Last week the Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced the launch of a new initiative called Oklahoma Fosters. Chris is part of a non-profit, 111Project, that works in Tulsa and Oklahoma City advocating between the government, tribes, and churches with the goal of foster/adoptive family recruitment and support. He has been working tirelessly for weeks on the launch of this new campaign. He is passionate, driven and simply loves what he gets to do.
The kids and I, along with his parents, headed to the Oklahoma Historical Center to be at the official launch. The Governor spoke, as well as, Chris and a few others.
Foster families. Kids in the foster system. Birth families. Churches. Senators. State Representatives. Tribes. Businesses. Non-profits. So much diversity and so many groups that don’t always get along…coming together with a goal to make sure our kids are in loving, safe homes. A goal to see foster families waiting for kids, not kids bouncing around between shelters and group homes waiting for foster families. In true Ashley form – I found the crowd and then looked for the farthest place from the crowd. Actually, one of my sons found a perfect location for us. We watched from upstairs with the perfect view and room for little legs to spread out.And then their dad took the stage. He did awesome. I tend to be critical and always offer him more suggestions for improvement than he would care to hear. Honestly, it was the best I’ve ever heard him. When he finished the next speaker said, “Drop the mic.” So true. Chris got up there, shared from his heart with passion and conviction. It was a drop the mic moment. I was so proud of him.
I would have just stayed up on that top floor for the rest of the morning, but I have a wonderful extroverted father-in-law. Thankfully, he led us all down to make sure the kids got to meet the Governor. I would have never pushed through the crowd. My crew was pretty excited about this picture, so I am glad my father-in-law made it happen. I am incredibly thankful for my in-laws. They spoil me and the kids…and love us deeply!
The event lasted a little over an hour. Needless to say, my kids were ready to get some energy out and strip off their button down shirts. Heaven forbid they have to wear something other than gym clothes for longer than an hour! We all deserved a reward…them for making it through the morning…and me, I deserved something too.
Enter Cuppies & Joe.I had planned on writing a whole post on Cuppies & Joe (it is that good). However, we arrived at a pretty busy time and I was afraid my daughter would eat all my cookies if I took any longer to get pictures. We’ll be going back soon…and I will share more then.
After we refueled on coffee, cupcakes and cookies, we headed back to the capitol to explore.The dome of the capitol includes paintings by Charles Wilson Banks. Mr. Banks used subjects from his hometown of Miami, OK in his depictions of Oklahoma history. My father-in-law is from Miami and shared with us the stories of some of the faces in the paintings (those used as models). The face of the doctor who delivered Chris’ older brother is in one painting. While tromping around the capitol, we visited the Senate room. We also stepped into the gallery of the House of Representatives while it was in session. My 6 year old daughter could not stop dancing as we walked along the marble hallways. She told me if she lived in that ‘house’, she would dance all day.
I joked with a friend that I was totally winning at homeschooling that day. Governor. Capitol. Senate. History. Law. Cupcakes. It was a good day – due in large part that my in-laws tromped around with us while Chris was in meetings. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into Oklahoma history and into state government with the kids before we return again. I’m also looking forward to another coffee and big chocolate chip cookie.