When Bill and I decided to become foster parents, we knew we were facing the most challenging test of our lives. And it was: standing in the gap for scared and traumatized kids stretched me in ways I didn't know were possible. It was the hardest, and also the best, thing I've ever done.
We adopted our son and daughter in 2013, and their sister joined us this past November. We're now a family of five, which still blows my mind sometimes!
As part of our commitment to open adoption, we spend the first week of July with our kids' extended biological family. Every year, fifteen of us pile into a shared beach house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and make wonderful memories.
For that week, there is no difference between "biological" and "adoptive" family -- we're all in it together. It has been incredibly healing for our kids, and an unexpected blessing for Bill and me.
What does any of this have to do with my campaign for Virginia House of Delegates? A lot, it turns out.
This year, I was told by multiple political insiders that I needed to stay in town over the 4th of July holiday, so that I could participate in the local festivities. I was told it was essential to be seen at the parades, the BBQs and the picnics.
Reader, I said no.
I am writing this email to you from the Outer Banks, where my three kids are currently losing a water balloon fight against their uncles, whose excellent aim has apparently not been passed down through the gene pool. There is much laughter and excessive shrieking, and I wouldn't miss it for the world.
While skipping out on "essential" campaign events maybe looked down upon by the political insiders, I hope you see a candidate who:
Prioritizes family over easy photo opportunities
Does the right thing, even when it's hard
Keeps her eyes on what really matters
I missed my fundraising quota this week because I was busy picking wet towels up off the carpet, applying sunscreen to squirming bodies, and negotiating the appropriate number of times a person should be allowed to have ice cream before dinner.*
If you can help me get back on track, I will be very grateful!
PS -- if you have thought about becoming a foster parent, I would be delighted to talk with you about our experiences. My schedule is a little hectic, but I'm always delighted to carve out some time to talk about fostering/adoption.
* The correct answer is once a week.**
** Unless you're at the beach. Then you can do it every night as long as you put your ice cream bowl in the dishwasher before mom sees it.