The single mum on The Bachelor franchise is becoming a familiar face.
There was Snezana Markoski on Sam Wood’s season, who ended up receiving the final rose. Then Alex Nation, mum of six year old Elijah, won Richie’s heart in the following season.
Notice a bit of a pattern here?
But there was another single mum on Richie’s season of The Bachelor that you probably didn’t know about.
Sophie Edwards, 29 and from Adelaide, became a mum to Jaxon over a year before she appeared on the dating show. You probably didn't realise because it wasn't actually mentioned (on-air at least), a decision Sophie thought long and hard about.
In her own words, she shares the incredible story of how Jaxon came in to her life...
My sister was 21 years old when she gave birth.
She has Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism. Fundamentally she understands the difference between right and wrong but ultimately she does not understand the decision making process which leads to a final outcome.
She first started experimenting with drugs at a very young age and this 'dabbling' quickly turned to into a serious drug addiction; by choice she moved out of home and dropped out of school at the age of 12.
On the 17th of November 2014 she gave birth to Jaxon. I never knew what love was until I laid eyes on him.
Myself, my mum and my other sister, Danielle were all present at Jaxon's birth. The love and joy that filled that room that day was overwhelming and was something that I had never experienced before. I remember holding Jaxon when he was just minutes old and telling him that I would do anything for him.
It was evident straight away that my sister wasn't able to bond with or didn't want to bond with Jaxon. Any parent would know that once a child comes into your life everything changes, priorities change and your whole world now revolves around this tiny human being. Unfortunately my sister continued on the same path she was on before she fell pregnant and Jaxon was not her priority.
Every child has the right to have parents that put them first, there was never any question as to whether or not I would take him into my care. My sister still has a role in his life, this is a very important and special role and he will know where he came from when he is old enough to understand, I will never hide anything from him.
I have embraced motherhood in every way - the sleep deprivation, tantrums, laughter, tears and above all else the unconditional love. I love being a mum and in all honesty I don’t remember what my life was like before Jaxon was born. I am so very thankful each and every day to have this incredibly vibrant, stubborn, intelligent, funny and gentle little boy in my life.
Deep down my mum and I always knew this would happen after Jaxon was born...
...but we were always hopeful that this would be enough of a reason for my sister to want to change and turn her life around. I never ever thought I would be in this situation before she was pregnant.
I had my life planned out at the age of 16 as many people do, get married by 23, have kids, the house and everything that goes with it before the age of 30. I have since learned that embracing the unexpected and taking every day as it comes leads to a much happier and settled life.
• To find a friendship as special as this one is very rare, a friendship that makes you a better individual, inspires you to be better and set bigger goals. One that is filled with laughter that makes your belly hurt and eyes water. I have unconditional love for this incredible human. Thank you for the last five days, I have made memories with you that I'll cherish forever. I am so thankful that my journey on @thebachelorau gave me a friendship that will stand the test of distance and time •
I would love to find that special man and have a best friend and role model for Jaxon but I am not willing to settle anymore just for the sake of settling.
Listen: Lock the Door, Leave Your Kids With Strangers, and Other Lessons for Working Parents. Post continues after audio.
"This all happened in 2014-2016, so a year and a half before The Bachelor."
After many discussions with the team it was decided that Jaxon would not be mentioned on air.
I was pretty clear that Jaxon was not a story and that this was about my journey to find love, everyone was so incredibly supportive and kind. Richie and I had many conversations about Jaxon and family which also lead to discussions about our morals and values.
"I must have had a lot of spare time on my hands before Jaxon!"
I had heard many people talking about how being a parent is the toughest job in the world and let me tell you that statement is 100 per cent correct.
Every day I face challenges, everyday I am learning something new, my patience is tested at least five times a day and no amount of googling or reading parenting books can tell you exactly why your child is crying or why they are throwing a tantrum.
My mum is the most incredibly supportive and patient woman, I would have been lost without her. She is there for me 24/7 offering me guidance and support in a way that still empowers me as a mother which is so very important and has been incredible with offering to look after him so I can go out for a girl’s night or go to Perth etc.
Honestly my mum deserves a medal, as hard as this transition has been for me I can’t even begin to imagine how she must be feeling as a parent/grand-parent. As a parent you have to trust your instincts, every child is different and every minute of every day is different and I have learnt to embrace this.
It is hard that I don’t have a partner to share this with, but it will happen when it is meant to. I have so much support from my family and friends that I never feel alone. Sometimes I feel guilty because I miss my freedom and the ability to be spontaneous but as soon as Jaxon hugs me or looks at me and smiles any sense of “missing out” disappears.
"I have always promised Jaxon that I will never lie to him or break a promise."
It is important that he knows where he comes from but I never want him to feel as though he was unwanted or not loved. When I have more children he will be their big brother and it will be no different to any other family.
Jaxon is spoilt, not in the way of toys etc, but with my time, when I am with him I am 100 per cent in the moment and focused on him. He has so much love and laughter surrounding him, this is an environment that nurtures his development and encourages him to be his own person.
Jaxon has two mums and this is his normal and all he knows, as for the future and explaining things to him as he gets older, that’s something I will tackle and discuss with my mum when the time comes.
Have you adopted a child? What has your experience been?