“Then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
– Philippians 2:2

Kyla DeAngelo – Torture. Shame. Raw Pain. Those are just a few of the words to try and describe the feeling a mother has when she comes home from the hospital without her baby. Especially when you’re the one who willingly left the hospital without her.

But if you were told you’re facing a life sentence in a federal prison on (false) charges you’ve never even heard of, frightened like you’ve never been before, feeling like no one would believe you or even try to understand, you may have done it too. I knew my baby was alive and safe, and I knew I was not.

I gave premature birth to my baby girl, Shyla, on July 27, 2021. She was so tiny, perfect, beautiful, and a gift. Her debut into this world changed not only my life, but also the lives of two other special people forever.

Anxiously awaiting the day I would ever get to see my baby girl again became harder and harder to imagine.

My caseworker and GAL came to visit me one day and it was then I got to see pictures of my baby for the first time. She was breathtakingly beautiful and healthy, and always dressed super cute. It was then that I wondered to myself, what’s this other lady like? I knew only what I had been told, which was that Shyla had been with the Thompsons since the hospital. I asked if I could start writing them. I wanted to know anything and everything I could about these people.

Sweet. Gentle. Sincere. Those were my first thoughts about Kalei just from her words. Our relationship began to grow through our letters, and then the unbelievable happened. 

My charges were dropped and I would be coming home.The first thing I did was to ask to set up a visit with my Shyla.

From the moment I meet Kalei, I was drawn to her. We were about the same size and age, and she had a comforting and beautiful smile. Miller and she called my baby, “Anna Grace”, because for some reason they didn’t receive her birth certificate when they began fostering her. All they knew was her little hospital name tag that said “Baby DeAngelo”.

I struggled with the decision of doing everything I could to get my baby back with me. I ended up meeting every requirement and could have done exactly that. Yet, Kalei knew every cut, every fall, had been there for every late night feeding. She knew what my baby wanted, didn’t want, and what would soothe her. During one of our visits, Shyla was sick, and that day I saw with my own eyes that she was really Shyla’s momma too.

I opened my mind and my heart and agreed to try mediation with Miller and Kalei, something about an open adoption. It was there I believe the Holy Spirit guided me, strengthened me, and led me to compromise for the future of our baby girl. That day was a turning point for me and Kalei. We established and continued to build a foundation of love together for what I like to call our “blended family”. We created a pact with one another that I was only going on by pure trust.

That day was tough, but nowhere near as tough as the day in court where I had to nod and acknowledge that I was signing over my rights of being Shyla’s mother. I felt defeat, guilt, depression. The harsh reality of feeling like I had lost.

But then Kalei took the stand. She only broke eye contact with me twice the entire time she testified. The raw emotion between us, two women, both mommas of the same little girl, both empathizing with the other’s pain and hurt, both scared to death, and both with our precious baby’s best interest at heart. The judge herself was in awe of our ability to communicate, compromise, and share such a bond for our baby.

Never in a million years would I have thought I was strong enough to live through something like that, and certainly never could have imagined this result to a situation that was so traumatic for me. I am blessed.

Kalei and I strive to be a success story for others to hear and see. We are..part of God’s bigger plan.