Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Gift of Your Prayers

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It’s been a while, yes I know! I am sure your lives have been just as full and active as ours with the advent of the holiday season. As we celebrate the miracle of Christmas and look forward to a new year, we want to share with you the latest news from our journey to meet our father.

As you are well aware, we have been going full throttle since April, praying and putting a plan in motion to get to Nigeria to see our father and his extended family. You have supported us every step of the way with your prayers, words of encouragement, and financial gifts, and we are grateful. But despite all of this, we have not yet met our fundraising goal. The trip would cost between $8,000 and $10, 000 dollars and we have raised just under $2,000 since April. While our desire to meet our father face to face is unwavering, we've grown weary, to be honest.

This fall, Lola and I sensed the Holy Spirit leading us to refocus our hearts and to designate Sunday evenings as our set time of prayer for the trip. The Word teaches that things are accomplished not through might or power but by the move of God’s spirit (Zec 4:6). During our time of prayer, we lift every detail before the Lord, and we can tell you that it has been a blessed time of insight and renewed vision for us!

In that time, we have been lifting up to the Lord the possibility of having our father travel here instead of us traveling to Nigeria. In our eyes, it seems more feasible considering the resources we have. That said, we know there will be considerable logistical issues and barriers to getting him here, and we need God to address each one to show us that this plan is from him and not us. We want to be led by God concerning this and so we ask you, our friends, to join us in praying for God’s will to be made known to us.

The reentry of our father into our lives was nothing short of a miracle -- we are sure of that. We did not go looking for him, and every effort he made to find us led to a dead end. But the Lord planned the events of that day in 2006, when, through an early morning phone call and “chance” conversation, we were reunited with our father after 27 years! If God performed that miracle then surely he can provide the miracle of our meeting our dad face to face.

Isn’t that what this season is all aboutmiracles? God performed an even greater miracle some 2000 years ago with the virgin birth of the Savior of mankind—Jesus Christ. This truth provides us with great comfort, especially after many awkward calls with our father where we hear in his voice his desire to be reunited with us and are saddened by our inability to tell him when that will happen. We know that since God performed the miracle of the Christ child then, nothing is impossible for him now.

So if you were to ask us what we want for Christmas this year, it’s not what you might expect. We want your prayers; give us the gift of your prayers! For we know that the effectual prayers of the righteous avail much! Keep praying and believing that God still performs MIRACLES! That’s our Christmas wish list this year—prayer!

Merry Christmas and to all a year full of miracles.

Lola and Taiye Oladapo

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Dear Journey to Nigeria followers, friends and family,

Taiye and I are excited to report that with your support we have raised some $2,000 dollars towards the cost of our planned trip to Nigeria to see our father for the very first time! Since the launch of this blog page back in April by my dear friend, we have been engaged in a flurry of activity in an effort to raise the necessary monies for our trip to Nigeria. These activities included...

*A letter that we sent out to family members and close friends soliciting their prayers and financial support. Taiye and I would like to pause and say thank you to our family and close friends for supporting us financially and through your prayers! We are privileged to have each one of you join us on our journey!!!

*We also created a 10 min. documentary about our efforts (we're still looking for an editor so if you know of someone who can edit this interview for us please let us know) that we plan to post on God Tube and You Tube.

*One of our most successful and enjoyable activities was our 30th Birthday Benefit Dinner Party that our good friend Bonnie Gable hosted back in early August! We had 16 of our closet and newest friends join us for an evening of sharing , laughter and good old fashioned fellowship! We raised just under $700.00 dollars that night! Although we have said it once before, we cannot say it enough: THANK YOU! Thank you for your continued support!

We specifically want to thank
  • Bonnie, for putting the benefit together for us, in the midst of your most stressful week!
  • Thank you, Cherry, for being a constant source of encouragement to us and for your prayers over us that night and always.
  • Thank you, Susanna, for your selfless sacrifice-- seeing our need working to meet it. You're a blessing to everyone you meet. I'm glad God saw fit to have us meet 7 years ago now!
  • Thank you, Lynne for coming even after not seeing me or my sister in seven years! That really meant a lot to us…oh and thank you for your generous donation!
  • Thank you, Josh and Heather, for your faithfulness over the years...we know that we can always count on you guys to have our backs!
  • I can’t forget Amiee, who has been there for us for the past 12 years! Your faithfulness is unmatched and we are blessed to be able to call you FRIEND!
  • Thank you ,Jodie, newly weds, Brandon and Rachel, servant Kelly, and my partners in justice Neil and his girlfriend Yrine!! You guys rock!!!! Oh, I can't forget Erica! Thank you Erica for you freindship and support!
Thanks to your generosity, we are closer to reaching our goal of raising some $6,000 for our trip. But there's still a fair bit to raise! We had hoped to have raised enough to purchase our tickets by the end of the summer so that we could travel to Nigeria in December for Christmas. We have not yet reached our goal but we are encouraged because we know that ultimately God is in control of the date and time that we will be reunited with our father! That said, we are going to keep moving and praying and waiting to see what the Lord does over the next weeks, months or even years. However long it takes we are committed to taking this journey with you by our side! We will get to the “promised land” one day!

Please continue to lift our efforts up in prayer and we will continue to post our progress and interesting stories to keep you coming back and spreading the word! Thank you all and God bless each one of you!


The Oladapo Twins

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Summer update:
  • At the beginning of July, we informed our father with some sadness that we had decided to post-pone our travel plans to December 2009. Our aunt will be free to travel with us then, and hopefully we'll have raised a bit more money. We hope to purchase tickets by September 15, 2009.
  • Thanks to our dear friends and family, we have raised $1200 towards our goal of $4000! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • We are still raising money - no gift is too small.
  • Taiye is working for, to create a mural in our neighborhood! Check out the size of this piece of art! Taiye and a team of artists are transforming an ugly empty wall into something bright and beautiful.
  • We celebrated our 30th Birthday on July 31st! Hooooray!
    We're still in celebrating ;).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day!

How can we explain the emotions that coursed through us as we selected our first Father's Day card for our own dad? Taiye was quietly excited and I was visibly moved, but both of us marveled at this new experience. For so many years, we'd felt the absence of our dad every time this special day came around. What a privilege to participate this year! We looked through so many cards! Finally we decided on something simple and we have sent it with lots of love to Nigeria.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Documentary 101

We are so thankful to our friend Julia, who has a production company and has helped us to begin documenting our journey. We had our first impromptu filming session in her living room. Neat!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lola's passport arrived! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Not being huge fans of needles, we were less than thrilled to learn that we needed several immunizations before traveling to West Africa. The Center for Disease Control has a lot of information to offer about diseases and recommended vaccinations and it was all a bit overwhelming. Where should we start? Where could we go to get the right shots and medications for our trip without paying too much? Before we even got started hunting for a good clinic or doctor, Lola had a special encounter while traveling for work. Riding in a taxi cab to the airport, Lola struck up a conversation with the driver. Lola and the driver quickly discovered their Nigerian connection -- he was originally from Nigeria and had family there. He told her all about his experience with vaccinations and travel and recommended a local clinic. He even gave Lola a specific doctor's name and contact information! What an awesome lead!

We're still in the process of getting our series of required shots and, while it's not fun, it's totally worth it. We can't wait to get to Nigeria.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We Asked and God Is Answering- Through You!

We cannot tell you how excited we were to receive our first donation! "Thrilled" does not begin to describe it!!! Thank you to all of you who have given, whether by credit card on-line or by check. We are truly grateful for your generosity.


One of the blessings of this adventure is our increased connection with our family members. Though they are spread far and wide, they have embraced us as their own and we enjoyed writing to each family, telling them about this incredible opportunity and inviting their support. Signing each letter, we were amazed anew at the way our family has doubled - tripled!- since that phone call nearly two years ago. God is good! We are excited to see how God provides the means for us to reunite with our dad.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Have a Father and He Knows My Name

Lola and Taiye's Story

Early one October morning in 2007, the phone rang in our Philadelphia home. My twin sister Taiye and I had been living there together while I attended graduate school and she pursued interior design studies. After several rings, Taiye groggily picked up the phone. “Hello?” A woman’s voice answered: “Hello, I’m Fatasen and I’m looking for a family member – may I speak to Dadee Oladapo?”

Taiye explained that no such person lived there, then added, “But I’m an Oladapo.”

The woman asked how Taiye was part of the Oladapo family.

“Our dad is Nigerian,” Taiye explained. “David Oladapo.” Then she asked hesitantly, “Do you know our dad?”

“No,” said Fatasen. “But let me ask my cousin.”

By this time, Taiye had come to find me and I sat next to her, watching her intently as she held the phone to her ear and relayed what was being said.

Fatasen began to speak rapidly in a heavy British accent to another person on her end of the line. Taiye heard a male voice in the background say, "Those are the twins!" Suddenly a man’s voice burst through the phone. “I am Martin,” he said excitedly, “and your father David Oladapo is my first cousin!”

Taiye and I stared at each other speechless, and I was overcome with emotion. Taiye carefully asked questions of Martin, to make sure this was not a mistake. Through joyful tears, I choked out, “We’ve found our father!” And then I wept in earnest. Within four hours of that first phone call, we were speaking directly with our dad, David Oladapo, in Abuja, Nigeria.

Looking back, my sister and I can see that God had been moving in the weeks and months leading up to that phone call, as our desire to know our father and our heritage had grown intense. We had grown up without our father, with only mentors filling the void along the way, living with our single mother on the West Coast and then later in a tough neighborhood in Washington DC. Although we bore our father’s surname, we had only known a few details about him. Our mom had told us that he was Nigerian, that he stood six feet tall, loved to dance, enjoyed flying, and that he had been deported shortly after we were born.

For as long as I can remember, there was always an absence in our hearts, a longing for family and a place to belong. As Taiye and I entered our late twenties, the absence of our father affected us in a new way. While we grew and established ourselves, embarking on the adventures of home ownership and new professional horizons, we felt adrift and disconnected in many ways. We felt keenly our lack of family and cultural identity. While we had Nigerian names, we had no connection whatsoever to our Nigerian heritage. Attending a friend’s wedding, we were painfully reminded of what we did not have. As our friend’s father walked her down the aisle, I got a lump in my throat. Our friend’s family was from Malawi and the wedding was packed with relatives, some of whom had flown in from Africa to join in the celebration. Vibrant music, color and laughter filled the reception hall as proud relatives smiled brightly and shared in traditional Malawian chants and dances. We stood there with smiles frozen on our faces, rejoicing for our friend but also aching inside at the vision before us – a vision of what we did not have.

From a very young age Taiye and I had sensed someone divine watching over us, but it was not until high school that, through the outreach of Christian friends and Young Life leaders, Taiye and I came to faith in Jesus Christ. Over the years, we grew as Christians and came to know God as our Father, grateful for His unconditional love and protection. Still, we always wondered about the father that God had chosen to give us life.

A few weeks before that life-changing phone call, we were given a gift – a clue that God was getting ready to answer our prayers for family and identity. We were visiting a new church, hungry for that familial connection, and during the service we heard a song entitled He Knows My Name that ministered to us in a powerful way. As the words washed over us, it was as if our Heavenly Father was speaking to us. You are not alone. You are not abandoned. I am your Father and I and I hear you when you call. We left that church service with new hope in our hearts. Come what may, we had a Heavenly Father who loved us.

And then miraculously we were reunited with our earthly father, who also knows us by name! During that first phone call, cousin Martin had told us that our father, unable to return to the U.S. himself due to visa issues, was always asking Martin to search for us. “Any time I travel to the United States, your father asks me to find you. He tells me, ‘My twin daughters are in California I think. Their names are Lola and Taiye!’”

The floodgates have opened in the ensuing months, and we have become connected with more aunts, uncles and cousins than we could have ever dreamed of! From Arizona to New York, from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, we have discovered family members who have embraced us with open hearts.

We spent the first year traveling and participating in an array of family events – our cousin Tuby’s wedding in AZ, the christening of our twin niece and nephew in DC, and a mini family reunion in Philadelphia.

The journey to this place and time in our lives has been thrilling. Nevertheless, we know it won’t be complete until we finally see our father face to face.

This is where you come in, all our friends, family and co-workers and even strangers. We are asking you all to help us complete this journey by supporting us with your prayers and financial resources as we prepare to travel to see our father for our 30th birthday at the end of July!

Our aunt, our father’s sister, has graciously agreed to travel with us to Nigeria to facilitate our meeting. With the help of you, our dear friends and family, we seek to raise funds to help us cover the cost of our trip this July. We need to have $6,000 by the end of April in order to purchase reasonably priced plane tickets and your assistance is greatly appreciated. We seek to raise enough funds to cover our expenses, which include immunizations, passport and visa fees, in-country travel, food, gifts, and accommodations. (If you have questions about our itinerary or budget, please feel free to ask.)

Please know that no amount is too small. Having worked on the Obama campaign, I know how thousands of dollars can be raised by thousands of individuals giving as little as $5.00.

Also, in an effort be a blessing to others, we have decided to donate any extra funds that we might raise to Young Life DC, to support the work of this ministry that shaped our lives and introduced us to God our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Thank you in advance for choosing to be a part of our story and our journey! May the God of Heaven continue to bless you as you have blessed us!

For information, please e-mail

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Money Can Buy

Watching the Super Bowl with both Cardinal and Steelers fans was a thrilling experience. With each unexpected twist or spectacular play, someone erupted with jubilant yelps while someone else groaned in agony. As a former fullback on the soccer field, I was beyond pleased to see Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison run a hundred yards with an interception to score a touchdown. (Huzzah! Can't keep those defenders down!) Someone remarked that such a close, exciting game must also make the advertisers happy, especially those whose ads aired in the second half.

While there were some commercial gems, what
Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell once said about the halftime show was true of this year's pricey, inane productions: "[they] will make you wonder if Western Civilization deserves to survive." One bright spot, however, was seeing Richard Dean Anderson on screen again, facing yet another ticking time-bomb. Pepsi's production was hardly worthy of MacGyver, but we recalled the great Mastercard commercial he did years ago and smiled. Tube sock: $4. Paper clip, ballpoint pen, rubber band, tweezers, turkey baster: $14. Little things that get you through the day: Priceless.

And it reminded me of why I am helping Lola and Taiye raise funds to go to Nigeria. Some may wonder why employed professionals need financial assistance to take a trip. Well, it is more than just travel expenses that need to be covered and it is more than just a trip, of course. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a parent. And a trip to Africa means taking time off from one's life here (taking an unpaid leave of absence from work, for example), and that gets expensive.
Airfare, visa/passport fees, recommended vaccinations, in-country accommodations, in-country travel: $$$. Spending a month becoming father and daughter at last: Priceless.

To learn more about how you can contribute, please email us at (On-line donation capability coming soon!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I begin this blog on a snowy January day in the nation's capital, just two weeks after the historic inauguration of our 44th President. My desire is that through this blog, I may share a story with many people -- maybe even as many as the throng I stood among on the Mall, stamping our feet in the cold as a new President's inspiring challenge washed over us. It is my hope that, in the end, the people who read this story will respond to what I believe is another inspiring challenge. I seek to raise support to send my dear friends Lola and Taiye to Nigeria to see their father – a father they have never met, about whom they had no information until two years ago, but a father they have been missing and hoping for all of their lives.

On Inauguration Day, Lola and her twin sister Taiye magically managed to be in the right place at the right time to receive a wave from Barack and Michelle Obama as they walked during the parade. This was a truly fitting experience, for Lola became a fan of Barack Obama long before he appeared on the national radar. After hearing him speak and reading his books, she was convinced—and proceeded to tell everyone— that he would be President of the United States (though even she was surprised at how quickly her vision came to fruition). Even some of her politically savvy friends scratched their heads and asked, "Obama who?” Lola was ahead of us all, rallying the troops around the vision of Hope and Change long before it was popular, long before it seemed expedient to do so.

So when she told me that she had decided to sell some signed Obama memoirs to finance her trip to Nigeria, I swallowed hard. She asked me for appraisal advice and I referred her to a collector friend. But I could not stop thinking about how beautiful and simultaneously sad such a transaction would be. I applaud her priorities, but I want her to be able to keep her memoirs so she can share them with her new-found father. Indeed, those signed volumes are valuable symbols of who she is, where she has been, and how she is impacting many people for good. If ever there was a means of catching up on a lifetime of experiences with her dad, it is Lola’s sharing of these memoirs. With her voice and her eyes she will fill him in on the details of her life story, but the special place these books and their message have in her heart give shape to her narrative, a framework for communicating so much of her journey. She deserves that. She has been through so much, hopes for so much, and gives so much. I want her father to meet her in person soon, with fire in her eyes, love in her heart, wisdom on her lips, and treasured volumes in her hands.