy, take care of my sons!”
That’s how Theodore…
and Zeus came into my custody.
For the first time in months, I felt myself smile. I don’t know what it was about that letter. Maybe it felt nice that someone trusted me to raise their children. Maybe it was comforting to know that this man had gone through the same thing as I had when I had lost Ice. Maybe it confirmed what I knew deep inside that I didn’t want to quit my challenge. Either way, I was happy. Everything that I had been going through the last several months felt so irrational. I could see things clearly for the first time in months. I had abandoned my children because of a man. I would have never thought that was possible.
I was a horrible mother. I had deprived Odin, Yasmina, and Abriella of their teenage years. The years that are suppose to be the best years of their life. They had been forced to take care of their younger siblings alone, and stress the financial responsibilities that I had burdened them with. I wasn’t there to help Evelyn and Rhys with their homework. Did Maya and Mason even remember that I was their mother and not Abriella?
I had risked losing my children forever because Ice had broken my heart.
How could I have been so foolish? So selfish?
I had made a lot of mistakes that I need to make right. After feeding and placing the twins that I had found on my doorstep into the spare cribs, I started making phone calls, attempting to make amends to those that I had wronged. I could only hope that they would forgive me.
Two of the challenge moms offered to come over to make sure that I was alright. I had been quite rude to my new friends Dawn Turner and Calista Smith during the last few months. I had been rude to all of my friends and I regretted that, but these two I had never met in person and I knew I had given off a horrible first impression. I hoped that Dawn and Calista might be able to offer me some advice on what I could do with Theodore and Zeus. I had never had children dropped off at my front door before. What was I suppose to do?
“Christy, he is so cute!” Calista said as she lifted Theodore out of his crib. I heard him coo at her as she started to play with him.
Calista, Dawn, and I spent the entire afternoon together. I appreciated the chance to give them another first impression of who I was. I know my first was far from the best. They gave me several brilliant ideas about what I should do about the twins. I could ignore the father’s wishes and tell everyone the truth. I could lie as the father wanted me to and help the boys lead a healthy, somewhat normal life. With the truth came issues. As much love as they would receive in this home, I might not be able to legally adopt the boys because I am only self-employed and I have no husband. I didn’t know much about adoption, but I did know that they liked for children to be placed into homes with both a mother and a father. Something stable, not a home where the mother was taking on the 100 baby challenge.
Once the decision was made, I said goodbye to my friends and called my daughter, Kristen (Baby #35) asking that she meet me at city hall. She had just been voted in as Mayor of Sunset Valley, and I had a favor to ask of her. She was the only one with the power to help me.
The story that would be told around town was that all the time I had spent inside my room had been because I was having a very rough pregnancy. I wanted to respect the wishes of the twin’s father so I asked Kristen to forge their birth certificates to indicate that I was their birth mother. As far as anyone would know, Zeus and Theo were simply babies 50 and 51 of my challenge. When Kristen asked who she should put as the father, I had no answer. He didn’t leave his name, and so, I had no way to know for sure who he was.
I hated being so deceitful, and I hated that the twins would never know their father. I could only hope that one day, he would change his mind and come back to tell them the truth.
Things returned to normal for the most part after that. The kids took to the new set of twins better then I could have ever expected, and gradually I was able to prove to each of them that I wasn’t that miserable screw-up that I had been acting like.
I started acting like a real mother again.
Abriella continued to help out with the younger children, but this time, it was because she wanted to not because she had to. She had always talked about wanting a large family, but I think that she has changed her mind after having to take care of her siblings on her own.
“I’m not sure how you have been able to do it alone for all these years, Mom” Abriella stated as she fed Theodore a bottle. “I always thought that being a mother was easy. You made it look so easy, and I thought that it would come naturally to me because of how you raised me, but that’s not it. They are so helpless and so dependant on you for everything. You have to sacrifice so much in order to care for them. I’m not sure I could do that”
Because of how responsible Abriella has been over the past couple of months, I thought that she deserved the chance to just a be kid. She deserved to stay out late. She deserved to hang out with her friends, and only have to worry about homework.
She deserved the chance to just relax and enjoy her life. All of my children did, and I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that happened.
The months passed by rather quickly. Before I knew it, it was time for my children to enter their next stage of life. If this had happened a couple of months ago, I would have been sad. I would have felt as if I had missed so much in their lives, but not now. Now, I was happy that I had been given the chance to make up to them the time I was absent.
I had decided to throw a party since today was such a big day. I invited as many people as I possibly could. As the party got underway, Calista entertained the guests with a scary story.
For those who weren’t interested in listening to a scary story or for those that couldn‘t gather around Calista, Violet entertained them with her guitar playing skills.
Then it came time for the party to really get started. I shouted for everyone to gather around the birthday cakes so my children could enter their next stages in life.
First up to the birthday cake was Rhys…
While the kids were blowing out their candles, I couldn’t help looking over and laughing at Calista. She continued to make all these wonderfully entertaining faces. Michael and Rhys seemed to adore her, and spent the rest of the party talking to her.
But back to the party…