Shanequae's Story

For years I struggled as a single mother.  The challenge to balance life seemed an endless battle.  Finances. Work. Child-care. Loneliness.  Fatigue. Food. Transportation. Guilt.

I worked hard to provide, yet it always felt like a losing battle.  My child’s father wasn’t around and he didn’t provide any financial, physical, or emotional support.   I lived with my mother; however, she was not in the position to help me any more than that.  She had to work and had her own challenges.  There were no other family or friends to help.  The community resources would help us survive, but I wanted more for my child than survival.

I wanted my child to thrive!

Looking for options, I came across something that I didn’t know was an option.  A way to provide my child a real chance at life, while staying in his life.  Toddler adoptions through Graceful Adoptions was my answer.  Graceful Adoptions is not foster care, which I did NOT want for my child.  Graceful Adoptions is a private adoption agency that works with mothers that want to consider adoption for their toddler children.  I always thought foster care was the only option.  It’s not.

We worked together to identify what my son needed and what I wanted for him.  I reviewed family profiles of possible families and interviewed my favorites over the phone.  The family I liked most traveled to meet us and we spent two days together going out to eat, visiting the zoo, and generally spending a lot of time talking.  I knew my son would have the life I wanted for him and I would have the option to remain in his life.

Once we were all ready to move forward, we spent more than a week transitioning his care and belongings from me to his new parents.  It was heartbreaking and devastating. I had to keep reminding myself why I was making this decision.  Almost an impossible task, I had to keep my emotions and the facts separate.  The fact was, I had tried for a really long time.  Postponing what was best for my child would only make it harder.

Months later, I see my son is happy.  Actually, he is thriving.  It still hurts, but I know he will have more opportunities that I would have ever been able to provide him.

Hampton Roads, VA