As a mom, you may not have qualified for the Rio Olympics, but you certainly deserve a spot on the podium in our eyes. There are no “perfect scores” in motherhood, but if you had a discipline breakthrough, managed a meltdown, or found time in your day to pursue a dream, then we want to take a moment and celebrate alongside you. Even the little “victories” add up to be big wins in the long run; so let’s champion each other. After all, we’re on the same team.
Today, we are happy to introduce Jen Moore to the TtT community! Welcome, Jen!
Hi! My name is Jen Moore, and I have twin boys who are 2 ½ years old. My sweet husband, Jeremy, and I met when while we were in college at Miami University. I chose this picture because it symbolizes, for me, how we’ve really had to lean on one another as a family over the last 2 1/2 years.
Oh my gosh, this picture is adorable!!! So, if you don’t mind me asking, why have you had to lean on each other?
Thank you! Well, Caleb and Owen were born 3 ½ months early – which was certainly unexpected, to say the least. Our lives were instantly turned upside down. This picture is a tangible reminder that we can face obstacles as a family and still come out smiling on the other side.
(Yes!! Melissa is awesome!)
Wow, 3 1/2 months early! I cannot even imagine what that must have been like. Could you share a little more about that experience?
Yes. Our boys spent the first 4 months of their lives in the NICU. Owen experienced significant brain bleeds at birth, which led to two different brain surgeries by the time he was 3 months old. Caleb had considerable respiratory challenges that were also on the verge of needing surgical intervention.
They were born weighing only 1 and 2 lbs, with all of the cards stacked against them. It was an incredibly trying time, and we were fortunate enough to have the love and prayers of an incredible support system behind us. That experience led me to get involved with our local March of Dimes chapter as a part of their Family Teams Committee.
Tell our readers a little about March of Dimes, for those who may not be familiar with them. And tell us more about yourself. ?
The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization working to raise awareness on issues of maternal health, fund ongoing research, and offer support for families affected by prematurity, birth defects, and infant loss.
About me… Recently, I also joined a “Mothers of Young Children” group at our church. I love the nights that I get to spend with this special community of women. We’ve just finished studying the book, “Walking with Purpose,” by Lisa Brenninkmeyer, and I would highly recommend it!
Otherwise, I am a full-time SAHM and caretaker. While Caleb’s beaten the odds and developmentally on-track with his same-age peers, Owen’s challenges led to eventual diagnoses of Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delay, Epilepsy, Cortical Vision Impairment, and Sensory Processing Disorder. It isn’t uncommon for us to have 5 or 6 appointments/therapy sessions throughout the week. Trying to find time for the activities that re-energize my heart and soul has certainly been a work in progress.
Yes… That is amazing and you are already a rock star to me (and we just met)! What are your boys’ personalities like? They both look like so much fun in the picture!
Our boys are fraternal twins – a fun trait that they share with their Dad (who is also a fraternal twin, himself)! Owen is a fighter. On Day 3 of his life we were told to be very concerned. We had him emergently baptized, and one week later he was strong enough to be removed from ventilator support. He is not able to walk or sit independently, but he’s a scrappy little guy! He can army crawl across the entire living room – and he’s fast, too! Though he only has a few basic words, Owen has the sweetest blue eyes that melt my heart when he looks up at me and smiles.
Caleb is our sweet, sensitive, silly, and inquisitive little man. His favorite thing to do is take things apart, investigate how they work, and then try to put them back together. One time I was changing the crib sheet on his bed when the ENTIRE front railing fell off! I found a giant screw on the floor that he had worked out of the crib – with his bare hands! He is transforming into a total ham lately, and it has been SO much fun to watch his personality bloom. Caleb is also very protective of his twin brother, and just beginning to become increasingly aware of their differences. It’s a tough thing for a toddler to understand, having a brother with special needs.
I pray daily that God grants me the grace I need to parent these two very special, unique individuals, and to foster the relationship between them that He intends.
What a very special relationship! ? What is a recent mom win you experienced that took time and perseverance to accomplish?
Trust. Trust in God’s plan for my life, and for my son’s life, when it didn’t match my own. But, oh, has that ever been a process. I never wanted to stop working; I loved my job as a 4th grade teacher, and it was my passion. When my husband and I found out that we were expecting twins, I reluctantly agreed to take a one-year leave of absence. When I went into early labor at 25 weeks gestation, God ripped that rug right out from under me. I could tell of a million and one ways the stars aligned in our favor during those very scary days – and looking back, it was as if God was saying, “I know this isn’t what you expected, but this is where I need you.” God was setting his plan in motion, and I needed only to get out of the way.
What’s more, after 2 ½ years on a hamster wheel of therapy appointments and specialist visits, we still have more questions than answers: Will Owen walk? Will Owen talk? What will preschool look like? It’s a one-day-at-a-time, true test of faith. And while God works to reveal His plan in His time, my #1 priority is just to love those two little boys with my whole heart, and with every fiber of my being.
What’s most ironic is that one of the therapy centers we frequent is literally right down the street from where I used to work, forcing me to drive past my old life twice a week. I still don’t have all of the answers, but I’m learning to be OK with that. And now when we drive by, I can almost feel God reaching into my heart to say, “You’re ok. We’ve got this.”
I so love and admire your perseverance. Isn’t it amazing how God speaks to us about the unexpected?
Next question: What is a mom win that you would text your best friend?
Probably something like, “Both boys are asleep, AND they still have pants on!”
We’re in a fun phase right now (at least that’s what I keep telling myself!) where one of our boys knows that if he disrobes and uses his crib as a giant potty, Mommy and Daddy will have no choice but to come running (he’s too smart for his own good!) Meanwhile, the other brother would rather EAT his pull-up – a sensory issue we’ve been able to tackle with sleep sacks (thank goodness for the XL size!) but will do whatever he can to Houdini himself free, if possible. When they both go down at the end of the day without a fight, it feels like quite the victory.
AMEN to that! Your little Houdini. ? Last thing, Jen: Do you have any words of encouragement for other moms in the trenches like you?
The scripture that has always spoken most to my heart is Jeremiah, 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It is SO hard to put our trust in God when His plans don’t match ours, particularly when we’re in the trenches of a shake-up. He is constantly teaching me that while the journey right now may not have a concrete destination, the process to get there might be just as important. Pray for patience, pray for stamina to endure the storm, and remind yourself that though you may not understand His plans for your life right now, God already has it all figured out. Our job is simply to keep our hearts and minds open to the journey.
I love that last line about what our job simply is… ? THANK YOU for sharing a bit of you journey with us! You are sure to inspire a lot of mommas out there.
If you would like to be featured as a Gold Medal Mom or you know someone who would, please contact us here!