I knew when the lovely Nadina shared a snippet about her childhood during the #30daysofgratitude challenge that it would be amazing if she told her LOVE story during the Guest Blogger series. So I am delighted that she is participating! This busy mom of three from the USA is beautiful inside and out. So smiley and happy. Is it nature of nurture? Have a read of post #21 and you’ll see.
My name is Nadina. Or is it Geeta? My birthday is March 7, 1974. Or is it March 1st, 3rd or sometime that week? I have 2 siblings. Or do I have more? I am an American. Or am I Indian?
How can someone with so many unknowns about her life live a peaceful, simple, happy life? Because I CHOOSE HAPPY. Because fate brought every speck of my life right to where it is today.
Let me back up…. My name Is Nadina Iadimarco. I was born in a place called Bangalore, India. That is all of the knowledge I have of the beginning of my life. You see, I was born and abandoned under a tree to be found or to be left for dead. No one really knows. There was no note, no birth date, no explanation, nothing. I was found by some passing nuns and taken to their orphanage. They named me Geeta Bernadette and waited to find me a FOREVER home. In a stroke of luck, grace of God or whatever you believe; half way around the world in a small town in Ohio, USA, two young parents were looking to add a child to their already family of 4. They had two perfect, healthy blonde haired blue eyed children. By all accounts, they had the perfect family. A boy and a girl, a house and many loving family and friends. They were eager to grow their family and could easily have another child. Thank God for me, they decided that adopting might help someone in this world. The process was not easy. It required background checks and home visits, paperwork and waiting.
Months and months of heart wrenching waiting. When you have a baby biologically, you know exactly when he or she will arrive. When you adopt, the promises get pushed into unknown months and even years. The perfect Smith family was no exception. Their first attempt to adopt within the states failed. They were directed to an overseas agency that could get them a child faster. Still, the promise of a few months turned into a year. Meanwhile, I sat in an orphanage while a family was anxiously waiting for me. A few notes were exchanged. The nuns would update my parents on the progress of my crawling, my bout with chicken pox and my happy disposition. Two pictures were sent. Yes TWO. These are the only pictures I have of the first year of my life. Still Mr. and Mrs. Smith prepared. They bought a bigger house with more land, they found a new church to attend, they talked with their children about this baby that was coming. They paved the way for extended family to accept and love me with no prejudice or hesitation. They even changed my name from Geeta to Nadina Bernadette Smith.
Finally, the call came. “Mrs. Smith, your child is at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. You can come pick her up”. That midnight call changed all of our lives forever. As my parents entered the waiting room, two babies sat side by side waiting for their forever parents to hold them for the first time. “Which one is mine?” my mother uttered with sheer excitement. They directed her to me and a beautiful loving bond was started.
The very next morning, my sister woke to a stranger in the crib next to her. My brother was celebrating his 5th birthday that day and met me for the first time. I couldn’t walk yet, I couldn’t talk, my hair was dull and matted from malnutrition. I was going to have nothing to do with my father because he was the first man I had ever interacted with. The orphanage was full of women and babies. My new family took it one day at a time and erased my past. I was their child in every sense of the word. I was American, I was a Smith, I was no different than their other children. I am forever grateful that they did this. I never felt different or like I didn’t belong. I never felt less their child or like an outsider. I have never been contacted or sought out by any biological family, and the truth is, I am glad. I have a family, I have a life here and other than curiosity to hear the real story, I am not missing anything in my life.
Now you might be saying, how can you not be curious? Of course I am. I think about it and I wonder why. The defining day for my peek curiosity came when I gave birth to my first daughter. I grew her in my belly for 9 months. I felt a connection with her that no one on the earth could feel. I protect her fiercely and love her until it hurts. The first time I laid eyes on her, I wondered how on earth anyone could give her baby up. I was feeling a biological connection to another human being for the very first time in my life. I was looking at a biological generation starting with myself and this little human. One thing I have realized over the years, after being graced with 2 more children that I love more than life itself…. A mother’s love takes many forms. Whoever had me, felt she had no choice but to give me up. She may have saved my life by making that choice.
I want to thank my biological mom and dad, for being self-less and loving me enough to give me a fighting chance. We will never meet, but you are a tattoo on my heart. I want to thank my REAL mom. The only mom I ever knew and loved. The one who raised me. The one who made me strong and confident. The one who took that fighting chance and did everything she could possibly do with it.
I want to thank my dad. Who gave me space and waited for me to warm up and bond with him. The one who provided for me, taught me right from wrong and who I profoundly respect and love. I want to thank my siblings and friends, aunts and uncles, cousins and extended family who never once uttered the words “this is our adopted….” I was always just Nadina.
I am not really sure if this is a love story about my parents, my kids, adoption or all of the above. I do know that if you are thinking of adopting, don’t be afraid. Especially if you have biological children and you are not sure if you will love a non-biological child the same. It won’t be the same. It will be unique and beautiful in a way you will never have with anyone else. It will be a little bit different. And that’s ok because the bottom line is, you will save a life.
Thank you Nadina for opening up your heart and sharing this beautiful love story on Yankee Doodle Paddy. And yes it is a love story about your parents (the biological and REAL), your kids, adoption and also YOU! Your love for yourself is key and why you are able to eminate love and look at your life with such joy and appreciation. I appreciate you and I am thankful for Snapchat for bringing you into my life.
REAL and forever love,
P.S. Nadina your parents are my heroes! One day maybe they might write their love story too! They are always welcome to share it on Yankee Doodle Paddy. And anyone reading this, please, if you have a LOVE story you’d like to share, please contact me. In life we often have too much of a good thing…too much food or drink, clothes or makeup. But one thing we can never EVER have too much of is LOVE!