Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shantel's Story: My Journey in Motherhood...

Today I am so happy to introduce you to this beautiful, strong, talented woman. Shantel is incredibly talented (remember this necklace and these earrings?!) and one of my personal heroes. I hope that her story inspires you as much as it has me, and that we remember to keep our hearts open to all of life's wonderful and hard experiences.

Some days, I feel guilty for the fact that I am a mother. How is it that I am blessed to experience this role of parenthood that is denied to so many? Although my child is almost 9 years old, I still feel unprepared. Unworthy of such an experience. My daughter is an amazing human being. A survivor. A triumphant example of human spirit. She will do a great deal of good in this world.

I became a mother at the age of 17. It was thrilling and terrifying. A huge spectrum of emotions were presented before me. At that time, I had no guilt. I had no concept of the struggle other women face to have for themselves what I was so privileged to experience. Women who had many things to offer their child. Things their child would depend on. Education, stability, maturity. Although I had faced a great deal during my first 17 years, there was no real life experience to prepare me for motherhood. Why I chose to overlook this fact, and continue on my journey as a mother is something I don't think I will ever be able to grasp. The greatest lesson I have learned over time is that I feel my daughter was sent to me for a reason. I needed to be her mother. She had things to teach me. There are things she needed to experience in this life to grow as a person, and for whatever reason, I needed to be the one to teach her that. A great love has developed between us that I feel incredibly blessed to share with another person.

Our time together has taught me a great deal. One thing I have realized is that in order to be the best parent to my child, I cannot do it on my own. Life as a single parent is beyond challenging. There are not enough resources, not enough time, not enough of so many things to provide your child when it is only you. Children need more than that. When I discovered that I was pregnant with my second child at 23, I knew that I needed to make a difficult decision to better the future for him. I chose adoption. He needed more than what I could provide on my own. I loved him enough to ensure that he would receive a life that was best for him. Where opportunities that I simply could not offer him were readily available. Where a strong love and bond between two parents was something he could depend on.

Setting out to search for the parents of your child is a task that seems near impossible. Many questions pierce your brain, and most of them are centered in trust. As I viewed profile after profile of couples who were longing to build their families through adoption, nothing felt right. My resolve to find the place where my son would grow with his family remained strong. Sending thoughts of love and hope for this child out into the universe, with wishes that I would receive some sort of guidance as to who to place him with did not go unnoticed. After a period of time, I was guided to a couple with strong spirits and so much love in their hearts. I knew immediately these were his parents. This was where my boy needed to be. Our connection was instant, and a great love has developed since the first time I heard their voices.

As the pregnancy progressed, so did my relationship with the parents of my son. A strong foundation of trust was established. That was something I needed in order to be able to relinquish my rights as his parent, and entrust his parents with those rights. I am no longer his mother, however I am his birth mom. This is my role in his life, and it leaves me feeling incredibly blessed. I feel strongly that this sweet boy chose me, trusted me, to guide him to where he needed to be. They are now together, and have grown into an amazing family. He is loved beyond measure by all who know him and of the great story that brought his family together. It is my greatest hope that he always knows how much I love him. I wish that everything I wanted for him will be provided, and that he can feel peace knowing his beautiful journey has healed so many hearts. He is an incredible child, and I am grateful to be his birth mom.

{Linking up with Live Laugh Linky Thursday and Carina!}


  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, beautiful story of love. You gave that sweet little boy such a gift, and I can't even imagine how difficult a choice it must have been.

    Visiting today from Thankful Thursdays. Would love for you to stop by "this little light" if you have some time {}. I wrote a piece two weeks ago that talks about the adopted child's perspective ... you might enjoy it.

    1. Michelle,
      Thank you for your support of my story. I just read your post, and loved it. Hearing the perspective of an adoptee who has appreciation for their birth parents is something I crave. It is great knowing that you had a beautiful life partly because of what your birth mother chose for you. I hope my son can feel the same as he grows.
      Best wishes,

  2. I love the opening line, about feeling guilty for being a mother when so many others don't have the chance. I often feel this way.
    And what a beautiful, inspirational story. You really brought tears to my eyes, it must have taken so much strength to make that decision, to give someone else your child. You're a braver person than I could ever be. Thank you so much for sharing xx

    1. Kelly,
      Thank you for your understanding, it means a great deal to me.
      Much love,

  3. wow. i love this. thank you so much for sharing your journey!