We've had many special days in our lives, but December 27, 2000 was the most special of all. That was the day Shyann legally became Shyann Ariana Rosati, "a beautiful name for a beautiful girl" as her Grandma Stretchie always said to her. I could go on and on about the great love Glenn and I had for Shyann and all the love and joy she gave to us in return, but I'll try to keep it as short as possible.
I first met Shyann in February of 1998 while volunteering at Casa de los Niños, a shelter for abused and neglected children, when she was 9 months old. The very first time I said hello to her, she gave me a smile that sent an arrow straight into my heart. It was truly love at first sight!
One day at Casa as I was sitting with Shyann, God whispered to me that she was one of His special children. I already knew she was special to me, but had yet to realize what an impact her short life would make on so many people.
As time went on, my feelings for Shyann intensified and my thoughts started going in the direction of whether or not I was ready to make the commitment of becoming her mother. I soon began to realize it would be next to impossible for me to say goodbye to her if she were to leave Casa. Glenn and I had been one of the "infertility statistics" and had given up on having children many years before. Our lives were full with work, volunteering, and traveling, and I wasn't quite sure I was ready to give that up.
I also knew that because of her many medical conditions, taking care of Shyann would be a full time job for me. A further complication would be the fact that Shyann was Native American and we were not.
After a great deal of thought and intense prayer, I knew it was God's plan that we become Shyann's parents. Now it was time to talk to Glenn! Because of "Casa confidentiality," Glenn knew of my feelings for a little girl at Casa, but not much about her. It was now time to tell him about Shyann and see if he was also willing to completely change our lives in this way. After telling him everything, I asked that he take the weekend to think it over, which he did. When Sunday rolled around and he had not yet given me an answer, I asked him if he was still thinking about it because I was on "pins and needles!" He told me he had made the decision the night we talked and already felt love for Shyann because of the things I had told him. (I wish he had told me that night!!!!)
In September of 1998, the roller coaster of emotions began as we discovered the complication of us not being Native American turned out to be a huge one! Because of this, along with Shyann's CPS Case Manager becoming very ill, Glenn was not able to meet our future daughter until December. When that day finally arrived, it was magical! Glenn's first words upon seeing Shyann were, "She's so beautiful!" As he held her, they stared at each other with nothing less than a look of love in their eyes. It's a picture that will be etched in my mind forever. From that day on, Glenn started calling Shyann "BLG," which many people soon came to know meant "Beautiful Little Girl."
After completing DDD Foster Care training, we were finally able to bring Shyann home on February 26, 1999. It was almost two years of many court dates and tears before we legally became Shyann's parents, but we were always her parents in our hearts.
Shyann came home a very sick little girl to two medically inexperienced parents, but just as many biological parents with a medically fragile child, we quickly learned how to care for her and what her needs were. Over the years, Shyann's health improved dramatically, although we did have quite a few scares and hospital visits along the way. A whole new world was opened up to us as we entered into the "world of special needs" where doctor appointments, therapies, school issues and IEP's soon became a part of our everyday lives.
Shyann was a very special little girl, which many people including strangers came to realize. For those who didn't take the time to get to know her, they missed personally knowing one of God's special children here on earth.
It's impossible to put into words how much Shyann meant to us and how much we will always love and miss her. She was our "Special Special Angel from God," as I told her every night, and although I know she is now my "Special Special Angel in Heaven," I miss her physical presence with me everyday. She was my little buddy, my little girl, my sweet angel, and the greatest joy of my life as well as my greatest blessing from God. My heart aches wishing I could hug and kiss her, talk to her, hear her voice, see her smile, and do all the things we used to do together. My prayer is that on the day the Lord calls me home to be with Him, Shyann will be the one to come get me. Until that day, I will be forever missing my Special Special Angel from God!