A banner bearing the insignia of the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation welcomes attendees to the 2018 edition of the foundation’s 2nd Annual Parents In Waiting Conference tagged, ‘Maa Gbe Temi Jo’, a Yoruba statement meaning I will dance with my own. At the registration desk inside the foyer at the MUSON Centre Lagos, Nigeria, young ladies welcomed us. After my registration, I walked past another large banner bearing different logos of IIF and other sponsors of the programme. Next to the large banner were tables with different medical equipment neatly arranged on them. I climbed the stairwell into the hall.
Inside the hall, the stage was set. Five sofas were arranged against a white and black backdrop with the theme of the conference boldly printed on it. The hall began to fill with people. A few minutes after I was seated, a young lady announced and requested attendees to go for medical test in the foyer.
After the medical test formalities, the event kicked off with Omotunde Lolo of Wazobia FM as the anchor.
Lolo puts the parents in waiting in the right mood with the many songs and inspirational words she shared. “When you are a parent in waiting, it doesn’t mean you have been forgotten. It means you are waiting for the special gift. It means you will have a special child as seen in the stories of Abraham and other great parents in the Bible. Waiting doesn’t mean you have been denied,” she said.
Ibidunni Ighodalo, the founder of the foundation, who is also a parent in waiting, extended her hand of love to other women who were in her shoes to conceive through IVF. Ever since, she has never looked back. This is the second year running that parents in waiting will converge at the MUSON to share their experiences, interact with one another and get medical help which is fully funded by donations from well-meaning individuals who support Ighodalo’s vision.
“I would like to say thank you to all those who have supported us on this journey, said Ighodalo while giving the welcome address. I am happy we could do this again. I want to thank my brother, who is seated over there. And of course, my husband. Thank you all.”
This year, the foundation set out to pick and sponsor only 10 couples out of the tens of couples who attended the event, but they ended up choosing 22 couples. Ighodalo said the foundation is confident that God will send helpers to champion and donate to the cause.
“If we get N1, 000 or more from 100, 000 people we can treat almost 70 couples. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Imagine that by this time next year at the conference, your donation has helped 70 couples conceive and give birth.”