Some say ‘Adoption is an unselfish act a birth mother does to help her child to have a good stable life. Adoption is for the best interest of the child. I am a proud parent to two young lovely boys, Ryan James six years and Bradley James one year.
Six years ago I knew that I wanted to be a mom someday, though not at the age of 25 maybe 35. But as fate had it, I was a mom at 25. Beyond my wildest dream, things were happening so fast. Single mom, school, lots of adjustment all took a toll on me. I thank God for seeing me through and for a strong supportive family and friends.
Fast forward to 2013, my son five years old was now asking questions. How comes I don’t have a brother or a sister? He wanted a sibling. I wanted a child too but it wasn’t possible at the time. And slowly I started digesting the possibility of adopting. I prayed about it, read lots of adoption stories and their outcomes. I also visited several adoption societies and children homes.
Severally in my prayers and dreams, I would see a cute handsome boy. I talked to my son about it. I told him how I wanted my family to grow and that while I was growing up, I had siblings and I would love for him to have siblings too. Once certain we were on the same page, I asked him whether he wanted a boy or a girl for a sibling. He said he wanted a girl and went ahead to propose a name for her Aisha. I was a bit disappointed and was hoping he would say a boy. Slowly I started adjusting to the idea of a baby girl but every time I would go to sleep I would see a boy.
I broached the subject to my cousin and told her I wanted to adopt a boy. She totally opposed my decision but after several conversations with her, she told me if I must adopt, then I should get a girl as they are less troublesome and would get married and leave. She made a bit of sense. But how would I start bringing up a girl if I had not brought up one of my own. Girls are sensitive as opposed to boys. I talked to my brother, sisters and my sister in laws and they all concurred with a girl but could not understand why I had opted for adoption. I had now changed my mind set to a girl but my dreams remained of a beautiful boy. I talked to my mother about it and went with her to one of the children’s home in Nairobi. She did not support my decision at all and insisted I get my own. Efforts to try and bring her into my perspective were all futile. This was a new concept to her and the decision was mine. My mind was made up and no amount of convincing would change me.
So the process began with first checking out the various requirements. First stop was Thomas Barnados where I gathered information on the adoption process. I then went underground for months synthesizing the information and praying about it. While visiting a children’s home one Saturday afternoon, they mentioned Kenyans for Kenyans Peace Iniative society as one of the agencies they use for adoption and since it was close to where I lived, I decided to pay them a visit. There I met a lady who also wanted to adopt and together we got chatting and slowly embarked on our adoption journey together. Thereafter we visited children homes together and kept each other in the loop with how far we were at meeting the requirements. I managed to get all my requirements within a month and dropped them at the agency. I remember a good friend of mine telling me if you want to know God is in a project, look at how fast things fall into place.
After three days, I received a call from Mogra childrens home on Kiambu road. The lady told me she had received several adoption requests but was compelled by mine and wanted to see me soonest. I thought this was strange as the agency had briefed me of a different process but anyway I obliged; told her I would come in the following day. She went ahead to request that I bring my son along. So next day after picking my son from school I headed to Kiambu road.
On arrival I found Hannah; the owner, waiting for me. We sat down and got talking. Very easy lady to talk to, warm, candid and a woman after Gods own heart. She told me she had felt a strong compelling force when she saw my adoption papers and wanted to get to know me better before releasing any of her children to me. While we were talking, she told me the reason she had asked me to bring my son along is because it’s always advisable to give the child first priority in selecting a sibling. So she sent him to the nursery to pick baby “Aisha”. We continued chatting and enjoying a cup of tea and in less than fifteen minutes, my son sprang back into the room saying he had found Aisha. He was then given a phone and asked to go take a photo of her. He quickly rushed and came back with photos. Unfortunately the lady told him, the baby you picked is not a girl but a boy. In that moment, my son firmly said “Then I don’t want a sister, I want a brother”. Case closed.
I was surprised at the turn of events. I decided to go and see the boy and wasn’t he the cutest little thing. I was also blown away by him. He lay there peacefully and gave me hugest warmest smile. I was in love! My son asked me what name we were going to call him and without hesitation I told him Bradley James. The lady told me I was welcomed anytime to see my son and thus began the daily visits. We were inseparable. Four months later in January 2014, I brought my four month old son home with me… home where he belonged.
We were so excited. I could not stop gazing at him in awe that he was my son then, and I cannot stop now. The months to follow were not easy, as baby tried to settle in, nanny after nanny and eventually we all got the hang of it. Ryan was so possessive of his brother. They complemented each other. Bradley was a bit different… independent, preferring to sleep on his own, not wanting to cuddled or held. I talked to a few other people and they told me it was normal and to give him time, he will warm up on his own in due course. He did! This little boy has been such an amazing gift in my life. He is spunky, always smiling with occasional big hearty laughs, bubbly, smart, silly, loving, spirited, full of love and life. He makes me laugh with such pure love and joy.
Life has been more rewarding. Coming home after a long day at work and finding my two boys and both calling me “mama”. You can’t measure that. It is so satisfying and rewarding.
People have different preconceptions about adoption or fostering. I know I did at the time. Initially I had in mind my ideal child, to grow up with and bond with, but in going through the adoption process some of those preconceptions you do away with, because you get a better understanding of what is available and that there aren’t many babies just waiting for a family to come to them. You will find that by going through the process that a child is a child. Any child that you can give a home to, you should be able to reach out to from within your family circumstance. Adoption is wonderful. I still wonder what keeps people back. We need to break the mould.
Many say that adoption is not for the faint hearted and as much as that maybe true, the important thing is to never give up. Finish the race. Let’s get out of this cultural thing of just thinking about ourselves, or what other people or our families think. Think about the children. There are so many children out there who need a home and need some love. All you need is a big heart and if you have a big heart you can take care of those kids.
While the journey was challenging, I am grateful for the friendships I developed along the way and for the amazing little boy that I now get to call my son. God has provided for this little one and for us as a family… for that I am very thankful! The way God has protected this sweet little boy humbles me each day. HE is ALWAYS in CONTROL!