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Anchor In Her Life

As Sade Baderinwa found out, sometimes a mother is who you find to love you.

May 12, 2002|By Stephanie Shapiro | By Stephanie Shapiro,Sun Staff

Living in Montgomery County with her German mother, Baderinwa was introduced to "a more global perspective." But she also had to adjust to living with a suburban white family, after growing up in an urban black community. Her environment had changed completely. And now, it was often Baderinwa's turn to explain her place in life.

It was a struggle to adjust, but one that she was better able to endure, aware that she was well loved. And while House kept her distance, she always encouraged Baderinwa to talk about her emotions, as did her birth mother. Even today, House finds herself reminding Baderinwa to let go of anger. "It can strangle you," she says. "You can ask why something happened, and no matter how many answers you get, it never satisfies you."

Today, Baderinwa is in touch with her birth mother and father, who both live in the Baltimore-Washington area.

When Edie married Richard Foster, a WBAL cameraman who is now program director for the Newseum in Washington, he knew "Sade was going to be a part of our lives," House says. Their children, son R.J., now in college, and Nicole, a high school senior, "see her as their big sister. House's "entire family feels very blessed that God sent her to us," she says.

Beginning broadcaster

Baderinwa graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she majored in agriculture business and resource economics. It was on a solo backpacking trip through Europe, where she found herself interviewing people she met on the road, that Baderinwa realized she was destined to be a reporter. She came to WBAL more than two years ago after newscaster positions in Washington and Roanoke, Va.

As she learns the ropes of broadcasting and the attendant public role her position demands, Baderinwa says she has a "shining example" to look to. She remembers driving with House to numerous speaking engagements and guest appearances, and learning from her "how important it is to be involved in your community."

For House, in her early 50s, "the people you cover on a day-to-day basis -- your response to the community," are more important than "just zapping somebody."

In that spirit, Baderinwa works with disadvantaged kids through a local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She was a vocal booster for the city's new batting helmet law, passed last December. And when the Maryland Terps celebrated their NCAA championship at City Hall last month, Maryland alum Baderinwa was the jubilant emcee.

Baderinwa is a natural in front of the camera, but from time to time, veteran House will advise her. "I will suggest, 'Don't wear that blouse again, it's distracting.'" Or she'll tell Baderinwa to take a deep breath to focus if she's been "kicking words, left and right." It's natural to make mistakes, House says. "It's how you react to those mistakes."

As always, though, House is careful not to interfere too much. "She's allowed me the room to find my own way," Baderinwa says.

House also wants Baderinwa to continue reporting, even as she co-anchors the morning show. "That's the foundation for anyone in the field," she says.

And that's where the young journalist will meet and perhaps be able to help the children who may not have an Edie House in their lives. Says Baderinwa, "I don't know where I'd be if Edie hadn't stepped up to the plate."

But it wasn't just House who helped to rear that little girl. It was also a joint effort by grandparents, godparents and others. "So many touched her and loved her unconditionally," House says.

This isn't an unusual Mother's Day story, House says. "There are many people in this city who are doing the very same thing; just taking some child and loving them and taking care of them."

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