MARQUETTE, Mich.—Each semester of the 2018-19 academic year, Northern Michigan University Athletics will highlight nine different student-athletes or stories for their significance on and off the playing surface. The features are due to be released approximately every two weeks in accordance with the corresponding athletic seasons. Each feature will touch on student-athletes and their interesting and unique journeys at Northern Michigan University.
In the fourth edition of the series, NMU Athletics highlights Peyton McNabb of the NMU Women's Soccer team.
Peyton McNabb (Springfield, Missouri) always wondered about her birth mother but never thought too much about it. One day she came home to her parents ready to show her photographs of her birth mother and siblings.
McNabb had always known she was adopted but never thought she would have the opportunity to learn about her birth mother. After digesting the information, she thought it was time to meet her.
"The feeling when I first saw her, all of our interactions felt super natural, like I had known her for so long." McNabb said of her first encounter with her birth mother and siblings. "It was like I had always been a part of their family, in a way."
After getting to meet her birth mother, McNabb now has a strong relationship with both parental units in her life. "I talk to her everyday about my struggles being a freshman and an athlete." McNabb said about her relationship with her birth mother. "She helps me get a more motivational mindset and she's just really good at giving advice."
McNabb's parents have always been supportive of her relationship with her birth mother and siblings. "My parents were always pushing me to have this relationship with her and it was really cool." McNabb spent a chunk of her summer visiting her birth mother in St. Louis. She had many opportunities to visit their hometown and spend time getting to know her family.
Along with a good relationship with her birth mother, McNabb has a strong relationship with her siblings too and plans to have them up to visit and watch her games before the season's end. "My youngest sister loves soccer and wants to be just like me." McNabb is excited for the opportunity to have them in Marquette and show them her life as a student-athlete.
In her freshmen season, McNabb has started in seven matches, four conference contests. As a midfielder, she has a strong offensive and defensive mindset on the field and has helped cut the Wildcat's goals against average in half while the team has also doubled their goals per match. With three contests remaining, the Wildcats have already surpassed last year's win total by one game.
Regarding her birth mother, McNabb admires her and appreciates what she has done for her. "They gave you up for a better life so you could have more opportunities than they could give you," McNabb elaborates. "I think she's such a strong person for being able to let me go and now come into my life and help me in so many different ways."
It is the combined support of McNabb's parents and birth mother that have helped her kick off her successful career as a student-athlete at Northern Michigan University.