‘My life is just beginning’Published 5:00am Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Delinda Kidd became a mother later than she wished, but her son — who has been with her since he was a baby — has led her to a new life.
Through the foster-to-adoption program in Escambia County, Kidd and her son Stephen became officially family last week when the adoption became final. But they have been mother and son since Stephen was 11 months old.
“I am one daughter of six, and I was the only daughter that could not conceive,” Kidd said. “So, this is the most rewarding part: that God has blessed me with a son.”
November is National Adoption Month. Kidd said the gift of adoption has the ability to change a person’s life for the better.
“It’s more than what I had thought,” she said. “It’s so rewarding. Regardless of what kind of a day I’ve had at work, he is so happy to see me in the afternoon and that just erases any and everything. It’s more than I ever could have imagined. I had a friend tell me one time ‘You could have retired and you’re getting a baby? Whew, you’re not gonna be able to do anything.’ Well, where I go, he goes. If there’s something that he can’t do, I don’t need to do it. He’s a great little vacation companion. We just traveled this past year to North Carolina, just he and I by vehicle, and trust me there was not a dull moment. I believe, in a nutshell, my life is just beginning. This little boy brings a whole new meaning to my life. I have a friend that works at Disney World and I’ve seen Disney so many times until I thought it was boring. But I can’t wait until he’s old enough to not be afraid of the characters and experience that for the first time.”
Kidd has had several friends help her along the way. One friend was inspiring because she raised her grandson, one friend shared her experiences as an adoptive parent, and the daycare where she takes Stephen, Growing Tots Child Development Center, helps keep her mind at ease because of the guidance they’ve provided.
However, it is her own mother who has served as her biggest inspiration.
“My mother first of all is my motivation for wanting to be a mother,” Kidd said. “The love, care and devotion that she gave to us, and I’m from a large sibling group, just as a young child I saw the devotion that she gave to us. I’ve loved children ever since my sisters and brothers started having children. I’ve spoiled theirs and sent them back home, but my support group consists of current and former foster parents, relatives and close friends.”
Children develop some behaviors through modeling, acting in a similar fashion to things they observe from adults. Kidd said Stephen is no exception.
“He’s been with me since he was 11 months old and he begins to act like me,” she said. “He does things I do.”
Kidd currently works at Jefferson Davis Community College and has worked at the school for many years. So, acting in a parental role is nothing new for her.
“I’ve always worked in the public sector,” she said. “I’ve been here for 26 years. I’ve taken an interest in our students, male and female, especially the younger ones. I’ve mothered students. They’ve come to me for advice, just sit and talk, male and female. We’ve had students who have graduated several years ago and I’ve been in attendance with their families when they received their bachelor’s degree. That was a special event to me, and I have a very special ‘daughter’ that I met 16 years ago in our Upward Bound program. I met her when she was 16 years old. We’ve kind of stayed involved and in touch with each other and she’s a God-sent daughter. She’s in the Air Force. Her name is Cindy. She has given me my first grandson this year. Working here has given me opportunities to meet a lot of different people and it also gave me a special daughter.”
Kidd said being a parent is something she is deeply thankful for and is appreciative to the Escambia County foster-to-adoption program. The program allows parents to meet the needs of a foster child and if there is mutual interest following a given time period of providing foster care, participants may become adoptive parents.
“Friends encouraged me to become a foster parent with the Escambia County DHR Foster Parent Association, so I joined with Escambia County and I fostered this little boy from 11 months old to now,” Kidd said. “I just thank them for giving me the opportunity to foster, to fall in love with, and now to share the rest of my life with him because he is such a little blessing, a little joy. It keeps me feeling young because he has a lot of energy and my neighbors, I told them ‘excuse us.’ We get to playing and acting silly sometimes in the yard.”