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angels in adoption lori holden rebecca vahle mary landrieu

The White House: Day 2 of Angels in Adoption®

Following Monday’s events, the story of Tuesday has four parts: the pinning, a meeting with White House staff, seeing my fairy blogmother, and being a guest in the home of a former Senator.

Pinning Ceremony

Angels nominated by a Senator were recognized at a breakfast ceremony in the Russell Senate building. (Angels nominated by a Representative had a lunch ceremony over on the House side.) My friends and colleagues Dixie Weber, Janelle Ison, and Rebecca Vahle accompanied me.

family to family support at russell senate building

The person who nominated me, Senator Michael Bennet (CO), was unable to attend the ceremony. Fortunately though,  former Senator Mary Landrieu (LA), who has become a big supporter of the Family to Family Support Network, decided to fill in and present me  as an Angel.

mary landrieu pinning lori holden angels in adoption ceremony

The Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute (CCAI) awarded each angel a pin.

Senator sightings: Amy Klobuchar (MN), Susan Collins (ME), Roy Blunt (MO), Bob Menendez (NJ), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Marco Rubio (FL) in the elevator.

Around us the Russell Senate Building was preparing for the media presence for the Kavanaugh hearings.

russell senate building preps for media for kavanaugh hearings
Sign says: “Assigned positions for Kavanaugh Hearing Effective 12:01AM on day hearing is scheduled.”

We left the breakfast meeting for lunch at an iconic restaurant, excited to prepare for our early afternoon engagement.

White House Meeting

Though this meeting was merely adjacent to the White House, it was held with a White House staffer in the same building where the National Security Council meets.

Rebecca, Janelle, Dixie, and I were there to advocate for Family to Family Support Network. We are four women (and there are more of us) on a mission to educate staff in hospitals. Our goal is that all women giving birth under unique circumstances are empowered to make their own best decisions for themselves and their babies.

family to family support network goes to the white house

For happy hour I had another meeting. It was affirming and heart-zinging and overall amazing. Who made me smile so hard my face hurt?

Seeing the Woman Who Started it All

You became an Angel in Adoption® in part because you wrote a book on adoption. You wrote a book on adoption because you had a blog about adoption. You had a blog about adoption because almost 12 years ago you stumbled on Stirrup Queens, who invited you to start a blog. You became fast friends with the blogger behind Stirrup Queens, Melissa Ford. But you and she live far apart, and ever since you stopped going to blogging conferences together, you only get to see her when you find yourself in Washington, DC.

melissa ford & lori holden
I stylized this as a mosaic to cover the fact that the server didn’t get us in focus.


My heart was full. Hopefully until our next meeting.

Cocktail Party

I left Melissa (that was HARD and took many many tries) and walked to a Capitol Hill neighborhood for an fahncy reception. I was still in my street clothes.

Straightaway I sneaked into a bathroom to change into the more elegant attire I carried in a very unglamorous bag. Then I stuffed my yoga pants and walking shoes into the bag, which I then shoved into a nearby closet. I tried to appear as though I attend cocktail parties on Capitol Hill all the time.

angels in adoption lori holden rebecca vahle mary landrieu
Me with Family to Family Support Network founder Rebecca Vahle and Senator Mary Landrieu.

All day and all night I could not stop smiling.

More To Come

Up next: Day 3 included visits to the offices of a Colorado Senator and a Colorado Congressman. Plus a House Foreign Affairs meeting, and getting gussied up with the ladies to attend a gala. Stay tuned.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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13 Responses

  1. You clean up well :-). And what you don’t know is that I stood on the corner and watched you leave because I wasn’t ready to walk away. I’m so proud of you! I love that other people are recognizing the amazing work you’re doing.

  2. Congratulations on a well-deserved award! And meet-ups with friends that live in far-away places are THE BEST! (Fairy Blogmother – I love it! And so true!) Someday, we’ll have to do that…

    You look fantastic at all of the events – I hope the other ongoing activities surrounding the capital didn’t take away from your enjoyment.

  3. I am so happy for you. I love that you got to make this trip, that you were honored, that you were named an angel. You do so much on so many levels for so many people, including me. An adoptee. Thank you. Xoxo

  4. Aahhhh, this is all so exciting! I’m so proud of you for being honored in this way, and how awesome to meet up with Mel and have a full circle moment! Your smiles are so big, I love it. What an amazing trip!

  5. Wow, that was so fantastic. And I love the stylised Mel and Lori pic. I’m so jealous you two got to meet up again. You’re both on my people bucket list!

  6. This was so well deserved — and getting to see Mel must have been the icing on the cake! (I will admit to being jealous!) Glad you had such a good time!

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