The first balloon ever released...

The first balloon ever released...

Monday, June 30, 2014


This weekend was a weekend I have been waiting for a very long time. My 6 year old son Dominic was legally adopted. A lot of people get confused when I say "I adopted my son", I guess technically I did not adopt my son my husband did but I was still interviewed and dragged through the whole process so I still had a part to play! I had Dominic from a previous relationship before I ever met my husband. I was another statistic for teen pregnancy, another "baby mama drama", another girl way over her head. Not even a month after graduation I discovered that I was 3 months pregnant (more like I finally stopped denying the obvious truth). This news changed my life forever, for the first time I was honestly concerned about my future. Who was I? Could I raise a child? Could I be a good mom? Who was this man? Is this someone I want to start a family with?
Time started moving quickly and I made a decision, I was going to keep the baby, I was going to stop being a "wild thing" and I was going to figure my life out. So I did something I never thought I was going to do, I registered for college. No one in my family had finished college, my parents started but never finished and I had no intentions of going myself. I was an "A, B, mainly C" high school student. I honestly thought there was no place for me in a college. It was no surprise to me when my GPA was to low to go to the university in my area so I signed up to a local community college. I needed a career, something that I knew I could support my soon to be child with and even though I seemed to be going "out of order" I figured later was better then never. 
Secondly I started looking within, I know I should have done this first but it's always easier to fix outer problems before the inner problems and I didn't want to accept all of that responsibility yet. I wanted to find out what it was about myself that made me always seem to make the wrong decision. I wanted to be a level headed woman, someone my son could look to for advice and not think to himself, "my mom is crazy!" I wanted him to see me as someone he could trust and always be there for him. I myself was raised in a bit of a crazy divorced childhood and I promised myself that I would never put my children through the same hell. I was worried because I had also promised myself that I would never put my children through a divorce, wait to have sex till I was married, and no kids until a year after marriage. Yet here I was in a very rocky relationship, pregnant at 18, and up until this moment was a rebellious teenager still living at home. I was definitely feeling defeated and afraid.
I had been in church my whole life but just because you go to church doesn't mean that you are a good person or living your life the way you should be. My dad was "Mormon" (The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and my mom was a little bit of everything. I had been to many different churches with my family but I preferred my dad's so I started there. I didn't just tune out and think about all the things I wanted to do rather then be at church, I listened to what they were saying and how it made me feel and if this was something I wanted to be apart of. I was so nervous to announce my pregnancy, I knew this was not what would qualify as "appropriate" behavior but I decided to drop the bomb anyway and probably never return after that but the members surprised me. Instead of putting me down, judging, or condemning, they showed a greater love. They threw a surprise baby shower, bought clothes, took me to doctors appointments, hand made blankets and food. I knew then I wanted to be like these women, I wanted to love unconditionally and see the best in everyone no matter what their past may be. Those women having faith in me gave me a faith I had never had in myself. For the first time I believed that I could do this, I could raise this child, I could be a good mom, I could change.

My ex and I broke up when I was 8 months pregnant, it was one of the hardest moments of my life (which now seems so small compared to the death of my daughter) but at that time it was the biggest challenge 18 year old me had ever faced. We had both drastically changed since discovering my pregnancy, I wanted to be a better person and he didn't want me to change at all. He refused to even meet me half way so I decided to walk away. I had already made a lot of mistakes up to this point and I refused to make anymore. Come to find out he had gotten back with his ex so he didn't put up much of a fight when I said it was over but that moment ended up being the best decision I had ever made. I had no idea by choosing to take a leap of faith, to raise my son alone because I refused to "stay the same" that I would be blessed in every aspect of my life.

Soon my handsome little man was born. I remember staring at him in the hospital while he laid in his little clear bed and saying over and over again "you are my son, I have a child, I am a mom, you are my son". It was hard for me to grasp the idea that just like that I became a mother! Dominic saved me from myself, he was the only person I had ever met in my life that could actually convince me to change, to think about others first, to love unconditionally. He made everything easier, knowing I had him by my side was enough. We were a team and we were unstoppable. I was working part time and going to school part time to support us but when I got home it was like we had never been apart. We had a level of love that I never even knew existed and although my life was chaotic, I had never felt such happiness. Being a mother was the love I had been searching for my whole life.

Within the next few months I met my husband. He was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he was from California, and he was a "spiritual giant". I remember thinking to myself "Now thats the kind of man I need in my life, how can I get someone like that?" little did I know over a year later we would be married. My husband and I were 20, Dominic was 1, and we were a very happy little family.

From day one all we ever wanted was to have Dominic adopted. I honestly didn't think it would ever happen but then a few months ago (early October) my attorney surprised me with a phone call saying "Your ex's attorney called me and he wants to sign his rights over" I couldn't even comprehend the sentence that just came out of his mouth. "What?" I replied and he repeated it again, I was in SHOCK! To this day I have no idea where that came from, I have no idea why he decided to do that because I had asked him this when my husband and I first got married in November of 2009 and his response was so angry that I told myself "that's never going to happen so just put that out of your mind" but here we were! 8 months later, $10,000 poorer, and a whole lot of prayer BUT IT HAPPENED!!! Last week we got the letter in the mail declaring my son legally adopted.

As always Gods timing is perfect, we needed a rainbow in this dark moment of our lives and we got one. My son has had to experience so much at such a young age and he is such a mature soul because of it. He has such a great understanding of these situations that are so much bigger then him. I am so proud of him and the amazing little man he has become, I know that all these trials he has had to endure are not going to make him a victim but help him become the great man he was always meant to be. I know he will be a wonderful father, someone who knows how to love his children and never let go, I know he will always be the best big brother you could ask for, he will protect his siblings and be there for them every way he can. He will appreciate this life in ways many people will never understand because of all of that he has seen. He will always be my little man, even though he has never been very little. This weekend we were sealed in the Temple for all time and eternity and I have never seen him happier.

We had a giant party, we celebrated this tremendously happy occasion with everyone who wanted to share our joy. I have been waiting for this moment his whole life, it's not everyday you actually get to see everything fall into place so perfectly. It was honestly the best day of my life and that is no exaggeration! It's hard to believe how much we had to overcome to get to this moment. All the hardships, crying and fear erased by just one piece of certified paper. I know that this only happened because of the Lords tender mercies, this is His way of letting me know He see's me and He still loves me.There is no greater feeling then knowing that no matter what happens we will always be together and one day we will all be with McKenna again.

The judge that made it all "official" and the "adoption buddy" penguin he gave him.
Dominic named him "Icee"

The necklace Zach bought me
(I get a new heart necklace every time we have a child)

The rainbow I saw the morning of the temple sealing.
McKenna's little way of showing us she is still here.

Dominic after his adoption party.
I don't think it could get any better then this for a kid.


  1. I loved reading this blog. You were such a sweet teen and were so kind to to others but you were quiet or somewhat private. I feel like I just had a chance to step back in time and chat with you! I can't help but say, I could see the pain and suffering you were going through around your 8th month and was just so darn proud and amazed at the choices you made so quickly. You really dug deep and you just blossomed leaps and bounds (and I thought you were pretty perfect already). Each day I pray for your family I have to thank God you had Dominic and you and Zach have each other. You glowed Saturday, even my friends told me you were glowing. Your light, even in your darkest hour, shined so bright. Dominic is truly special! Love you!

  2. Shannon, what a weekend! Your story is wonderful. I know you will be blessed as you share your story with others. It enlightens my soul. I love you and your family for all time. love ya, memaw

  3. I don't know you, but I wanted to tell you thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I have been praying for you and your sweet family.