This I Believe

Elizbeth - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on August 5, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
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A little girl whose name means “Hope” recently touched our lives.

After a year of ups and downs, my husband and I completed the process to become foster parents. Just last month we agreed to our first short term shelter care placement. This basically means we babysat a beautiful little girl for two weeks while the state looked for a member of her extended family to care for her during a time of crisis, a kinship placement.

I have worked in politics and with bureaucracies for about 18 years and through a variety of experiences I have seen many of us ‘last of the boomers’ grow cynical. A fact that was abundantly clear when discussing the choice between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama. Many of my most respected friends supported Hillary because “they were cynical” – they did not believe hope could bring about change.

I respected these opinions and thought about them. I often wondered why w/ all my cynicism I continued to support the candidate who brings hope to so many including me. I do not believe hope will fix the problems of the country or the world, but I hold hope that Mr. Obama brings something different to the table. Yesterday if pressed by the most skilled interrogator I doubt I could have articulated what this “something different” was … today, maybe I can.

After two plus weeks I cannot deny that we became attached to the little girl whose name means “Hope”. The afternoon before she was taken to her kinship placement we went to the park to play in the sprinklers. She smiled and laughed and giggled.

As I started to talk about leaving the park I looked down into the beautiful eyes of “Hope” and simultaneously saw a huge smile, heard the word “more” and the sign language sign for more – a first and a skill we had been working on. With pride we once again ran thru the sprinklers … next thing I knew I was given a big ole hug and a kiss. In that moment there was nothing but hope ….hope for her future, hope for me, hope for our country and hope for our world.

Shortly thereafter, I wondered who was helping who?

I guess I am a sucker for hope. This is not to say i am not cynical – it is just to say that I treasure the moments when cynicism leaves my mind and hope creeps into my heart because it is in these moments I gain the strength to be a better person.

I hope that even the greatest cynics among us can find their moments of hope . Perhaps it is these moments that Mr. Obama is giving to so many of us. If this is true, it does not really matter if he changes the politics of our country because by offering moments of hope he strengthens “We the people” which in turn will strengthen and soften our country.