Shelly D. Calcagno
About the Author

Shelly Calcagno is a Family Ministry Pastor from the Niagara Region of Canada. She loves to write, develop curriculum, speak, and is the author of a fun children’s book called Tini’s Tangles. Shelly enjoys being creative and loves a good DIY project from Pinterest, especially if mason jars and chalkboard...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Shelly,
    Thank you for daring to be so honest to share your story. I can’t say I know how you feel because I’ve never walked in your shoes, but I have felt that painful sense of not belonging….not belonging to this world, no longer belonging in a relationship that I thought would last a lifetime, not belonging to what used to be a friendship….truth is, it hurts. But, thanks to Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, I now belong and I have heard those words spoken over me, “I chose you and you are mine.” The rest of the world – even our closest relationships will forsake us at one time or another, but I know my forever home is in the loving arms of my Abba-Daddy because of what Christ sacrificed. He gave it all so that I would forever be part of His family. What a poignant and inspiring post! Thank you….
    Bev xx

  2. Dearest Miss Shelly,

    This beautiful site/group has such blessed timing… I was just praying on my way to bed that I would read what God had for me to hear (thinking about my Bible) but then I saw a notification for a new post and decided I’d read that first. I am twenty years old and tomorrow, it will be nine years since my mom went to Heaven… and in a few months it will be a year since God sent me the wonderful woman I now call “Mama.” I miss my mom; I am incredibly grateful to the woman who gave me life and was my best friend. But, I know she is with Jesus and that she is no longer in pain and I will see her again one day. I am so, so blessed to have the Godly, caring, artistic, amazing Mama that I do now… she is always challenging me to grow, to do and be better, in every way – spiritually, mentally, physically. I honestly do not know where I would be today without her. In fact, we were talking just tonight about how blessed I feel to have her and she always says how she wasn’t looking for another set of hands… but God had a plan (she also adopts and I now have 10 more amazing siblings). Family… are the people who God blesses your life with. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story… so encouraging and inspiring and amazingly timed, thank you. I pray your day is blessed.

    This side of Heaven,
    Summer Rae

    • Summer Rae, what a mature young lady with a beautiful heart. I wish I had recognized Jesus presence in my life at your age. To feel the comfort and joy of Jesus is amazing.

      • Miss Kimberly,

        Thank you; any good you see in me is all Jesus! I am so glad that you have Him now! It just is amazing isn’t it?? I pray you have a blessed day.

        This side of Heaven,
        Summer Rae

    • Amazing Summer!
      I’m sorry for the loss of your mom, I love how you remember her.
      I so love that God gave you another precious mom – and that she is just what you need! xoxo He is so good!

  3. I have always believed that for a birth mother to lay down her claim to a child she cannot care for in a way she believes the child needs is one f the ultimate sacrifices we though I have never personally known anyone who has done that. If it is God’s will for you to meet heron this side of Paradise you will

  4. Shelly,
    I know what you are saying but in a different way. I am the adoptive Mother of 2 beautiful young women, one a new mother herself. The girls are birth sisters and they became a part of my life when they were 2 and 3. I think of their birth mother on Mother’s Day and my girl’s adoption day with thanks for her sacrifice. I give thanks to My Lord for adopting me into your family and the great sacrifice of dying on the cross for me.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I feel exactly the same way. I have met my birthmom and though I love her and she is fun, I am ever more
    Grateful that God placed me where He did.
    Sacrifice does precede belonging. That’s exactly how I feel today on my 3rd wedding anniversary. How many times my hubby and I have talked about the fact that if my dad hadn’t died we probably wouldn’t be here today. After all his death is what drew us together.
    Thanks for the post

  6. You are such a kind, loving, beautiful, God-fearing woman Shelly, and I am honoured to call you a friend! Your writing is inspiring and pouring into the hearts of many and I see God’s hand over your journey. You have been set apart and it has been a joy to walk alongside and read how He continues to use your wisdom to inspire those who have the pleasure of reading your blogs! <3

  7. Just beautiful Shelly.

    I heard God say the phrase “forever family” to me one morning as I was waking. I don’t know what this means as I’m single but I’m hoping one day it will unravel.

  8. A rich perspective for those who haven’t experienced adoption and reeds of hope for those who are sorting through their experience. Thank you for these words.

  9. Shelly, our darling niece, you are so loved by your family & extended family. And of course by our blessed Saviour most of all. You made me cry happy tears this morning…….For the wonderful, caring, mature in faith, loving person that you are. You have everything in perspective. I’m sure you have given so many searching people hope & understanding with your wise & inspiring words of belonging. You are truly a princess of our heavenly King. Love & respect you so much. Hugs

  10. My son was adopted. We were present for his birth. I always told him he was supposed to be mine, he just had to get there in a different way. His birth mom was extremely young and there was no way for the family to care for him. I told him many times he was a gift from God. It’s wonderful to read how blessed you feel for your adoption, not all feel that way. We never know what God has in store for our lives. My sister was also blessed by adopting her daughter. Now she is a gift for sure! The heartache of not being able to conceive turned into the glorious gift of still being able to be a mom from someone else’s pain. I know I’m thankful daily for God’s love and Him adopting me.

  11. Dear Sweet Shelly,
    Thank you for your insight on adoption and the Love of God. I am the adoptive mother of a grown son who came into our lives at birth. I have always told him that God chose for him a special, beautiful mom to give him life. A mom who loved him with all her heart. A mom who loved him so much that she made a plan for his life; for him to have a mom and a dad in addition to a big brother who could provide a stable home. He has been such a blessing to us! My heart is so full of gratitude, admiration, and love for is birthmother. She gave us the ultimate gift that a human mother can give; something that we could not have had if it had not been for her unselfish sacrifice. Sometimes when he was a newborn, I could feel her love with us while I rocked him. We have never met, but our son has always known that he has our support if he ever wants to meet her. I am forever indebted to her.

  12. I pray that God reunites you with your birth mom. He’s already guided your life so wonderfully (as He promises) that that wouldn’t surprise me at all. Your birth mom so needs the message you have for her — and your love. And how wonderful it is to be part of God’s adoptive family!

  13. I feel this is a message for me. I was given up by my birth mother because my biological dad died while she was pregnant with my twin and me. Several years ago I found out she had two other children and one of them contacted us. Several days ago I found out she passed away. My brother (her biological son) wants to tell his sister about my twin and me. I was explaining this to my girls and they asked if I was mad at my mom for lying. I told them no because she was young and probably thought it was the best decision. I never felt abandoned or mad at her for what she did. Thank you for sharing your story!

  14. My mother took custody of two great grandchildren who needed a home and were about to enter foster care. I always ewncourage people to foster or adopt if possible and there are plenty of children who need a home. Some may have special needs and even be a handful, having had no real love and discipline but God loved us too and adopted us, didn’t He. I aplaud you for having grace to have no bitterness to your mother, it has to be a difficult decision to make, unlike the me who just walk away like some do.

  15. Shelly,

    What an interesting perspective on adoption and sacrifice. Your story and perspective are amazing. Thanks for sharing. I can’t relate to adoption because I’ve never had children. I understand well the feeling of not belonging. Feeling like no one wants you.
    God’s Word shows us the places where true belonging matters. He sends people our way that help make up our “family”. He wants us to be in community and be loved by others. He sacrificially hung on a cross so we could be adopted into son ship with Him.

    Blessings 🙂