Thank You

For all the heartfelt support from so many of my family and friends in response to my post titled “family dynamics” where I posted my daughter, Katie’s, response to my blog post titled “love from a distance”. Your calls, emails and texts, meant so much to me.

I so appreciate all of you who have known me all my life and know how I raised my daughter, Katie. Who know she was raised in a good home. Who know I worked in daycare most of her childhood just so I could take her with me so she never had to be left with a babysitter, and who certainly know I would never, ever, leave Katie anywhere and certainly not in any shelter. I appreciate all of you who know my Katie is in need of professional help right now but is in denial and that is why she can not be in our lives right now. However, the door will always be open to her when she gets the help she needs to be healthy. If and when that happens we will welcome her home. In the meantime I will continue to love her from a distance.

My stepdaughter, Katie, (for those who don’t know my husband, Bill also has a daughter named Katie) called me in tears Saturday to let me know she read my blog and she just couldn’t believe that my daughter, Katie, could ever say the things she said. My stepdaughter said she was there and she knows that Katie gave Shantel up of her own free will but that she also knows Bill and I constantly asked Katie to be part of our lives and stay connected with Shantel which Katie did at her own convenience but never with any consistency. My stepdaughter said “how dare Katie say she wishes she had never allowed Bill and I to adopt Shantel. Because, if Shantel hadn’t been with us she would be dead. The cancer was advancing to her brain and would have killed her within six weeks if she had not been treated immediately…But, Katie never questioned the doctors about Shantel’s condition.” Then, my stepdaughter and I talked about how to make matters worse, Katie wouldn’t even stay for Shantel’s surgeries stating she had to take her son, Marcus’s father to get his check cashed…Marcus’s father, the man who told Katie Bill and I were having Shantel’s eyes taken out so she wouldn’t know she was black…that’s the kind of people Katie would rather be with instead of her own family and her biological daughter, Shantel, when she was having her eyes removed leaving her blind for life.

My daughter, Shantel, was very upset with Katie’s response as well. We talked at length about it and she said she wants to know if Katie didn’t intend to give her up for adoption, why did Katie write a letter to Shantel five years ago saying she gave her up so Shantel would be safe because Katie couldn’t provide a safe home for her? Shantel still has that letter. Shantel also said “to hear Katie tell it…Bill and I basically kidnaped Shantel, locked her away somewhere and brain washed her and if that were true why did Katie not go to the police and have us thrown in prison for kidnapping?” Bill, Shantel, and I, and all our family and friends who know us, and lived through all of this with us, know that what Katie is telling simply is not true. However, somehow she has convinced herself that what she is saying is true. Sounds like drugs, alcohol, and guilt talking to me, and there is help for that but you have to want it.

What I know to be true is, Bill, and I stepped up and did the job Katie couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Katie asked us to take Shantel and we did. We had legal guardianship of Shantel for a year thinking Katie might change her mind but she never said anything about wanting Shantel back so after a year passed we talked about adoption, and Katie said she thought that would be the best thing. We told her we needed to buy a house to raise Shantel in as we were living in an adult only community at the time. We told Katie she needed to be sure because we couldn’t afford to make that kind of financial commitment if she wasn’t sure this would be the best thing for Shantel. Katie agreed so we moved forward. Now, all these years later, when Shantel has grown into the beautiful young woman she is today, Katie wants to come forward and say she never intended to give Shantel up. Well, I know better than that.

I was with Katie when she signed the termination of parental rights papers. Then, Bill and I had to put an ad in the newspaper, everyday for a month, trying to locate Shantel’s biological father or any of his family to see if they wanted to contest the adoption. No one came forward to contest the adoption. No one, including Katie. So Bill and went forward with the adoption because we love Shantel and we gave her a good and happy life.

Bill and I were there for Shantel every single day. Bill and I were there when Shantel was diagnosed with cancer. Bill and I flew her to L.A. Children’s hospital trying to save her life and her eyes. Bill and I sat with her through hours and hours of chemo. Bill and I held her and calmed her when she was waiting to go to surgery to have her eyes removed. Bill and I offered to give her our own eyes. Bill and I carried her to the operating room and handed her over to the doctors then collapsed into each other’s arms and sobbed for what our precious Shantel had to face.  And it was Bill and I that took her home and helped teach her to “see with her hands”. That’s what I know to be true and I won’t let Katie, or anyone, diminish one moment of what Bill and I did for our precious Shantel. Katie was nowhere to be found then or now and never once offered any help in any way, not once. That’s what I know to be true and from where I sit it sure didn’t look like Katie was trying to be a loving, caring mother to Shantel then or now. Real mother’s don’t step in and out of their children’s lives when it suits them. They are there for all of it, the good, the bad, and even the ugly…That’s what I know to be true.

Bill and I stepped up and did the right thing for our beautiful daughter, Shantel, and if we had to do it all over again we would. That’s the depth of our love.

Thank you again to all our friends and family for your showering of love and support. We are truly blessed.

Stay Tuned!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bill
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 23:28:40

    We both went through a lot since we got together, raising Shantel was sometimes hard ,but we made it through it all for the love we have for each other. Maybe someday Katie D will get the help she needs and we will all be together again.

    Love Your Bill
    aka: Bro

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 13, 2013 @ 00:12:51

      Thank you Bill for your continued love and support. You of all people know what we have been through and the bottom line for both of us is that Katie gets the help she needs and rejoins our family in a healthy way…I know we both pray that that will happen with my Katie. If only she knew how much we really love her…someday, we pray someday, she will realize she needs help, get it, and rejoin our family in a healthy way…Girly

      Reply

  2. gotham girl
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 18:24:42

    How long have we known each other? Before Shantel came into your life. For those that know you…we know. I too hope one day that a family unit is accomplished. Much love to all of you. xo

    Reply

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