A congregational minister, I’ve encountered families created by love, necessity, and surprise.

A congregational minister, I’ve encountered families created by love, necessity, and surprise.  When conducting weddings and funerals, I thank God for placing people in families, an uncanny, miraculous, and coincidental life event.   It’s also true that my family was crafted by a mysterious combination of human choices and capacities to love and adapt. It’s uncanny that a single minister like me can have kids; adoption made it possible.  Though delayed for weeks and weeks, miraculously, the right combination of official documents traversed through Russian bureaucracy, permitting my new 8 year old daughter and me to arrive home on December 24.  Coincidentally, my older daughter’s given name, Anastasia, means “resurrection” in Greek—literally, to cause to stand, as we do now, a family (though we lean against each other, sometimes.) After that, I adopted Marina, because I could.  And only in the past year, I married Will, a local bachelor farmer, because we realized that becoming a family of four would be a loving, needed, and surprisingly good choice for all of us.  Sure, I work on interesting professional gigs that stimulate me.  But what I do is mother two daughters and enjoy a marriage partnership, because I can. 

This essay and portrait is part of a community-art and leadership project called “wdydwyd?” Tony Deifell (KNLP-16) invited his colleagues in the Kellogg Fellowship to reflect on what motivates them to follow their personal and professional paths by answering the question, “Why do you do what you do?”

“wdydwyd?” has reached over 1.5 million people worldwide and it has been used for team-building at Google, Twitter, many colleges and universities, nonprofits and K-12 classrooms. And, according to Wired Magazine, “In Silicon Valley, that question has been the hottest team-building meme since Outward Bound – and it’s spreading.” For more information: http://wdydwyd.com/leadership.

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