My name is Dwan Perrin. When I first joined the virtual world all my usernames were DJane including my very first email address. Jane is my middle name and I guess I always thought you weren’t supposed to reveal your true identity on the world wide web thus MommaDJane was born. Of course now with the different social networking sites such as Facebook and Linked In, I’ve tossed that theory out the window! So although if you meet me at a conference in real life, I do go by Dwan but will also answer to DJane.
Where I came from:
I was Texas born and raised. One of the lucky ones whose parents are still married. I have two half-sisters on my dad’s side, currently five nieces, three nephews, and one great-niece. My mom’s side of the family lives in Tennessee where she grew up, therefore I have spent quite a bit of my life traveling there. Since my mom was raised in the country being part of a family with eight children, she never had much growing up. When she moved to the city, married my father and decided to have me…. well let’s just say she was determined to work hard and give me everything she never had. I will admit I was one of those spoiled little kids, yet I didn’t act it. I was raised to be very responsible, independent and pushed hard in school.
Where I’ve been:
When I was 15 I made a choice to take my male best-friend of four years to the next level and T was born. Becoming a teenage mom has been one of the hardest things I have accomplished in life. Once T was conceived I didn’t believe there was any other choice than keeping her and succeeding in life as a teen mom. My first job was at IHOP as a hostess, then I dabbled in retail including piercing ears at Claire’s, went on to Wells Fargo Bank as a teller and into the corporate world working for DFW Airport Board and Lockheed Martin.
I was raised in the big city of Fort Worth, lived in the country of Tennessee, small town of Mineral Wells and am now back to my roots in the DFW area. I got married in 2000 and divorced in 2003. My second child was born in 2002 with disabilities. Gabby had a stroke in utero which we didn’t learn until she was four months old. Raising a child with special needs and, so far, six major surgeries has been one of the other most difficult things I’ve accomplished. Gabby has Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Mood Disorder and ADHD. She had a hemispherectomy in November 2007 which is the removal of the left side of her brain. This was to stop the constant seizures she was experiencing. Since then we have struggled with short term memory loss and frustration/anger. I had my third and last child in 2006 – my first son, Noah.
Where I’m at:
My first steps into a blog were on a Sampa site (if you don’t count my MySpace blog or the ancient AOL days) to keep family and friends informed about Gabby’s progress during her major surgeries. Our four-month hospital stay was documented with status updates and photos. I then turned it into a Blogger blog via Blogspot titled Blogging Momma. In February of ’09, I decided to brand my blog a little more of who I was and during this I moved over to WordPress, creating MommaDJane.
My dream in the past was to become a CPA, I actually majored in Accounting in college. Once Gabby’s special needs became more time consuming my outlook on life changed. Living on a rollercoaster of life with your child you learn to appreciate life a little more. I took my life plan and threw it away to write a whole new one. This has been one of the other hardest things I’ve ever done and am still doing today. I think it is so important to cherish life and make your passions reality. Being a CPA would have provided for my family but I wouldn’t have felt fulfilled. Working with non-profit organizations, participating in community events, working with children and teens (especially teen mothers) is where my heart is. Social Media and writing have become a huge part of my life. Marketing brands I believe in, giving back to wonderful organizations and helping even one person, makes me feel great.
In 2012 I met an amazing man to whom I finally opened my heart again. After being a single mom for many years, blending families has been a rewarding experience.
Where I’m headed:
I plan to grow this blog in many ways. I intend to offer advice by sharing my experience with raising a child with disabilities. I want to encourage other single mothers or teenage mothers by showing that it can be done. I plan to use MommaDJane as my own personal outlet to write about being derailed from the path you may have planned to follow the right path that was planned for you.
One day, my dream is to finally put all my notes, thoughts and voice recordings into print to finish my memoir.
Always remember: “Cherish today, for you never know what tomorrow brings” ~ MommaDJane