Hello. I am Mahaila. I am a regular on the !Parentsroom channel.
I love History, so I am going to divulge the history of my nickname. Mahaila Guinea was my great-grandmother's name. She traveled from the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee to Iowa in a covered wagon right after the Civil War. There were many Guinn's in Greenville Tennessee at that time. Part of them went to Texas and part of them came to Iowa. The one's who came to Iowa started a town in central Iowa which they called Guinnville. The name was later changed to Belle Plaine and it is still called that today.
I grew up in Iowa but when it came time to go to college I went to Texas where many of my relatives lived. I studied the Spanish language and found Texas a wonderful place in which to study.
My real name is Jackie. I was married when I was 18 years old and just beginning college. My first son, Steve, was born when I was 19 years old. Eleven months later my twin sons, Brian and Jeffrey,were born. Well, as you can imagine, that put an end to the college life. I moved back to Iowa and worked as a production worker at Amana Refrigeration. Four years later, my fourth son, Ron, was born. After his birth I returned to my production job. Three years later, John, was born.
My husband,who had always been quite physically abusive, became intolerably abusive after the birth of the fifth son. He threatened my life and I took the kids and went to a shelter. In a short time I found housing and continued working on my production job while I endeavored to be a single parent. Money became scarce, food was non-existent, and the twins were diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. The prospect of child support from my ex-husband seemed unlikely, so I took a part time job driving a taxi. I continued these two jobs all the time my five sons grew up. I was living in Iowa City, so when it came time for college for the kids, they all stayed at home and got their undergraduate degrees from the University of Iowa.
Three of the five boys went on to get advanced degrees. Brian got a Juris Doctor degree, Jeff got a PHD in Shakespearean Literature, and Steve got a masters in Business Administration. Ron got a degree in computers and John got a Civil Engineering degree. Steve, Brian, Jeff, and Ron are all happily married and John is getting married in December of 1996. Steve, Brian, Jeff, and Ron are all employed in the United States and John is a missionary in Africa.
At present, I have three grandchildren, Ryan, Emily, and Jonathan. Emily was the first girl born in my family in fifty years.
My hobbies are sports. I love baseball and always thought I would be the first woman in the major leagues. Well, I never accomplished that but I did spend many hours playing baseball with the boys. I have collections of baseball, football, and basketball cards.
The final chapter in my life to date is that I am a licensed foster parent. I have five foster children ages 5,7,8,9, and 12. Their names are Patrick, Phillipe, Sara, Shane, and Christina. We are a multi-cultural family as Patrick and Phillipe are black and the other three are white. I enjoy playing games with these kids and taking them places. Last year we went to Mall of America, Adventureland, the State Fair, the Indian Pow Wow, and Tom Sawyer days. The kids are all doing well in school. Christina started junior high this year and made the honor roll the first quarter. At present I am considering adopting Christina as parental rights are soon to be terminated in her case.
Well this is a summary of my story. I am presently working on a series of essays focusing on details of my life. Mostly I am doing this as a remembrance for my kids; but who knows, maybe someday I will publish it.