Shelby has always loved working with children. From a very early age, she knew she wanted nothing more than to be a mom. When she was a preteen, there was a little girl with special needs in her church, and every once in a while Shelby would be asked to hold her while her grandmother sang a special. That’s when she grew a special place in her heart for kids with special needs. Though that particular child did not have Down syndrome, Shelby felt a strong tug on her heart to one day adopt a child with Down syndrome from around that age.
A dear friend, who Shelby only knew via the internet, had posted the Reece’s Rainbow profile page of a little girl with Down syndrome. Once Shelby clicked the link, she knew she was brought there for a reason. Shelby could not adopt at the time, but she discovered a deep love for advocating for these children and for the families adopting them. She continued to advocate for many years, hoping that one day, she would be on that journey to bring her own child home. She nannied and worked in a PRTF, researched and reached out to families to learn from their experiences. She did anything to take steps to prepare for the child who would one day come into her home.
Gaining strength from God through an ectopic pregnancy and a messy divorce, she picked herself back up and continued to work towards that goal. On Christmas day, 2021, covid struck hard. Shelby was in the hospital being rushed to ICU to be put on a vent, and wondered if that was the end for her. God saw her through, and she truly believes she’s still here for a reason. The calling that God laid on her heart a long time ago was more pressing than ever, and she asked herself, “Why not now?” With her supportive nanny job boss/friend, she took the first baby-step, and just kept stepping away. With your help (thanks, so much, by the way), she is baby-stepping all the way to bringing her baby home. She can’t help but feel that that dear friend who shared Reece’s Rainbow with her, all those years ago, and has since passed on to be with the Lord in Heaven, would be loving watching this all unfold. If you can’t adopt, advocate…it really does make a difference.
9/18/2023 — USCIS APPROVED