At the beginning of my graduate education I married my best friend, Candace, in a beautiful ceremony performed by my grandfather. We had planned our marriage and our family life perfectly, delaying the growth of our family size until after the completion of our advanced degrees. But, as the beautiful and happy first months of our marriage advanced, our happiness was somewhat restrained by feelings that something was missing. Many walks and conversations concluded that maybe we should not delay having children. So, we recalculated our budget, assessed our physical and emotional stability and stamina, and in little over 40 weeks our first daughter was born.
Our little Aliza was a constant joy, beyond our expectations. But, her emotional and budgetary consumption was also beyond our projected expectations, and required us to make further adjustments with sacrifices. One such sacrifice was accepted by my wife Candace, as she graciously delayed the acquisition of her advanced diploma to manage our household and optimize the development of our children. After several months we realized that our daughter, Aliza, was special. Within weeks she could roll, after months she was crawling, by nine months she could walk, and by 18 months she could count to ten and sing many parts of the A-B-C song to her Elmo doll. My wife was also pregnant with our second child, who would be born months before the completion of my doctoral degree. It was this situation of happiness, stress, sacrifice, and great desire that caused me to ponder why my wife and I so badly wanted a family.
My pondering only resulted in more questions about the dynamic forces that drive families, and the resulting power with which families sway beliefs, opinions, education, work ethic, life expectations, and standards for future generations. Questions snowballed faster than answers, but in the end it was only a feeling that gave me a peaceful conclusion. A feeling that I believe in families!
I believe that a family can make the difference in multiple children’s lives. I believe that a family can make an individual emotionally strong and capability of rich and rewarding relationships. I believe that a family can provide intellectual capacity to human beings through the answering of youthful, innocent questions. I believe that a family can teach us that we are all children – equals – who are learning and trying to understand life. I believe that we can feel success at home when we, as families, act in unity to enjoy happiness, endure stress, make sacrifices, and live within our available capital resources. I believe in my family and I believe in families!
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