On November, 21, 2012, I was scrolling through my Facebook before bed when a post caught my eye.
“Do you know someone who wants to sponsor a baby? A baby boy and baby girl need sponsorship (and their mother wants the sponsor to name them!)”
People always say that life is made of ‘moments’ and some pass by and some will just stay with you forever. This was one of the moments that I will never forget. In one facebook post, in one photo, I loved this baby girl more than I ever thought I could love someone just by seeing a simple photo.
I got so excited I instantly wrote Home of Hope and asked if I could sponsor the baby girl, praying I would be the first one to respond. I was beyond excited when I heard back and I was officially this sweet little babies sponsor- and I had the privilege of naming her!
I couldn’t believe I had the honour of naming a child. I got in my car and drove to Chapters in search of a baby name book praying the right name for her would stand out. I walked into the store (freshly 18) and was greeted by a middle aged worker with a friendly smile asking if there was anything she could help me with. Excitedly I responded “Yes! I am looking for a baby name book!!” instantly I knew she didn’t assume I was naming a desperate baby in Africa, but she had stereotyped me as an irresponsible teenager. She gave me a very disapproving look and simply pointed me in the general direction I was supposed to go. As I walked over to the baby name books I couldn’t help but feel the judgement and shame that comes along with being so young and pregnant. The little girl’s mom was named Jackline and she was only 2 years older than me when she was raped and became pregnant. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the gossip clouds that surrounded her and the shame and hate she felt when she walked out the door- and it wasn’t even her fault.
My heart broke.
I was just an 18 year old girl willing to invest $40 a month in a little girl halfway across the world. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I tried to grip what it would be like to be Jackline, and thankfulness overwhelmed me that I had the opportunity to help her and her new family.
Then, the word hit me like a wall: Purpose. This little girl had purpose. Her mother was just a young girl herself and was in no position to have a baby (let alone two! She was having twins!), and yet her mother chose to keep her. This little girl was a miracle, she was special, she was alive when many babies from the same situations were not- this little girl had purpose. I flipped through the pages of the baby name books desperately searching for a name that meant Purpose. I was having no luck (baby name books are a bit outrageous- I mean, Bikini? Really?)
I drove home, grabbed my laptop and flopped on the couch. I knew she would speak Swahili, so I searched “Swahlili baby names” as I prayed there would be the perfect name for her. I scrolled and Niara caught my eye but I kept scrolling with no luck. I went back and clicked on Niara and the meaning came up as: “With Utmost Purpose”
Niara. The sweet little baby that stole my heart in seconds would be named Niara, and she would know she has a divine plan, a calling, and a purpose.
Today, Niara & her twin brother Adin are almost 4 and AS CUTE AS EVER! Niara is wildly outgoing, courageous, lovable, and can always make her more reserved brother belly laugh! It is an honour to support her monthly through our sponsorship program, and to watch her grow into the confident little girl she was born to be!
Article written by Hillary, sponsor of Niara Beth Ahadi.