Grace Wanunda lovingly cuddles the latest addition to her family, a baby boy, Timothy Jabali who joined them a month ago. Her three- year-old, Angel Faraja looks on.
Such a beautiful family to behold. Yet Grace is an adoptive mother.
But she doesn’t feel any less of a mother. “Motherhood is an awesome experience regardless of how one becomes a mother. I have never felt so good, so fulfilled and so happy. I don’t even want to know how biological parents feel because I know I feel better,” she laughs.
However, being an adoptive parent wasn’t in Grace’s plan. “My expectation was more of marriage, then children. But that did not happen,” the born again Christian, who resides in Mombasa, says.
Her biggest challenge, however, was more spiritual. “Adoption was not my option, I was not in need of a child. A simple dream I had is what changed all that. After much prayer, I was convinced beyond doubt that adoption was God’s agenda for me. I must confess I was so angry and disappointed with God and the whole idea. How would God want me be a single mother? What will I tell the church folks and my family?” she wondered.
But Grace who also heads an organisation, Adoption is Beautiful, got overwhelming support from all cor ners. “The church where I fellowship, the office and people at home b me. I informed my landlord, a few close friends and relatives and never suffered any sort of stigma,” she reveals.
For her, the adoption process, is just like the nine months pregnancy journey. “There were days I woke up so low, anxious, moody, weighed down and with pressure. It can really weigh you down, so you need someone to encourage you in the process,” Grace advises. It took her almost nine months to bring her daughter home. “You could say, I was pregnant the whole period,” she adds.
Grace hated her first experience.
“I didn’t have anyone who was willing to walk the journey with me. The few adoptive parents I knew were not ready to share and not willing to offer the emotional support I needed most during that time. I didn’t know what was expected of me. I didn’t know what was happening, I was green.
The second time though, was much faster and the progress in a month was awesome! Talk of an experienced second-time mother,” she jokes.
Before her daughter came home, Grace had a fixed routine programme.
It was office-church-home. “I was such an introvert and just kept a low and toned down lifestyle. No one knew I existed,” Grace recalls. But she says motherhood is the best thing play, laugh and fight. We are best of friends. My daughter loves me, I had never experienced true love until I met Faraja,” she smiles. For her, motherhood has changed her for the best.
Now she is fulfilled, feels awesome and appreciates pure love. Faraja has already started school. “I love them dearly,” beams the business lady in tea and coffee export.
However, Grace is a strict mother.
She doesn’t treat her children any special. “Respect is number one in my parenting list. I raise them to be self-dependent and I try to bring up the best in them,” she adds.
But being a mother was nothing less than trial and error. “I remember it was chaotic, messy and scary.
I really had no clue as to what I was doing. But now, my proud moments are when the unique words such as please, sorry, thank you and welcome are used,” she asserts. Her daughter calling her ‘mummy’ comes out so naturally and she loves the feeling it comes with.
If anything now, Grace is vibrant about helping others walk the journey. “Come let’s do this together! Adoption is doable, it’s Godly, it’s not expensive and it’s for everyone. If I adopted, anyone can!”