I have started writing my memoirs and to be honest, I have updated those more than I have this blog! So, I will copy and paste everything I have written from 2020 and 2021. So much has happened to me in such a short time since we left China!
Well it looks like in 2019 I was
overly optimistic about 2020. This has not been a great year for anyone so far.
Our plan was that Jenny would leave
for Spain in September and I would stay until January 2020, to finish out my
contract and then I would fly to Spain to rejoin her. This four-month period of
time was the longest amount of time that we had been separated since we met
each other. It was not easy to be away from my wife for so long, but I was
staying busy working and getting ready to move. There were times that both of
us were lonely and missing each other and it felt like the days would never go
However, before we knew it January
24th had arrived and after finishing all the things I had to get done at the
university, I boarded my flight from Shenzhen to Madrid and then onto Pamplona
Spain. Finally, after four months I was able to be reunited with Jenny once
more and start my new life in Spain.
From this point forward, I will need
to arrange my working visa, we need to get a car, I need a driver’s license, or
a new apartment and all the basic things that one needs to start a new life.
We will see what happens for me (and
Jenny and our family and friends) in 2020 and find out what life has in store
for me and us. I look forward to seeing what happens.
As of March 2020, the biggest story
here in Spain and around the world is the Corona Virus (or COVID-19) that has
paralyzed the world. Everything has shut down here in Spain and worldwide. We
are in our third week of total lock down here in the house. We can leave (one
person only) once a week for groceries or to go to the pharmacy or hospitals.
Luckily, Jenny and I are still able to work online. Many people are not so
fortunate. The only people allowed to be out are the ¨essential¨ healthcare
As of March 31st, 2020, there are
801,061 cases worldwide with 38,748 deaths. These numbers will just keep
climbing unfortunately. This is unlike anything the world has seen in over one
hundred years at least.
Spain is currently third worldwide
in the number of total cases (94,417) and second worldwide in deaths with
8,189. Scary stuff. Luckily, so far no one that Jenny or I know here has been
personally affected but that could change. My sister in law works in the
hospital and many people are getting infected.
But Jenny and I now have jobs, an
apartment and a car so as of right now we are still doing ok. I am more worried
about my family back home in the U.S.A. than I am about us though.
The U.S. is generally much less well
prepared, and people seem to be taking it much less seriously there. Our
current President and administration are not helping matters. I truly hope that
things get better sooner rather than later.
Hopefully the whole world will have
learned something from this, and we can all come out stronger from this. The
only positive thing is that (at least for now) we humans are doing much less
polluting and general destruction of our only planet.
April 5th, 2020, a day that I will
remember for the rest of my life. This was the day that Jenny told me she was
pregnant with our first child. I still can't believe that we have created a new
life that will arrive in nine months. I am beyond scared, so nervous and
unprepared but excited. I have no idea what I am doing, and I know nothing
about babies but now I have something beyond myself. Someone who will live
I have a legacy, someone to pass on
not only my genes but also my ideas, parts of my personality and more. Of
course, I am not the only person involved in this process, in fact, I have the
easy part. Jenny has the hard part! Our child has 50% of her as well.
We are partners in this new
adventure and many years from now, maybe my future child will be the one
reading these words.
Now we have a responsibility to try
and give the best life possible to our child. I hope Jenny and I are as good at
parenting as our parents have been. I couldn’t ask for better parents and I
know she would say the same.
We will have big shoes to fill. As
of May 25th, 2020, we are in week twelve of our pregnancy. We still
do not know if we are going to have a boy or a girl, but we are super nervous
and excited either way.
In three days, we will go for our
first sonogram and hopefully be able to find out the gender of our little one.
As soon as Jenny told me she was pregnant I felt a change inside of me. I
became extremely emotional and excited at the thought of becoming a father and
to have done my part to help create a new life on this planet. Creating a life
is one thing, raising a child is a completely different matter!
However, I am positive that Jenny
will be a great, loving, caring and involved mother and I only hope I can do
half the job that my dad did to raise me and that I will be a good father as
well. I sure am going to try my very best to give our child the best life
I already feel more love than I ever
thought possible for him/her and our baby is not even here yet!
I am excited every day to see and
feel the changes in Jenny's body, knowing that our little one is growing inside
her and I cannot wait to hold my child in my arms.
This is unlike any experience I have
ever had, and I have never experienced the feelings that I now feel with anyone
or anything else in my life.
This is a new and exciting
adventure! I got to feel Eliana kicking in Jenny's belly. That was an exciting
day for both of us.
We are very happy and excited and
can’t wait until she is in our arms. We are hopeful for a smooth and uneventful
delivery so we can see our healthy baby.
After arriving to Pamplona in
January, I got a job at the public university until March but then we went on
lock down and we were basically locked down to the apartment until the end of
June so we didn’t get to do anything outside of the apartment and then I ended
up in the hospital. In June 2020, I started vomiting and experiencing
headaches. This started my eight-week journey at the hospital in Pamplona.
Spain. My mom has come over from Texas and Jenny´s family has been great. I
ended up having three brain surgeries.
The first surgery, the doctors tried
replacing the shunt tubing. After that didn't work. They decided to take out
the shunt tubing for a week to monitor the flow of liquid.
Well that didn't work either, so
they ended up taking my thirty-five-year-old shunt and giving me two new
programmable shunts. These shunts can be adjusted with magnets without having
to open my head to do another surgery. So, I survived three brain surgeries,
but I have a lot of recovery ahead of me.
Unfortunately, I have lost weight
and mobility and I am still weak, and I have some facial paralysis with a wonky
left eye that needs correcting (hopefully it will be self-correcting with time,
but eye surgery is an option for the future if needed)
So, I have lots of rehab ahead of me
to get back to 100%. But I am hopeful that with time and some hard work I can
fix my left eye and get rid of this facial paralysis.
I know that physically I will gain
my weight and stability back, so I am not worried about that. But it has been
nice having my mom here to help and give me some good Southern food. Of course,
we will get to see them again in December when Eliana is born. I can’t wait to
hold her in my arms and hopefully both of us will be 100% healthy in December.
Now I have been out of the hospital
for just over a month now and I have started rehab five days a week. I do both
private and government funded rehab. I have physical therapy, occupational therapy
and speech therapy. I have gained some weight and noticed improvement in my
eating, drinking and speech luckily.
However, I still have a long way to
go to get back to the way I was before the surgeries. I know with time and
patience it will happen though. Both my mom and Jenny and her family have been
a huge help to me during this trying time. Hopefully by the time Eliana is born
in December I will be better though. At least I am out of the hospital and not
in too much pain
I had a relapse in the beginning of
October, and I had to go back into the hospital for ten days. I feel like my
speech is worse and my balance also but everything else remains the same. I can
still eat and drink whatever I want, and I have restarted my rehab and hope to
gain back what I have lost now that I am back at home.
Today is November 9th,
2020 and I am slowly but surely regaining my strength and balance. I am still waiting on the doctors to fix my
lazy left eye and I am still going to rehab (both public and private) Monday
through Friday. I am working on my balance issues and improving my speech, but
overall things are not as bad as they were previously.
I have stopped vomiting, nor do I
have bad headaches anymore. I can lay flat on my back for a longer time than I
could previously. My neck is still weak where they put the new shunt in, but I
have been gaining weight since I can still eat and drink whatever I want.
Things could be better, but they could also be much worse. My full-time job now
is going to my rehab and trying to get better.
I have had a job offer for a job
that I can do from home so hopefully I will get that job and I can start
working again. It will not be the perfect job, but it is better than doing
nothing. Luckily, I feel like I have progressed faster after this most recent
hospitalization. I have been out of the hospital just over a month now, but I
can shower, shave and dress myself. So, I am slowly but surely regaining my
I have more movement in my eyebrows
and with my smile. I still have a lot of facial paralysis, but things are
getting better slowly but surely, and the muscles of my face are activating
even if it is just a little bit.
Little Eliana Valentina will be here
in less than a month! I still cannot believe that I am going to be a father. I
am very excited and nervous to meet her though. Currently, Jenny is 36 weeks
Our daughter will be here before we
know it. I still feel unprepared, but I hope that both Jenny and I will be good
Jenny is getting big and our daughter
currently weighs 2.5 kg or just over five pounds. She will continue to gain
weight in the last four weeks of this pregnancy. I am nervous about the labor
and delivery, but I cannot imagine what Jenny is going through and I will try
my best to do my part and help where and when I can even in my weakened
Luckily, Jenny so far only has some
leg pain and pressure from the weight of her stomach. We are lucky that she has
not experienced horrible pregnancy symptoms that some women go through. From
this point forward through, every time jenny wakes up in the middle of the
night I am going to freak out and think that she is going into labor.
I should also mention that The
United States just recently elected Democrat Joe Biden as our 46th
President. He is not my preferred candidate, but he is better than the
previously President and I wish him all the luck in the world. He will need
luck to work with our dysfunctional government. The average joe is being
crushed in America unfortunately.
It is now Friday December 11th
and Eliana is five days overdue! She does not want to leave Jenny´s belly. I am
very nervous and excited to meet her though. I hope she is perfect, and I still
cannot believe that I am going to be a father. I helped to create a new life
that will come into this world on or before December 18th (that is
Jenny`s induction date)
I am nervous and feel unprepared for
parenthood, but I know that Jenny and I will do the best that we can even when
we make mistakes. I cannot wait to show Eliana the world and watch her grow and
learn. My heart is full of love for her and she is not even here yet. I get a
huge thrill out of talking to her in the belly and feeling her move when she
hears my voice.
Being a parent is an incredible
responsibility and I have felt a huge change within myself since I found out
that I was going to be a father.
Eliana Valentina Horton Mojica was
born on Monday December 14th at 9:08am. After fifteen hours of labor
Jenny ended up having to have a C section but now after three days in the
I have both my girls back home with
me. It was hard for me not being able to be there for the birth (we decided to
have my mother in law go with Jenny due to the chances of me catching Covid
from the hospital with my weakened immune system. I was very nervous waiting at
home for any news. I did not sleep well at all! But luckily other than a C
Section Jenny is OK and so is Eliana.
Being a parent is a huge and awesome
responsibility. I still feel unprepared but ready to take this on. The first
time you hold your child in your arms is an amazing feeling.
I felt her grow for nine months in
Jenny's stomach and now she is here in my arms. She is the most beautiful
little girl and there is nothing more special than being able to hold your own
child in your arms. I love her more than I have ever loved anything in this
world, and I want to keep her close forever. Both mother and daughter are
Today is December 30th,
2020. This terrible year is almost over. As of today, I turn thirty-six years
old. I can´t believe that I have made it this far.
Sometimes I still feel eighteen
years old and other times I feel like I am sixty-six years old. This has been a
challenging year for everyone, to say the least.
However, I survived three brain
surgeries and went on to have a healthy baby girl. This year has not been all
bad since Eliana was born.
Being a parent has been an
exhausting yet rewarding experience. Every time I look at my daughter my heart
is filled with love and I know all of the struggles are worth it. She is just
now a little over two weeks old and sometimes she sleeps well and sometimes she
does not sleep at all (then Jenny and I don't either) but I know this time will
go super-fast and soon we will be wishing for it back. Eliana is perfectly
healthy, and I am so thankful that none of my health problems were passed on to
I can't think of anything else that I have
ever done that is as fulfilling as becoming a father. I have visited over forty
countries and had a wonderful blessed life, but nothing compares with holding
my little girl in my arms. My life is far from perfect.
I do not have everything that I
want, yet I do have everything that I need. There are people much worse off
than me in this world. I am hoping for a corona virus free and better 2021 now
that we have the vaccines available. I hope that Eliana will be able to have a
normal healthy and happy childhood free of the fear of another pandemic. My
biggest hope is that this world will be a better place for her than it has been