Mommy Left Me

I was the one tasked with helping Shantel understand why my daughter Katie, Shantel’s biological mother, gave her up. Both Bill and I have been honest with Shantel about this right from the start.

I want to say clearly here, so there is no mistaking the fact, that I love my daughter, Katie, with all my heart. I loved her from the moment she was placed in my arms when she was three days old, and I will love her until I take my last breath. However, I am a firm believer that sometimes, when being together is more painful than being apart, you just may need to love some people from a distance while you try to work through your differences. I want people in my life that want to be there. I have come to know what I will and will not accept and how much I can or cannot give. My Katie is grown, and makes her own choices. When she made the decision to have Bill and I adopt Shantel, I tried in every way to have her be part of our lives. But, still, the decision be a consistent presence in Shantel’s life was one only Katie could make.

Katie would come to see Shantel from time to time. Each time she came, I tried to make sure she had one-on-one quality time with Shantel. But, it seemed that Katie just didn’t know how to just be with Shantel. Instead, Katie would spend most of her time visiting with Bill, mom, dad and I while Shantel would pull at her and try everything she could to get Katie’s undivided attention. Shantel never tired of trying to just be with Katie. Watching this would break my heart because, as the mother of both Katie and Shantel, I could see the pain they were both going through.

As the years went on, Shantel asked more and more questions about how she was born, and why mommy didn’t call, and why she didn’t come over much. I never had to explain too much because Shantel was so sharp. She was figuring it all out on her own. She began to tell me that mommy didn’t seem to pay much attention to her when she did come over and that mommy never returned her phone calls. She said she didn’t think mommy loved us any more. Finally, one evening, Shantel asked me if she had to call “mommy” mommy. I told her she didn’t have to call her mommy. She said she was putting mommy in time out. She said she didn’t act like a mommy and that she was not going to call her that now. That declaration would change depending on the level of frustration Shantel was feeling with mommy at the time.

One day when my Katie came to visit, Shantel and I were out back in the pool. Katie came out and joined us. It wasn’t long before Shantel surprised me with her first time ever display of real anger toward Katie. Shantel said to Katie “you left me when I was a baby. You left me because you would rather be with your friends. Then, you went out and had another baby. But, that’s OK because I have a new mama and papa and a new house, and we all went to Disneyland on vacation”. I looked at my daughter, Katie, who had tears in her eyes and I said “that hurts doesn’t it”? She shook her head in agreement. I said she would have to understand that while I would never let Shantel say anything vicious, I was going to let her speak the truth, because I felt she had to a right to say what she was feeling inside. I didn’t want Shantel growing up with all that anger built up inside of her. I told Katie that as long as Shantel was speaking the truth, Katie needed to own it, and let Shantel get it out. Katie agreed and told Shantel she was right, that she did give her up, and she was sorry, but that she did it because she wanted Shantel to have a far better life than what she would be able to provide for her. That was the last time Shantel displayed that kind of anger towards Katie for a very long time.

Next post: Misplaced Trust!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gotham Girl
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 16:46:59

    Wow. What a heart-wrenching post and so beautifully written. xoxo


  2. Ellen Kaufman
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 01:14:20

    That part of the story touched the deep pits of my being and I have so much feeling for you and Bill and your Mom and Dad. My heart goes out to you and Shantel for having to experience such an ordeal. I know now why God has blessed you with your qualities and abilities and yes it was so beautifully written. Love you all for being so strong.


    • beyondcinderella
      Feb 19, 2012 @ 01:50:47

      Thank you aunt Ellen. As we all know, with any true life story, there are heartaches and pain. My goal is to let my readers experience our trails with the hope that something we have gone through might just give someone else the strength to get through a difficult situation in their life. But, there are also many, many happy, light-hearted, stories to come.


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