Kathy’s Korner – Stephanie’s Story

Kathy Kest

Today I want to share the story of one remarkable woman named Stephanie.  She was born into a home much like any other home, in which two people fell in love, found themselves with child, and married because it was the right thing to do.  The marriage was sometimes great and also awful at times, and then along came a little sister.  Stephanie loved her little sister and longed to always protect her even though she was only 1 year older.  The parents went their separate ways, the girls stayed with their mom and Stephanie became the oldest and wisest in the home as her mother worked two jobs and fell in and out of love.  Even as a little girl she had an extraordinary mind, writing stories and songs as a way of expressing the feelings she had about life.

I met Stephanie when she was 12, and I found that our conversations held my attention unlike those with most children.  It didn’t seem she was a little girl at all, but rather a wise old sage, full of insight and wisdom beyond her years.  There was a gentleness about her as well that exuded patience.

This child-woman was exceptional.  Her grades were good in school, her beauty on the outside undeniable, but it was the light from within that mesmerized me.  As Stephanie grew, I found myself intrigued and desiring more conversations with this bright-eyed intellect.  Stephanie was not a perfect child, she was a just a child with sparkles on the inside that radiated outwardly…

She graduated from high school and met a guy on-line in Georgia, left home in her newly acquired car and married him at 18 years old.  I, along with the rest of the family, were afraid for her that this seemingly exceptional young girl, with a bright future had made a tragic mistake.  But we were the ones who were wrong…  She had found her soul mate in Adam and is still in love 18 years later.

Stephanie and Adam had two children of their own, but that was not enough for precious Stephanie.  She read about people who could not carry their child and offered to be a surrogate mother two separate times for a young couple.  She said she wanted to help, and knew how to be pregnant.  She of course loved the babies she carried, but selflessly gave them up to their biological parents with little concern for her own feelings…  she wanted to make sure the surrogate family had two children to love and thus offered her body as a sanctuary to the next little angel.

The next act of kindness my little friend performed was in regard to serving other mothers.  She had a difficult time with postpartum depression and understood that while everyone was looking at the baby, someone needed to be taking care of the mom.  Stephanie became a certified Doula, a kind of birth companion, in order to serve mothers wherever life took her.  The first time she was a doula the baby was stillborn.  Stephanie said if anyone had told her that would have happened, she could not have gone on this journey, but when the most awful thing actually happened and she was there, her training took over and she immediately went into being the consummate professional and took charge of the situation.  People were whisked out of the room, she cleaned and dressed the baby, the mother and father were given time to be with the little darling and the appropriate counsel was called.  While the young doctor who delivered the baby was laying on the floor in the hall way crying, Stephanie was keeping order in the ward and making sure the setting was the best it could be for the family.  It was not what she had chosen, but it was why she was there and she knew she was right where she needed to be.

As Stephanie’s journey continued she again chose to be selfless in that she offered to foster newborn babies.  She said while others had a hard time giving up the little ones when adoptive parents had been located, she was honored to help a child start life in care and safety.

The last act of kindness I want to share with you was when she and Adam decided they should add to their family, and asked a 10-year-old girl to join their family on a permanent basis.  This little girl had been in and out of foster homes, struggling to find her place in life.  Stephanie was telling me about the tests and challenges that were being performed by the child as she tried to find her place in the family, and that if the little girl only knew that she was “kindness walking,” she might have saved herself the trouble!

What a perfect description!  I have watched this young girl evolve into a woman of strength and character.  When I first met Stephanie at age 12, I knew there was something extraordinary about her, and now I have a name for it….

Stephanie is kindness walking.


As an avid learner and speaker with heavy strategic thinking skillset, I will bring new ideas and great stories to the Center for Grateful leadership’s readers. I have 18 years’ experience as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and 20 years experience in Records Management, in both fields, synergetic and creative thinking led teams to success. These strengths will serve Grateful Leaders well.