It is amazing the extent to which one’s life could change when one says those three letter word, Yes.
I remember the day I first said yes to my daughter Chizimuzondu. It has been five years but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was my birthday, June 7th, 2006. I had just come back from the mass that Wednesday morning, I was in my office getting ready to go to the kitchen to oversee what my kitchen staff were doing when my phone rang. It was my sister-in-law on the phone, she said she called to let me know that there was a baby for me. She was helping me process the adoption papers, more like helping me follow up on the papers. The first thing I said was that I was not ready. She replied, you better be ready now because when you are in the future, there may not be a baby. I thought about it for a while, I was silent. She asked if she could go ahead and I said yes. I did not know what to do, I called a friend NE and told her, she was beside herself with joy. On my telling her that I did not know what to do, she replied in Ibo, “ini ga agwa Chukwu k’ozigi uzo” you’ll have to ask God to show you the way. I smiled within me and hung up. That’s the name I had long since chosen for my daughter that I had not seen. The circumstances in my life then required my constantly seeking the face of God for direction. I was going through emotional wahala like we say here, my marriage just failed or is it the participants in the marriage that failed? I was running this restaurant that was growing fast just like such outfits are called “fast food” with over thirty staff to manage each with h/his idiosyncrasy and me with practically no formal training in business management. And here I was with this need to nurse a child! Was I ready? I was not quite sure, but I already said Yes. And yes it was for I hardly go back on my words.
I got my baby, I was told she was six days old when I took her into my arms. I named her Chizimuzondu ( God show me the way of life). At baptism, I named her Nonyelum (after her mother, me) and Mary (in honor of our mother Mary). She brought back the sparkle in my life, she was the needed distraction to all the wahala I was going through.
Five months later, Ziim, as I fondly call her was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (cp), a congenital disorder that has defied medical cure!!! To say that I was devastated will be for want of a better word to use. But I picked up, moved on, still moving on, made and still making life-changing decisions, asked and still asking questions, learnt and still learning lessons. Several times I have wondered if my decision to say yes was aright. Should I have insisted that I was not ready? That word Yes!! Was I prepared to parent a child with disability particularly one with cp and one that is severely involved? Of I cannot say that I was, how could I have imagined that my child will have a disability? How could I have been ready to parent a child with cerebral palsy when the words as at then never existed in my vocabulary.
But see where I am today!!! Loving it like they say. It sounds strange eh? I know, a lot of people can not imagine that I am happy. I see it in their faces.. with a child like this????? But truth is that I am happy, I know that happiness is a choice, so I choose to be happy for nothing lightens a burden like a happy heart.
Yes! I have had to say other “yeses” along the way. And what about you? Have you said any yes that practically turned your life around? I bet you have.