As you can see, I only have 3 boys in the picture to the right. Someone is missing. My first true love, my firstborn, Alex. Alex is 16 and I have not seen him since he was 8 years old. I lost him to my ex husband on a technicality. Our original agreement was 6 months and 6 months until we could iron out a divorce. It was during my ex's 6 month turn that he filed for divorce. He asked for custody and in return would not request a paternity test for Matthew (who had just been born) and grant me sole custody of him. He promised I could still see Alex every summer and holidays. Since I was broke and couldn't afford a lawyer, I saw no way out. Alex did come to live with me that summer and we had planned for him to stay an entire year, but it wasn't meant to be.
Michael (my ex) had remarried soon after our divorce because he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant. She had her baby that December. Michael's mom paid for Alex a round trip plane ticket to come see his new sister. He would be home right after Christmas. At the same time, Rob quit his job. A day or two before Alex was supposed to come back, Michael found out about this. He decided from our conversation that we could not provide a stable home for Alex, and therefore, Alex would not be coming back.
He left his clothes, his toys, pictures, Christmas gifts, everything. He bought him all new stuff. Every summer there was another reason why he couldn't come see me. Everything from I didn't give Michael an "itinerary" two months in advance, to he was going to Iraq and he didn't want to take Alex away from his sisters at the same time. Last summer, I had it all together. Money, transportation, time off...and a month before I was due to go get him, I was put on strict bed rest for pregnancy complications. It's not so simple to put him on a plane...I am required to physically show up at an appointed time Michael has approved.
At first, they were in Maine and I was in KY, then I moved to SC the same year they moved to NY. Michael had to rejoin the Army because he couldn't find a job. Ironic, huh? The reason I couldn't have him was lack of a job. Sad because I had a full time job in less than two weeks after he decided I could not provide a stable home and was able to support Rob and Matthew on just my income!
Now here comes Mother's Day again. My baby is not here. His dad is in Iraq and he lives with his step mom. He has never met Brandon or Tommy. He saw Matthew when he was a year old. My heart breaks when I think about the days I have lost. He was 8! A little boy with big dreams and a big heart. Now he is 16. He's not my baby anymore...I sit here with tears in my eyes wondering how different his life would have been if he would have been with me all of this time. It took me a long time to forgive myself for leaving his dad and tearing up his life. He and I have made peace with this and he is glad I left his dad. He isn't a nice person. (obviously, he's kept my child from me for 8 years)
I love Alex with all of my heart. He has grown into such a strong young man. He keeps a close guard on his heart these days and doesn't let many people get close to him. I feel so fortunate that he allows me into his world. It may be just telephone and internet these days, but at least we have communication. Here is a then and now of him. The current one is of him and his girlfriend, Cassandra. They have been together over a year.