Shyann Ariana Rosati

April 23, 1997 - January 4, 2005

Our Love Story

By Sandy Rosati

Shyann was born at 27 weeks with Listeria Meningitis, weighing only 2.4 pounds, and not expected to live.  Shyann's many diagnosis included Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Hydrocephalus (necessitating three shunts), Seizure disorder, Gastro Intestinal Refulx Disease (GERD), a swallow disorder (necessitating a G-tube), and Global Developmental Delays.  With all her challenges, Shyann still had a smile that could light up a room!

Shyann had a seizure during Christmas dinner in 2004, which was unusual for her since medications had been controlling her seizures.  The following day, Shyann underwent emergency shunt revision surgery, followed by two more surgeries within a week.  On January 4, 2005, Sandy and Glenn's Special Angel went home to be with the Lord.

The following was written by Shyann's mom as a way of gaining acceptance of Shyann by her classmates at school by taking the "mystique" out of Shyann's differences.  It was read to her Kindergarten and First Grade classes at the beginning of school.

Hi!  Some of you are already my friends, but for those of you who don't know me, my name is Shyann and I want to tell you about myself.

I was born 13 weeks early and was very, very sick.  Because of that, my brain was hurt.  That makes it really hard for me to learn to do some of the things that you can already do.

Right now I'm in a wheelchair because I can't walk.  It took me a really long time to be able to stand, but now I can do that with some help.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to walk, but I sure am working hard at trying to learn.

I love to have people talk with me, and even though I can't use my voice, I use my communication device to say things.  I just got a new "talker" and I need to learn how to use it to say all the things I'd like to say on my own.  Please be patient with me while I learn to use it.  And you know, even though I look small, I'm 7 years old and understand what you say to me, so please don't use
"baby talk."

Because the muscles that help me swallow aren't very strong, I could get very sick if I ate through my mouth.  Instead, I eat through a button in my tummy.  I have a special feeding machine that helps me eat.  My button doesn't hurt and it doesn't hurt me when someone gives me water or hooks me up to the feeding machine.  It's just the way I eat.

I get really warm, even when it might not seem so warm to you.  That's why I always have a fan on, even when I'm in my wheelchair.  If I get too warm, my cheeks get really red and it makes me fall asleep.  At my house, sometimes it's so cold that my mom has to wear a little jacket around the house, but that's the way I like it!

I have to tell you, sometimes I can be pretty stubborn!  If you're trying to get me to do something, it may not mean that I can't do it, just that I don't want to, so please don't give up on me!

I have a habit of putting my fingers in my mouth, but I'm really trying hard to stop.  If you see me with them in my mouth, please give me a gentle reminder to take them out!

I love to have friends talk to me and play with me, but sometimes if too many are around me at one time, I may get a little upset.  I usually don't mind if someone touches my arm, but sometimes my arms feel a little funny when they're touched, so if I pull my arm away when you're touching me, that's why.

I love listening to music, havine someone sing to me, playing with my toys, watching videos, going to the movies, going in the pool, birthday parties, going to the mall, listening to stories, going to school, and lots of the same things you do.  We may be different in some ways, but in a lot of ways, I'm just like you and I hope we can be good friends!

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!