Hugs & High Fives Everyone:~If you know me personally, you will soon realize how the story that I'm about to share is totally blowing my mind!~
A few weeks ago, I found myself up late one night in the midst of planning our Autumn Luau for Special Needs families.
As you already know, the planning and execution of these events are my top priority. During our planning phase, my partner Jenny and I were reaching out to local individuals and organizations in order to spread the word about our awesome venture! We want local families to know that we present social dances for our community in a JUDGEMENT FREE environment! Jenny told me earlier that day that she'd sent an email to Ellen DeGeneres to share about our venture.
I smiled at the gesture but instantly thought, "Ellen receives so many letters about people doing awesome things - there's no way she's going to see or respond to ours..."
(Yes - I know that I'm pessimistic).
A little after midnight, I found myself still thinking about what Jenny told me. She didn't care about the amount of letters that Ellen receives; she still shared because it was important to her. Her gesture led me to think about one of my favorite quotes:
"Carve your own path. Plant your own flowers. Be your own biggest fan! If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will!"
Something about that quote always gets me going! I now knew exactly who I wanted to reach out to about our events.
Yes - I knew that he would likely not read my letter.
Yes - I knew not to hold my breath for a response - not even from the person who is assigned to read and respond to his letters. (Pessimism wins again.)
Yes - Despite my doubt, I was still proud of all of the work that we are doing and wanted to share it with him! Why not?!
I sipped another glass of wine from the once-full bottle (Don't you dare judge me) and I started my letter:
"Dear President Obama:"
(Sidebar: If you know me personally, then you know that I absolutely adore President Obama, FLOTUS Michelle Obama, and their daughters. Political parties aside, President Barack Obama is just the coolest guy to me. I just love their family. I could go on and on about him and his amazing wife & family, but I'll continue with my story)
So...I started my letter by acknowledging the fact that I knew that he would never read it. I also acknowledged the fact that I would never receive a response from him - and I was OK with that. I almost felt silly.
Once I got that out...I wrote him the longest letter that I have ever written in my life!
I told him all about Sneak and how her journey with autism has allowed me to find my true calling in life. I shared how amazing she is and even told him about how slick she can be one minute, then totally sweet and innocent the next. I spoke about my entire family and how they support me in raising her, as it truly takes a village. I told him about Jenny and how she has been such a gift to Sneak.
I shared my frustrations about the now 9 year long wait list for us to receive the Autism Waiver from the state of Maryland.
I had to joke about the extreme wait being his fault. (If you keep up with political stuff, you know that people like to blame EVERYTHING on President Obama).
After sharing all of that, I thanked him for his service to our country before telling him about our venture.
I provided him with the background around it (links / pictures, all of that) and included a personal invitation to him and his family to attend our Luau. "This is something you must see for yourself!" I said. I explained what I plan to do in the future and invited him to reach out to me if he wanted to share any information or...you know…needed to put me in touch with his Secret Service guys so they could do a security sweep of the venue prior to his arrival at the Luau...
(OMG - could you IMAGINE THAT?! They roll up dressed in Luau gear and party with us? Y'all know that he LOVES to dance too!)
OK...back to the story.
I finished and sent my letter, placed my now empty wine bottle into the recycle bin (Again - don't you dare judge me) and called it a night. I woke up early the next morning to finish planning what ended up being a FANTASTIC event! No, President Obama and his family didn't make it out, but I'm pretty sure that he was traveling on that day.
(I may or may not have checked his travel schedule online. What did I tell you about judging me?)
Over the weekend, I started sifting through my Junk Email folder to clean things up a bit and I FROZE when I saw the message below - sent from The White House's official email account.
Yes, it's legit.
Yes, it's verified.
Yes, he wrote it.
Yes, I'm still stoked about it.
As busy as he is, he took the time to reply to my letter. While he was at it, I imagine that he took the time to view the pictures that I sent as well as my website. So...technically, he knows who we are!
(If you want to be a Debbie Downer and tell me that he probably didn't write the reply...
"Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you!" In other words...don't.)
I am ecstatic today to know that one of my all time favorites knows what I am doing and encourages that. Who knows? Maybe we will be invited to visit them before they leave office!
Day...Month...YEAR - MADE!
Always be your biggest fan!
:a shoe that grips the foot chiefly at the toe and heel; especially :a close-fitting woman's dress shoe with a moderate to high heel