Keia Baldwin and Richardo have been married for 9 years. Even though she has a biological child (16-year-old Zariyah) from her previous relationship, she and her husband want to make their family grow the ‘traditional’ way.
However, they found it harder than expected. After experiencing numerous miscarriages, the couple decided to turn to a fertility specialist.
Keia said to Love What Matters: “After months, then years of countless dollars spent, fertility drugs taken, failed IVF attempts, and still no baby, we were broken emotionally and spiritually.
“I became bitter and depressed because I wanted nothing more than to have a baby with my husband and give our daughter a sibling.”
She continued: “My husband and I didn’t initially think about adoption right away, but explored the possibility of foster care.
Luckily, in our city, we have an agency called Crossnore School & Children’s Home that afforded us the opportunity to foster to adopt.It wasn’t until we met Karleigh at age 11 (friend of Zariyah’s from school) that our mindsets toward adoption changed.
Keia and her husband opened their hearts to fostering and then adoption. “After completing our foster care classes and becoming licensed foster parents, we didn’t want to set any hard stipulations on age, race, gender, etc. because we wanted to help the children God intended for us to help,” she expressed.
“Ayden was our very first placement. He was also our first adoption 2 years later! We are so happy that God chose Ayden for us and us for him! Both Ayden and Karleigh are biracial and that has helped them bond as well. It’s important to have someone that looks like you and can relate to you.”
When Keia received a call about a baby that needed skin to skin contact with a mother figure, she went to the hospital right away.
“Upon arriving at the hospital, I saw so many beautiful babies in the NICU and wondered which black or brown baby they were going to pair me with,” she said.
“The nurse ushered me over to this small little 2-pound white baby boy, who was also beautiful I might add! Initially, I thought to myself, ‘Are they serious. Is this a joke?’ but then my motherly instincts kicked in!”
She immediately bonded with Princeton and the couple didn’t hesitate to take him home.
“To us, it didn’t matter that he was white but boy, but it did matter to others! I would have never thought my son being white would cause so much judgment, ridicule, backlash, and downright hatred and racism,” Keia explained.
“We’ve had the police called on us several times when he was an infant because they thought we’d kidnapped him.
“Once, in a grocery store, an older white gentleman came up to my son and I while he was sitting in the shopping cart and started recording and taking pictures. I asked him what he was doing and to stop immediately. He explained to me that he was going to take this ‘evidence’ to security because I had ‘obviously stolen’ someone’s baby.
“We’ve been faced with judgment from our children’s teachers where our daughters have been asked if he is ‘really’ their brother.
I must be the ‘babysitter’ they add.We’ve gotten, ‘Why didn’t you adopt a black child when so many black children need good homes?’ Or, ‘Why didn’t you let that baby stay with his kind?’ We have been in restaurants and have almost been ‘held hostage’ and not let out the door because they thought Princeton was kidnapped.
There is no doubt that these criticism and incidents are hurtful. Despite their ups and downs, Keia does not regret the adoption for a second.
“The day we bought Princeton home from the hospital was the day our lives changed for the better! Being his mother is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m stronger, wiser, kinder, and definitely more patient.”
More powers to this loving family!
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