Dear President Obama:
I believe in fairness. I believe that my daughters life will be better than mine.
I did not grow up black in America. I grew up white, with a German Welsh heritage. In Pittsburgh, I was the only blond child on a street of Italian families. In high school in South Carolina, I was bused 45 minutes to a far away school. The high school I ended up at had restrooms marked “colored”, with the colored part painted over, but we could all see it. I was the first person in my family to go to college. When I graduated, life led me to work in a series of male-dominated professions. At the age of 52, I’ve worked as mountaineering guide, a ski instructor, a bush pilot, and presently as a law enforcement ranger for the state of Alaska. As a women, entry into, and success in these professions has been a subtle, constant struggle. I know the feeling of being too tired to fight — as many African Americans do in this country. At the age of 47, I adopted a tiny 3 1/2 year old girl from an orphanage in China. My daughter was born with only one hand. Her left arm ends below her elbow. Although I initially had concerns about my ability to guide a “special needs” child through life, an hour long call with Shriners Hospital guarenteed her prosthetic services for free until she turned 18, and erased my fears.
My daughter is 9 years old now. She is a beautiful active girl, who is on her elementary schools x-c running team and is a Junior Nordic skier in a local program. Her ‘handicap’ is not an issue for her–it’s only an issue in other people’s reaction to her. I imagine Mr. President you have had the same experience.
I live in aAaska because I love the mountains, and appreciate the diversity here in raising my child.
But most of all Mr. President I wanted you to know that my 9 yr. old Chinese daughter – who is an American citizen – stood beside me in the voting booth and watched me color in the circle next to your name on the ballet in this small Alaska town in November. I looked her in the eyes and told her “Rember this day – someday you will be proud that you stood strong next to your mom as she voted for this man”.
I want you to know Mr. President that I have nothing in comon with you except that I believe in fairness, and I know that you do too. You Mr President will help change my daughters future. Thank-you