I’m adopted and I chose to adopt too

Elizabeth Githinji, 47, says taking on a child is a calling that one shouldn’t fear. The Program specialist and farmer speaks to Euginia Gathoni why she made the choice

“I don’t recall having a great desire to carry a child of my own. Adoption was always going to be my first choice and I hoped my only choice. Even when it comes to my hopes of settling down, I have always desired to meet a man with no deep need to have biological children. You could say that history repeats itself as I was adopted by my parents as a baby.

Growing up in a Limuru farm, I was a rather quiet child. I was an only child and being surrounded by adults made me grow up pretty quickly. I missed having siblings, however, I developed close friendships with my neighbours which filled the void. I was shy and uncomfortable in groups. It wasn’t until my 30s that I was able to function comfortably in groups. Back then in the 70’s, adoption wasn’t as common as it is today and I never got to discuss the intricate details with my parents until I was about 17.

I was blessed to attend good schools and I even pursued my further studies out of the country. It’s funny I don’t quite remember having one direction or path I desired. Unfortunately, the 844 system was very limiting in encouraging exploration of gifts. It’s only when I went to Canada and pursued a business degree that I knew my heart was in community work.

One time after completing my studies, I happened to visit New Life Children’s Home located in Dagoretti North. I made the life-changing decision to adopt my baby girl who was then five-months-old. She had been brought to the home four days earlier and I instantly fell in love with her. It was a closed adoption which is a process whereby an infant is adopted by another family and the record of the biological parent(s) is kept sealed. It was the same process that my parents went through with me hence the reason why I don’t have any knowledge about my biological parents.

After undertaking all the legal processes, I got to take my nine-month-old baby home with me. The adoption process was officially completed about 12 months later. The best memory I have of my daughter as a baby was when she called me «mum,» the first time she spoke. That moment was precious and it will be forever etched in my mind. For years, my mother has been my source of encouragement and continues to be my number one champion in supporting my decision to adopt.

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