Jorge Goytizilo’s story is a powerful and moving one and we are so honored that he has allowed us to share it in our blog.
We asked Jorge to share his thoughts on twin parenthood as a single dad and how the loss of his husband has impacted the way he is raising his twins. His honest and open encounter is truly inspiring and we hope you get as much out of reading it as we have.
Read on to learn about Jorge's story.
1. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I'm Jorge Goytizolo but everyone knows me by my childhood nick name - Coco. I work for a Third Party Administrator company that handles general liability claims. I am a runner somewhat competitive always conscious about being fit and healthy. I am a caring person that since early on thought about having children.I am a single dad of beautiful twins boy and girl whose real job is to raise these children to be beautiful human beings.
2. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST FEAR YOU HAD GOING INTO TWIN PARENTHOOD?
The fear of doing it alone. The fear of not having someone to share the good and bad moments that come with raising children. The fear of not knowing what roll to take... The strict parent, the cool parent, the helicopter parent or maybe all of them...The fear of not able to raise them to be good human beings. The fear of not be able to know if I am doing the right decisions.
3. WHEN DID YOU LOSE YOUR HUSBAND AND HAS IT IMPACTED RAISING YOUR CHILDREN?
Philip and I were together for 16 years. He was a beautiful human being. We were the opposites, he was tall (6'05") reddish blonde (when he had hair) and I am medium height (05'08") Latin with brown hair and dark eyes. He was introvert, quiet and shy but we made it work.
We were trying to have children since 2004. Back then, we were trying to adopt but had to stop the process due to Philip's first-time illness. He was diagnosed with Leukemia then. We decided to stop and focus on his recovery. I was not meant to be then for us to create a family. 6 years later when the doctor declared him cancer free, we decided to start the process. We finally opted for surrogacy.
We decided to use my sperm as his family health history was a bit complicated, plus my parents never had grandchildren and his family already had several. After 2 miscarriages and one unsuccessful attempt, on our last attempt, we got pregnant. We found out 2 weeks after the positive results that there were 2 little heartbeats.
When we were 6 months pregnant we learned that we were blessed with one boy and one girl. By then Philip was not feeling well at all and 2 weeks later he after a scare in the emergency room we found out that he had stage 4 brain cancer and that he had not much time to live. 3 months after the babies were born, Philip passed away suddenly and in my arms. I got to tell him that I always loved him and I always will. He was 48.
It was a crazy year 2014. The best and happiest and at the same time the saddest and darkest time of my life. The twins helped me to keep it together and gave me the strength to keep my sanity. Philip passed away May 3rd, 2014. The kids were born on February 3rd, 2014.
4. WHAT FASCINATES YOU THE MOST ABOUT TWINS (ESPECIALLY YOUR OWN)?
They always have each others back, they are very protective of each other. Their connection even when they are mad with each other or when they are apart.
It fascinates me their connection, without talking to each other, I can see that they are connected spiritually and that makes my heart smile.
5. WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU THE MOST ABOUT YOUR TWINS?
How their personalities are so different from each other and how similar they both are to me and my husband who genetically is not possible as he was not the donor.
Ella is so reserved and shy. She has so much of Philip's attributes but she has my temper and Santiago is energetic and outgoing like me and at the same time very artistic and picky eater like Philip...so strange!
6. WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE MYTH ABOUT HAVING TWINS YOU WOULD LIKE TO DEBUNK?
"Oh my God! Are they identical??? how can you tell them apart..?!" I answer yeah they are pretty identical except for the penis!
7. IS THERE ANY ADVICE ABOUT HAVING TWINS YOU WISH YOU HAD BEEN GIVEN?
Enjoy every moment. Raise them with your heart and your mind. Try not follow any books on how to raise twins. The love that you give them is enough for them. Spend time with both.
Play with them, sit on the floor with them be at their same height, be engaged. They will always remember that: “Papi played with us and made us happy....”
Thank you for being so open and honest about your journey, Jorge. We can’t imaginet the pain you have gone through and are so honored that you have allowed us to share this story on our blog. We hope that it can give others a beacon of light and hope in situations they must endure. Your twins are lucky to have you as such a thoughtful and caring father.