Sunday, August 29, 2004

Another "15 Minutes", Coming Up

When the first article about my story came out in the local paper, and was then sent out on the AP wire, I got phone calls from about 20 radio stations all around the country, plus from Canadian Broadcasting in Toronto and BBC London- all different programs that wanted to inteview me and ask me questions on the air about my story. It was quite overwhelming, and though it was flattering that they all wanted to hear about my story, I didn't really have a lot of answers for them. I didn't fully understand what it meant to be an Nigerian Igbo (ee-bo) prince, plus it was very difficult to describe how I felt at the time.

The "Prince" idea was cool and all, but I was much more excited about the fact that I had finally come in contact with both sides of my biological family. I had already met my mother along with my two sisters, and many of my aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc. on her side. My next big priority was to get to Nigeria to meet my father- preferably with my wife and children going with me so we all could meet my his side of the family.. That is what was really important to me. The thought of that reunion was the truly exciting part of the story for me. However, for the media that contacted me, they were more intrigued about the Prince angle.

In May of this year, thanks to the grace of God and a little behind the scenes trickery by Laura (a.k.a. The Wife) I finally got the opportunity to travel to Nigeria for the first time to meet my biological father, my six brothers and sisters, and dozens of other relatives living in the village of Aboh Orlu. An editor from a major magazine who had been following my story went with me and brought along a photographer (and his assistant) to document my trip. The article he is writing comes out in their November issue. (I'll tell you which magazine as we get closer to the publish date.)

I am not sure what to expect when the article finally hits the news stands, but because it is going to a very large article in a major magazine, I am sure that I will get another barrage of calls when it comes out. My biggest concern is that it doesn't disrupt my family and my job. While the 15 minutes of fame can be exciting, I also know that I must keep it in perspective.

Now that I have been to Nigeria, the next step for me is to go back again with my wife and children along so that my father can meet his grandchildren. Our goal is to go in December of 2005. It takes a lot of planning and a heck of a lot of money to travel to Nigera- especially with children. Thus we put off going one more year and decided it would make more sense to go in 2005 when we could spend a lot more time saving money to get there.

This has been an incredible turning point in my life that I have chosen to share with other people- especially other adoptees that may have found or are still looking for their biological parents. It is my greatest hope that in the process of getting my second "15 minutes of fame" I will be able to use the opportunity to 1) get my family over to Nigeria, and 2) help as many others reach their own dreams as possible.

UPDATE: MY wife tells me that it's OK to say the name of the magazine. The November issue of GQ Magazine comes out on October 25th.

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