It was October 2013. I stood by the door of my almost empty apartment as I inspected the living room reminiscing about the amazing memories from my three years in my cozy apartment. My furniture had all been listed on craigslist and buyers had bought almost all of the furniture except a few ones left. I looked down as I cradled my growing baby bump and gave it a gentle rub. I even felt a little kick. I smiled. “I hope Canada will be good to us little one!” I whispered. I was 7 months pregnant and couldn’t wait to meet my little boy in just two months. My life was about to change in many ways. It was my last day at work a few days earlier. My colleagues had thrown a baby shower/send off party for me. It was an emotional day. My former professors came, former bosses and colleagues from the Graduate Admissions office, Undergraduate Admissions office, and Information Technology office came. Colleagues from the Institutional Advancement office came. Coworkers from across the hall came just because they were going to miss the girl they crossed paths with often on the hallway with the warmest smile. I was touched. Everyone took turns presenting gifts and gave the sweetest farewell speeches. I was overwhelmed by all the love and was truly going to miss working at the College of Charleston. Great memories I would cherish for a lifetime! As I stood by the door reminiscing, I heard the door bell. I opened the door – It was my friend Marcelle (not her real name), one of my closest friends since undergrad.
Marcelle walked into my apartment and looked around. Wow! “You’ve sold almost everything! So, this is really happening! I’m so happy for you Sana. You now have the life you’ve always wanted. Your life has changed so much this past year. First, you got married, now you’re about to become a mother. So happy for you!” She said. We sat down for a few minutes and chatted. Then Marcelle purchased a few items, we said goodbye, and she was gone shortly after. It had been an emotional week saying goodbye to my friends in Charleston. I was a bit apprehensive about starting over in a new country and having to make new friends. I absolutely loved everything about Charleston, but I knew that moving to Canada was God’s will for me, so I had no choice but to embrace all the challenges that would come with starting all over in a new country. Few days later all the furniture were gone, my apartment was cleaned, and all I had left were boxes of clothes and books. I loaded up the boxes into my Toyota Corolla and drove 2 hours to Columbia. In a few days, I would be moving to Canada to join my husband. I could barely wait!
It was November 5th, 2013. After a series of uncomfortable flights, and fearing that I would go into labor mid-air, I landed in Canada. It felt so surreal. I passed through all the airport checkpoints and finally arrived at baggage claim and there he was! My husband! After doing the long-distance thingy for so long, we were finally together. I was beyond happy. We embraced. Shortly after, we claimed my luggage, loaded everything up in the car and we were on our way to our home, my new home! 🙂 I peered outside that night as we drove home and realized there wasn’t much difference from South Carolina where I spent 12 years of my life. Ermmm… actually, there was a big difference; it was white everywhere. “Wow! Snow!” I said with all amount of excitement. In 12 years, I had only seen snow in South Carolina 3 times. “Oh, it’s so pretty. I love snow!” I said. My husband laughed. “Wait till you start driving here, you will hate it.” He said. My husband was right. Now each time it starts snowing, I feel the urge to scream, “Nooooo…” so loud till it echoes all over the earth planet lol. I went from one extreme, to another. The things we do for love! LOL!
A month and a half later, my baby boy was born. Ethan – that’s what we named him. I was in love! He was the most precious little baby ever! My mother came to Canada for one month to help with the baby and then returned to the United States. Six months later, my husband travelled to Nigeria to bring his mother to Canada to help with the baby. I decided to apply for work since I was going to have some help with the baby. By the time my husband returned from Nigeria with his mother, I had landed a contract job with Enbridge working as a Data Analyst. I remember the shock when I told my husband that I had gotten a job with Enbridge Pipelines while he was still in Nigeria. From the way he sounded, I could tell it was a pretty big deal. I remember getting a message on LinkedIn from a recruiter about the job asking me to apply if I was interested. I was invited for an interview shortly after applying. The interview was the best I’d ever had. The panel kept nodding and saying “wow” to everything I said. They were so impressed that they made it clear at the end of the interview that I was their best candidate so far, and their last candidate, *wink wink* :). I will never forget getting a call from the recruiter few days to my birthday informing me that I had gotten the job. I dropped my six-month old baby in his crib then jumped and screamed, “Thank you Jesus!!!” God granted me favor that I was able to get my very first job in Canada with a company I never imagined. The best part was that it came with ease – nothing but the hand of God!
To be continued…