Following My Heart

Identity Magazine for Mompreneurs
Written by TeamIdentity

Sometimes following our hearts and our dreams takes time. For KathyLynn, it took events both in her personal life and society to help her realize that she needed to change her ways and aim for her true wants in life. Through adopting a daughter and developing her own business, KathyLynn was able to find her new identity.

By KathyLynn

I always dreamed of being a mother, but after a failed marriage and being childless at 42, I decided to proceed with an international adoption. This has been a life changing event and one that I continually refer to as “the best thing that has ever happened to me.” When September 11 happened, my home was about 50 miles from the site of the World Trade Center. This event served as the catalyst needed for me to move forward. I realized that “now” was the time to act, for we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

After researching different countries, I realized that Russian children were healthy, available and in need of good homes. I remember the day I received a phone call from the adoption agency, telling me that they had a little girl for me. I was overjoyed. When I learned that her birth name was Ekaterina, I just knew that this child was meant to be mine. This name, albeit the Italian version, is a family name dating back to my great-grandmother, my mother and myself.

My brother and I traveled there to see my child for the first time in May of 2002. I remember when the nanny and doctor walked Leah into the room — this was my version of “It’s a Girl!” We bonded instantly. After a second visit and a court date, I was finally able to bring her home in June.

We stayed in New Jersey for four years, but I found that I was missing so many events, and unable to attend her activities because of my corporate job. I was so thankful for my family’s extensive help and dedication, but I wanted to be an involved parent.

I started researching different areas of the U.S. where we could relocate. Raleigh, N.C. had everything I desired. I also wanted to work in an industry that I was passionate about, and would give me the flexibility to be there for everything my daughter was involved in. I started reInventedSpaces LLC, and began my journey into the world of interior design.

Five years later, I have a great reputation, a strong client base and have also been named to the Board of Directors for our local Interior Design Chapter. I thoroughly enjoy what I do, as it enables me to be creative.

In addition to my work, I continue to be present for my daughter – the little things like eating breakfast together, making her lunch, driving her to school and the bigger events like being a Girl Scout Leader, Eucharistic Minister and Room Mom. I accomplished my goal and my daughter and I have a strong bond and I have and continue to experience her childhood – something I was not willing to forfeit.

While in Russia, I met the parents from another state who were there to adopt my daughter’s siblings. We made a commitment to keep the children in each other’s lives, and during the past 9 1/2 years, we have evolved into a big, extended family. The grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from both families have embraced all three children. What a wonderful gift from God – I went to Russia to adopt a baby, and returned with an entire family. I will be forever thankful for begin able to provide this important connection for my daughter.

I’ve learned to follow my heart, to be creative in accomplishing goals and yes, my dream came true. I have my little girl, and I do believe that this is just one example of God doing His best work.

See how KathyLynn answers our Identity Five Questions:

What have you accepted within yourself and/or within your life?

I have accepted that for right now, I am a single parent, a homeowner and a business owner. I created all of this and I do love it. At times it can be overwhelming, but I’ve learned to let go a bit, and accept that there still are only 24 hours in a day and as long as I go to sleep at night feeling good about what I achieved, it’s OK not to have achieved all of it. As far as remarrying, I’d love to have a life partner and give my daughter a father. God will put someone in my path, if that is indeed His plan for us.

What do you appreciate about yourself or your life?

I appreciate that I have these moments with my child, realizing that as she grows, she will naturally pursue her own interests. I believe in that, “roots and wings.” I know in my heart that I am giving her the best possible experiences in order to prepare her for a happy and successful life.

What have you achieved, or what are you working to achieve personally, physically, or mentally?

I continue to work on my profession, learning everyday about processes, materials, laws and best practices. Being self-employed in any industry is an evolution — if I want to grow my company, I need to grow my resources, networking and staff in order for it to be successful.

What is your not-so-perfect way?

I used to strive for perfection in everything. This is not only time consuming, but unreachable and disappointing when the results weren’t what I expected. Now, because I have so much on my plate, less than perfect really is ok. I no longer obsess about putting together the perfect outfit — as long as it’s coordinated, clean and professional — I’m good to go. Same goes for the house — it’s beautifully decorated, but things being out of place only proves that we live in it and enjoy it.

How would you complete this sentence, “I Love My…”

I love my creativity. It fuels the passion of my business and I actually get excited when I prepare a color palette presentation and the color tones are awesome! I also love to see my client’s reactions. For my personal creativity, I love that I have started a new oil painting. In my world, where I am responsible for many things, this is just one thing that I can do for myself – I just love the way it nourishes my soul. There’s no wrong or right, when creating art, any artist’s interpretation is right for them, and that’s all that matters.

To find out more about KathyLynn, visit

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Identity Magazine for Mompreneurs


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