Hi there and welcome! We’re glad you stopped by!
The story of our family begins back in 2002 when George and I met at a small community college campus literally in the middle of the cornfields of the great Midwest. I was raised on an area farm and was finishing up my senior year of high school as a part time college student. I was a farm girl through and through, had spent lots of time helping my dad bale hay, breed cows, drive tractors, muck barns and many other lovely jobs. My dream was to become a wife and mommy, but the current question was what to do in the meantime. I was interested in music, engineering, possibly architecture, or something in the medical field, though really wasn’t considering being a nurse. I always said I wanted to live in the middle of nowhere so I could go outside at night and see the stars. Well, God totally changed my plans. August 28, 2002 was the second day of class during my first semester. I was still trying to get my bearings on campus, figuring out where the different buildings were etc. I was actually in the wrong building that afternoon waiting for a class that wasn’t scheduled that day (as I later found out when I showed up and no one else was there). I heard the familiar voice of a family friend from around the corner and looked up to see Pat and George. Pat introduced us and my first thoughts were that I had never seen someone in real life with such dark skin and had never seen a black person with an afro.
George had only arrived in the U.S. from Nigeria 8 months earlier and was living with Pat and his family while he went to college. He came here with the intention of going to medical school and residency then returning home. His plans have since changed somewhat too. We became best of friends (and still are!) during our college days. I ended up majoring in nursing and worked for a few years in the NICU before we were married. George attended the community college for two years, transferred to a small university to complete his undergrad. After he graduated, he was accepted into medical school in Chicago. We were married almost 5 years after we met in June 2007, in between his first and second years of med school.
Instead of moving to the middle of nowhere, we moved to our first apartment in downtown Chicago. We had a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River from our little apartment. I worked for about 10 months at a hospital here in Chicago until we became the parents of a beautiful baby girl.
Grace was born toward the end of George’s second year of med school at a crazy time when he was studying for his Step 1 board exam.
Elliana was born during George’s intern year…also a crazy, busy time.
Clara was born during his 3rd year of residency. He was working his last night shift of his 6 week night float rotation when I went into labor. Also…crazy busy (and super tired)!
This past December, Lydia joined our family as our precious Christmas present. She was born during probably one of George’s least-busy rotations of his residency career. So yes, we had four daughters during medical school and residency and have been able to make it work for me to stay home to care for and raise our girls. As any parent knows, it is definitely busy and definitely a lot of work and not always (actually pretty much never) easy. We love being parents, though and love watching our girls grow. They are our joy and delight and we wouldn’t change a thing. I love, love being a wife and mommy and often tell George so.
It’s been our desire and prayer that we wouldn’t just survive these crazy-busy years of medical training, but that our family would truly thrive and enjoy each day we had together. Looking back, by the grace of God, our prayers, and the prayers of many friends and family members, have been answered beyond what we could think or ask. This month, George finishes his orthopaedic surgery residency and we will be moving to the East Coast for a one-year fellowship in ortho trauma. After that, we are still not sure where we’ll be headed, but we are excited to find out as this year unfolds.