I am a single mom and a birth mom. I placed a precious baby girl for adoption October 6, 2017 exactly 24 hours after giving birth and then agian May 3, 2019 when I brought a sweet baby boy into the world. I initially created this blog to start an empowering network for women. Now, I am seeing I may be blessed to reach the adoption community as well. I want to share my story to help relate to those facing similar things in adoption or just as a woman in the world today.
I grew up in a small town in southern Utah. Unfortunately, for me, with a small town came a small mind in the sense that I did nothing to expand my knowledge or grow my understanding of life outside high school. It wasn't until I moved out for college that I faced real trials. I was a 'Yes Man,' a pushover. Most of what happened at that time was self inflicted because I catered to others feelings instead of listening to myself and what was best for me. My decision making suffered, therefore I suffered. Over the span of 5 years I faced things I could have never expected. This is not a story of "poor me," it is a story of making changes and overcoming set backs. Natural consequences are going to come from each decision we make. I chose for too long to just lay in the bed I made for myself. I thought it was noble to suffer, a mondset that came with plenty of pain and eventually propoelled me into some exponential growth.
I am here to tell you that God did not build this life and existence to have us just sit in the messes we make for ourselves. He created a plan where we have the inner strength to overcome the natural man and pull ourselves from the mess. I truly believe His purpose for creating the world was to give us the opportunoity to reach our own Godly potential!
Part of His plan in particular was for me to find the qualities given to me and pull myself out of the darkness.
The details of my story will come in time through my writing here at Ms. Reclaim but I wanted to give a brief introduction to why I find these things we will be talking about so important.
It finally just came down to me being so sick of myself, and the choice I made to let others dictate my life. I believe God put me here with a soft, tender heart and instead of using that in positive ways I had let it turn me into the victim. I never felt that my opinions or needs were worth it. I was too afraid of contention to stand up for myself. I had spiraled downward to the point of what I considered Rock Bottom. When you stop trusting yourself to make good decisions for your life you lose sight of reasons to go on. I had completely forfeited my ability to control my life and the outcome. I stopped seeing myself as worth the fight. I had become a hollow shell of who I used to be and I knew it, but didn't know how to overcome it.
The sad part was, I had tangled myself up in a dependency to lying to myself that I was happy-- that I was content. I had buried myself in justifications. Looking back now, I was the only one who believed my lies. I had built a vicious cycle, a pattern of behavior that caused me to ruin life long friendships, turn my back on genuine relationships and burn bridges where I knew I would be drowning without them.
I let the cycle run wild until I looked down the first positive pregnancy test. At that point in my life I had no money, mid--divorce, I was a single parent and had absolutely no prospects for change. The relationship I found myself in was an ongoing struggle. Finding out I was pregnant propelled me to turn one degree in the right direction, toward my Savior and my true self! I took the steps to find the answers I needed and adoption was that answer.
I again, 2 years later, found my circumstances and decisions lead me to a second accidental pregnancy. I was not sure that I could parent and I felt strongly that the father was unable to accept his limitations. I searched my heart for answers and again felt that I was meant to place my third baby for adoption.
I share each chapter in the blog section of this website. I was so blessed to have the incredible people placed in my life that made all the difference in both extreme situations.
I think that is the beauty of this story, the right people, the ones who loved me, never gave up on me. They were and still are cheering me on as I make the climb and Reclaim the true Shannell.
There is incredible beauty in defending yourself and the special gifts you possess. I would not have gone through with my adoption had I not honored my feelings and now I know for certain made the right decision.
After seeking help from counseling professionals, friends and family, I have turned the corner. I have made decisions I can finally be proud of and I have taken control of my outcome! I get so excited to imagine my future and the greatness in store for me. I have been rewarded with immense blessings that confirm my faith in a loving God and the power he has given me to Reclaim my potential. I hope to help others do the same!