Friday, August 08, 2008

Mama's Tough Decision

Here I sit, writing at my parents computer where I previously lived for six months (Jan-June '07) while I awaited my move to Honduras. My parents have been great at letting us stay here and once again they are housing us while we are in transition. They have even taken my old cat in and fattened him up real good. He's the spoiled grandcat that now gets fed canned cat food.

I'm sure the #1 question is - well, are you ever going back to Honduras? That was my question from the moment I landed in MN. Climate wise I had hit an all time low in my tolerance of heat and humidity in Honduras that I didn't think I'd ever be able to get back on a plane to return. But those feelings did fade. At least the exhaustion from dealing with and hiding from the climate anyway. So, I'm sorry that I've been so long to write about this, but you know, I have been flip-flopping all over the place and just didn't know how to write. I've really been a mess about everything.

The short answer to the above question is. No, I'm not going back -at least not right now anyway.

I haven't really known how to address this publicly without feeling like I am being a bit too personal. I want to respect my husband and his feelings in all of this too. It was the hardest decision I think I've ever had to wrestle with. Making the decision to marry and stand by my husband while he went through immigration issues wasn't difficult for me. Quitting a very good job, selling my home, pretty much all my belongings and my car to move down to Honduras didn't feel hard. It felt like an adventure and one that I wanted to take with my husband. I loved him and felt committed to him. I never went about it thinking that it would all be cake, but I felt like I went about it with a positive optimistic outlook. Any and everything felt possible to me.

Getting to Honduras after our long separation was heaven to me. I had visited twice during that time, once with the kids, so I felt like I was doing all the things to help prepare myself to know what I was getting into. Once we finally moved we were in the honeymoon stage. The heat, the humidity, the pollution, or anything else that felt uncomfortable wasn't going to get to me. I was finally where I had waited and worked for the past 5 years to get to. That stage lasted a few months and then...well it ended, of course. There was no more honeymoon.

I think it was harder on my husband and ultimately on our marriage than he and I anticipated. I had been supporting myself and the kids for years and I was used to the stress and knew how to take care of and deal with things as needed. I also had my family nearby and friends around to give me emotional support and breaks every so 0ften too. I had a safe and secure support system in place in MN. That secure support system was not in place in Honduras for us and both my husband nor I knew how to go about carving out time and space that husbands and wives need. Instead the marriage started to fracture under pressure and ultimately I think we both didn't know how to support and meet each others needs and instead we turned on each other.

Making ends meet is one thing but here my husband was also under pressure to take care of so many things that I was incapable of helping with and it was thrown on him basically over night! I was dealing with a loss of independence and frustration feeling a bit isolated and resentment building by the day.

Then the baby happened. What to do? Stay in Honduras in an already stressed situation - I asked myself. All the things that I mentioned that could have bothered me earlier were now full blown frustrations that I felt I couldn't deal with properly. Hiding away in a bedroom that has the only AC wasn't good for my mental health and I worried about having a baby to deal with too in this situation. A baby doesn't need a stressed out unhappy mother. The other kids were already having to deal with things too. Mommy and papi fighting and unhappy most of the time. It didn't seem fair to subject the kids to it.

So I chose to take control of what I can and remain in MN. I've been a single mom for years previously so even though I know it's extremely difficult, I've gone this route before and know that with God I can handle things.

This decision still feels very fresh and I have moments throughout each day that I want to throw in the towel and get on a plane and return to Honduras. Come what may because I have moments of "freak out" because I feel overwhelmed thinking about staying in MN. I'm starting over with basically the clothes we brought with us from Honduras with only some keepsakes still in Honduras. I do miss my husband and as difficult as it was, I do miss Honduras too in many, many ways.

I've been hitting as many garage sales as possible the past few weeks. Right now I've been mostly buying up baby items and cold weather clothes for the kids. Brother has been enjoying putting on his new snow boots. Sister has a new winter coat and both the kids have snow pants now. Warm pj's too. I've bought up some fall/winter maternity clothes and today I bought a used beat up dresser because there just isn't enough closet space. I hope to paint it eventually. I am the second hand queen!

Also, to take advantage of this time I decided that I will finally finish a class that I need for my degree. Back when I was completing my degree I thought I had finished all the required classes and found a great job working for a top company. Soon after I found out that there was a hiccup with a grade requirement in a core class for my degree that I was not aware of. Oops. That semester of taking too many classes came back to bite me. Since I had already got a good job I decided to move forward with my career and not go back to repeat the class. Now I'm in a position that I think I can finally retake that class. Yay! Because of the pregnancy and my emotional mess that I am in, I don't know that I feel comfortable trying to find a career type job anyway. I will probably try to find some part-time work while I'm taking the class. The class will end in Dec and I'm due December 26th which will leave me in a position to take some time with the new baby after the class ends. Sound like a plan?

I'm taking one day, one thing at a time. My next thing on my agenda is to buy a car, find a part-time job and then find someplace to live. I'd really like to have a place of my own before winter and the baby. I found a resource too that helps families furnish homes if you meet the income requirements and I'm sure I'll get lots of "donations" too when needed from friends and family. I really have never felt so blessed and loved by those close to me the past few months. I am amazed at how understanding and supportive my friends and family are. I have really struggled with feelings of being a failure and a quitter and you can throw shame in there too.

Papa has been really struggling too. He misses us terribly, but he has been very supportive. He understands and we talk about things as best we can. It's hard over the phone. He is trying to keep himself busy. I am very proud that he has decided to return to school starting in a few weeks there in San Pedro Sula.

I know it's difficult for him. I miss him not only for me, but for our son. They have such a good relationship and regardless of our marriage problems, he's a great dad and a learning step-dad. So keep him in your prayers too.

One thing I am contemplating is taking a trip to Honduras maybe next month once Sister starts school with Brother to see his papi. I was wanting to go visit too once the baby is born and all the paperwork and passports are in order. Maybe in March? I don't know how I would pay for any of that, but I also feel like I need to go back there for a visit now for some reason while I can still travel during the pregnancy. Does that sound crazy?

I don't know what the future holds for us. It would be my first desire to repair my marriage and live together as a family. Is it possible to repair things long distance? I don't know. I don't know what it will take for me to move back, but I want everyone to know it has less to do with Honduras than one might think. I believe that a good and happy life is possible in Honduras regardless of all its troubles. So if anyone wants to say something completely negative and attack me, my decision or my life - it will be ignored. It is my life and I write about it publicly, yes, but I only write to keep things real. This is real and the struggles are real and very emotional for me.

If anyone has any constructive insight - I am all ears...err eyes (for reading).


Anonymous said...

All the best sprout. I think this is for the best, until you have the baby. Then you can make a decision that won't be so affected by stress. Take care of yourself and those beautiful kids.


Steve Smith said...

I'm sorry to read you're not coming back and your marital problems.

I know this is not your main concern but the real bad heat and humidity is only in Mar - May just before you left. It's been quite comfortable since then.

A legal note to consider and I'm sure you're aware is that if you come back with your kids to visit, your husband must give written authorization for his children to leave. This can be an issue when there are marital problems.

As far as your decision to stay, it's probably for the best for you and your older daughter. It's not quite clear your son's and husband's feelings about all this.

Anonymous said...

Decisions made by mothers are never easy. Only you know what you feel is right for you & your children. I pray God will give you peace about your decision & guide you through these difficult pregnancy months. No matter what happens, it seems as though you really did give it your best shot & what more can anyone ask. Moving to another country cannot be easy, even in the best circumstances. It seems you are in good hands, having support of your family & friends around you, & time will tell in what direction life leads you. I admire your strength & determination, & what an experience you have to tell!
God Bless you & your family!

Anonymous said...

I just want to let you know, that I've enjoyed reading your blog, as my fiance is in Honduras waiting out immigration issues. It is a struggle, so I understand a little.

You, your husband, and children are in my prayers. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system and I'm sure this path in your life's journey will turn out just fine.

Lynette (I don't blog, so the easiest way for me to sign is Anon)

Laurie said...

Wow. I will say a prayer for you. Your story was so touching, and so poignant. I have followed your blog for many months, and I wish you the best in your new chapter of your life. God bless, blogger friend!

Jorgensongals said...

Hi Mama Sprout!

This is your dad's cousin, Heather. I have been silently checking in on you since Elene directed me to your blog last summer at our Jorgenson gal weekend. I'm guessing Elene, or your grandma Glad may have filled you in on those...or maybe not?? Your blog update is amazing and so well written. I appreciate how real you are and how you honor your husband and the father/step-father of your children. Not many are able to do that when in difficult situations. Count me in as one whose praying for you as you transition back into life here in MN. Bless you girl! Heather

La Gringa said...

Oh, I'm really sorry to hear that things didn't work out for you.

Anonymous said...

I follow your blog from time to time, mostly due to your honest, yet uncritical nature. I was surprised to hear of your situation, and I feel for you, not just because of the marriage, but because I can imagine the struggle it is for a single mom of two, with one on the way. You have to be a real strong person to make such a decision and stay positive, that of which you've shown. I don't know what your husband's immigration situation is, but it seems bad. I'm sure if he can just as easily jump on a plane to you, he would, and you'd be on your first step in working things out, unfortunately it's not that easy. I support your decision to go back to see him, seems like you are looking for closure, since you may not have been expecting to stay in MN in the first place. Fact is, the man is always going to be in your life, through your son, as well as your child on the way, so it may also be a time for you too to have a talk, face to face. Honestly speaking, you seem to be a great mother, and a beautiful wife. Try not to be hard on yourself, take pride that your children may have better opportunities in the states, and have a great support system in your family and friends. It's a shame that it wasn't available in Honduras, but sometimes life has other plans. Stay strong and positive, good things come to good people....All the best, Prospect.

Canexicana said...

Thank you for updating. You have made a tough decision, which must not have been easy. You sound like a strong and focussed lady, even though you might not think so at the moment. I don't know anything about US Immigration, but I am wondering if your husband could come to live in the USA again. I know of Mexicans married to gals from the USA who were able to do that eventually.

I hate the damn heat and humidity too, and am enduring my 8th unbearable summer in coastal Mexico. I would not want to be preggers in this climate. My husband reminds me that he would happily move north anytime I have had enough! I just can't bear the thought of starting over and then the winter comes and things are good again here.

Do you know if you are having a girl or a boy? I only ask out of curiousity because here in Mexico everyone knows the sex of their baby ahead of time. I find myself asking my friends in Canada what they are having, girl or boy, and they respond with "eh?, we'll know that when it's born!" Oops, too long in Mexico! Anyway, whether you have a pink or a blue baby shower, you will have lots of love surrounding you and your children.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Sending good wishes and positive thoughts your way, from Mexico!

Anonymous said...

Long distance relationsips work. It may not be easy, but its worth it a try.
Maybe some day Papa Sprout may join you all there in MN.
There's always a new day. Remember the eagles.
God bless you.

Aaron Ortiz said...

Thanks for sharing you life! I hope papa Sprout will be able to join you in MN soon. One of the best things about life, is that things can always change for the better, nothing is permanent.

Elene said...

I'm so glad to hear that you will be staying on back home. I'm sure that it was not hard only on you but sister sprout as well. Hope to see you at the family gatherings that will be coming up this fall. You guys will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Love always

Anonymous said...

I love to see families make it! I hope you get some rest in the States. My first foreign adeventure was a year in Mexico, and I needed recoup time in the States. Consider asking your husband about living in another part of Honduras. Siguatepeque has a good climate, good schools, a very good hospital, and clean air. It's on a major highway. Tegu is more dangerous, but the climate and opportunities are there as well. I live there and I like it. Santa Lucia is close by to Tegu and many Americans live there. It's quite cool. And the humidity is lower in higher altitudes, you know. Maybe you guys could reach a compromise. If you come to Tegu, you'd have lots of friends, I promise! Good luck and many prayers. BTW, I disklike San Pedro Sula as well.

411 from Down Under said...

Good on ya Mama Sprout for making a hard (but smart) decision! You never know what tomorrow may bring... but to stay strong and focus on your sanity, your health and your happiness is the best thing a momma can do for her kids. Lots of love and hugs from down under.

catlover7731 said...

I think you are making a great decision for the health of your soon to be child.And both you and your husband going back to school is the best thing you can do! One day You will all be together and will be stronger for these tribulations( did I spell that right). I do think it is possible to live in Honduras too, but sometimes we need to put the health of our children first.

Anonymous said...

Hi- I've been reading your blog for a few months and am sorry to hear that you will be leaving Hondu. Having said that, you are making the right decision for you and your family. Take care of yourself and your children. The rest will fall into place. BEST OF LUCK and sending prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know what it will take for me to move back, but I want everyone to know it has less to do with Honduras than one might think."

I kinda think this comment sums up the crux of your dilemma. If it isn't Honduras, what is it?

You're a good Mom, best of luck.


chicadedios25 said...

I have been a little worried about you for a while.

It seemed like you were less and less happy with each blog entry.

There is a reason behind every thing that happens in our lives.

I wish you the best of luck with whatever decision it is that you and Papa Sprout decide to make.

You and the family are in my prayers.

Kman was blunt but very truthful. If it is not Honduras-then getting to the root of your problem may be where the solution lies.

Stelie Designs said...

Wow! I can't imagine how difficult this decision is for you. As a mom, you have to do what is best for your kids! If it's staying here in MN to get things in order, or to be happy, then you have taken the correct route.

You are a fabulous mom, you are a strong woman, and you are a great person. Do not look at your time in Honduras or staying here as a failure, look at it as a growing/learning experience.

After sister sprouts pregnancy story it sounds like the states with good medical facilities in your fluent language is the place to be at least until your sweet baby is born. A friend and family support system is key. I don't know what we would do without it.

I appreciate you sharing this difficult time.

I have lots of baby clothes for you to borrow if you need just let me know. Plus, once sister sprout starts school and brother sprout needs a playdate let us know too.

Take care and always in our thoughts,

Sam said...

...ah...have been following you for a while and I too sensed you were becoming unhappy. I am sorry and send all good hopes and wishes for your new baby and the rest of the family. Take care, sweetheart,