Motherhood takes all forms, from stepchildren to adopted kids, special needs kids and beyond. Jen Todd / The Tennessean
Mom: Jennifer White
Kids: Gavin, 13, Colin, 8
Her story: Gavin only had a 50 percent survival rate when he was born, 15 weeks before his due date.
"We didn’t know if he was going to make it," White said.
Fortunately, after weeks in the NICU, Gavin was able to go home — but he is blind, has epilepsy and is on the autism spectrum. While he doesn’t tell his parents how he is feeling, he loves to hug.
"He’s very affectionate," she said.
It took a lot of time and preparation before they decided to have another child. Then, Colin was born a typical baby boy.
Gavin loves music, and loves to hear Colin sing. They love swimming and jumping.
"They have their own language, it seems like," White said.
Brothers Colin White, 8, and Gavin, 13, "have their own language," their mother Jennifer White says.
Biggest challenge: You have to wear two completely different hats, and it’s hard to switch back between the two. I remember one moment a couple of years ago, my husband and I had to realize our youngest will surpass our oldest. This one plays by different rules. I think having Gavin first was different because we had to kind of unlearn some things with Collin.
But it’s also been amazing because Colin’s learning all about compassion and being a servant and being empathetic — things that are just really hard to teach without an everyday example in front of you.
Biggest reward: How God uses different types of people, no matter what. He weaves us all together for a purpose. We all have such amazing things to offer. I see two completely different people that work together well, love each other well, and both equally contribute to the community.
Favorite thing about being a mom: Being able to share that kind of love with someone else. There’s something really fulfilling to see that love go out and see it go beyond yourself. When I see my kids love on others, that’s the benefit.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Meet Sumner County moms — moms with step kids and biological kids and adopted kids and special needs kids. Moms of kids with big age gaps. Moms of kids with different skin colors. Moms who have suffered from postpartum depression. Moms who have grieved. Moms who have loved.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we talked to moms of various family dynamics — their challenges, their anxieties, their bliss.
More: Gallatin Chamber CEO on being a mom and stepmom, and loving both the same
More: Foster care wasn’t the plan, but granted Hendersonville Chamber CEO’s dream of being mom
More: Years after giving child up for adoption, Gallatin mom adopts niece
Because being a mom is hard. And oh, so rewarding.
Reach Sumner County reporter Jen Todd at 615-575-7143, email@example.com or on Twitter @jentoddwrites.