A few years ago, my family and I had the great honor of meeting President George W. Bush in person at the White House. We and several other families were invited as guests to the signing of the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003. We were invited because we adopted four children (which apparently was a big deal).
The day, December 3, was very exciting. I had to get up at 5:30 AM (that part was not exciting in the least) and get ready. We had to be in Washington, D.C. at the White House at 8 o’clock. That might have been easy, except that finding parking for a 15-passenger van in D.C. on a work day is nigh impossible! Finally, my dad found a garage where he had parked when he was working in the area. The guys knew Dad and found us a spot with a bunch of work vans. Worked for us! We walked several blocks to the White House and had to go through all sorts of security checks.
We walked into the White House through a door being held by a stoic and immobile Marine. Inside, the White House Christmas tree greeted us, sparkling with beautiful lights and towering far over our heads. We sat in its shadow and waited for instructions. Eventually, we were taken into the Roosevelt Room, which is directly off of the Oval Office, and given our places. Not our seats, because we were to stand next to the presidential podium, directly next to the president as he spoke! The other adoptive families sat in the audience. I don’t really know why our family was given the special honor of standing next to the president instead of, for example, the couple that had adopted seven teenage boys! Maybe we just fit into the speech, or maybe they thought we had a good diverse group. Who knows. Maybe it was God giving us a special blessing.
The president appeared and gave his speech. I won’t put the speech here, but you can read it by going to http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031202-1.html. Afterwards, he greeted us; he shook my hand and hugged me, and kissed my mom’s cheek. My youngest brother had an especially unique experience in this story; you can read about it if you google “Terrance Martin President Bush”.
This was an amazing experience, but do you know what I learned from it? The President, despite everything surrounding him, is just a man. He has a monstrous salary and a personal mass of body guards–but he is just a man. He has very blue eyes and hair in his ears–and he is just a man. We were very excited about seeing a simple man. How much more thrilling will it be the day I meet One who is the God-Man? Our family dressed our very best, went on our best behavior, and were jittering with expectation. How much more should I be expectant, how much more should I clothe my soul with the best I have, in the presence of my Lord?
Despite the simple humanity of the President, it was still a thrilling experience. The picture below probably shows the excitement on our faces. By the way, I think the blonde senator on the left had a crush on my brother TJ (the one standing directly next to her). Haha! He was so embarrassed.