Today I shipped all my children off to their destinations, all except Jacob, printed off a map of Salem and drove down to the capitol building. Governor Kulongoski had agreed to meet with our Northwest Families With Heart group for the signing of the Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week Proclamation. A few of us met before the proclamation signing at a pizza place a few miles away. We were able to connect names and faces as we chatted. It is always wonderful to put a face with a family you have been praying for continually and sharing in the joys and sorrows.
After lunch we drove to the capitol building and were guided up to the Governor’s office.
These are the children with Congenital Heart Defects that were able to make it to the signing standing in front of the Governor’s desk. There were two families there who had lost their child to CHD as well.
Governor Kulongoski signing the proclamation. It’s a bit blurry, Jacob was awefully wiggly (which is why he isn’t in this pic, heh. Hopefully the other mom’s will post their pics and I will get some better ones for Jacob’s book, for now this will do).
This next photo is of our good friend Michael, Jacob and the Governor. We have known Michael and Brigette for a number of years now, we played in orchestra together in the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra about 5 years or more ago. They lost their son to CHD two years ago.
Finally we have Jacob hiding out behind the CHD Awareness balloon.
It was a fun and exciting day. There will be a very nice article in the Salem newspaper about CHD awareness, and the governor mentioned that the state was working on some legislation for additional hospital testing before kids are sent home, in hopes of catching more CHD cases before it too late, or next to too late. That was exciting news. All in all it was a wonderful meeting and we all hope that it will spread awareness of Congenital Heart Defects.
Lastly, what would a trip to the governor’s office be without some usual, fun goofy business?
The governor had gone back into his private office and we headed out into the lobby area just outside of his public office. As I stood and chatted with the other parents while waiting to sign the guestbook, Jacob played with his red heart balloon quite happily.
“Uh-oh,” I heard a dismayed and slightly panicked todler exclaim.
As I turned to him I saw his beautiful red balloon, now detatched from it’s string, float to the ceiling. Jacob was staring at it, and I could see the tears begin to well in his eyes. I knew that if I tried to leave without that balloon I would have screaming woe-begotten toddler on my hands. The staff all rallied around me and tried to figure out a way to retrieve the lost balloon (all the left-over balloons had left already). One gentleman snagged a long pole and a folding chair, another lady got some tape. With a great deal of team effort and to a thunderous round of applause, I carried a very happy and smiling toddler out of the governor’s office this afternoon. 🙂 As I thanked everyone for retrieving the balloon someone laughed and said, “If we can’t retrieve a balloon for a little guy, what can we do?” That made me smile.