“How I knew I was an adopted child” – Joke Silva
Famous veteran Actress, Joke SIlva was featured on a recent edition of LOVEHAVEN magazine, and she spoke on her adoption and how she got to know she was adopted by her parents.
The 56-year-old veteran, was adopted by the late Chief E.A Silva, a reputable lawyer, the then Bobajiro of Lagos and his wife late Dr Abimbola Silva a pioneering female doctor, who died in July 2015.
Mrs Joke Silva revealed this recently at the first Annual Conference of Heritage Adoption Support and Advocacy Group (HASAAG).
Read her revelation
“I remembered going out with my cousin and we met a big cousin She introduced me as ‘my cousin’s daughter and this is Dr Silva’s daughter.’ Then, the older cousin was like, ‘Dr. Silva ke? Se Doctor Silva bimo ni? (meaning does Dr. Silva have a child?) . Did Dr Silva ever has a child?’
I was so confused and when I got home I told my mum, ‘I met this lady that says you never had a child.’ My mum froze and she said, ‘don’t mind them, they are used to rubbish talk.’
But I got to know years later when I wanted to travel and was looking for my passport where my mum kept it. Since she was not around, I opened the box in her absence and I saw my adoption papers. I never discussed it with my mum because I felt it was something that would hurt her, that was why, it was kept secret from me.
Several years later, I brought home the one I wanted to marry and my mum asked my husband, if he knew I was adopted and he answered in affirmation that I had already told him.
Many years later, there was another memory of a very nasty member of our family. My mummy always very supportive of her relatives sat on our balcony and said my aunty would never be supportive of her because in the Yoruba language, ‘won o kuku bimo’ (she never supported her because she didn’t have a child of her own.)
When I heard about it I did what Pastor Rapu called the unchristian thing. (May God forgive me. I dealt with her, till today, she never believed what I did that day to her, but I dealt with her by being so cold towards her. She would never forget it.
I then realized that I needed to tell my children about my adoption. I don’t want anybody to tell them in a way it wouldn’t be supportive. I called my children and I told them the ABC of my adoption story. They now told me that grandma had already told them. It was then I learnt that somebody in my son’s school had told him about his mum being adopted. He told grandma and grandma told him everything. Little wonder, my mum and Soji, my son were very close. Till she died, my mum my son remained inseparable.
I have memories of my firstborn Dayo who died at the age of 10 and a half years. She was in coma and my husband would not allowed them removed her from life support until my mom came. He needed my mom’s approval then because grandma was so close to Dayo, they were inseparable.
Even in their wills, I was well protected. My Daddy being a lawyer said in his will that all his children, both adopted and biological, should be treated equally. I was not stressed in anyway. We were all well taken care of till my mum died at the age of 89. At 56, I still miss her but I know she has definitely gone back to her father.
On her sick bed I always sang her favorite tunes, she would be imputing the melodious tunes and she died singing to her Lord. She had prepared her family before my coming into her life because I had an incredible big Silva family.
I have a very big family I am the first daughter, I carried the responsibility of a first daughter. Everybody in my family cannot take any decision until sister Joke has come. I can’t call my parents adopted parents. They are my parents”