"What Drives You?" Essay Second Place Winners!


to the Second Place Winners

in the Volvo "What Drives You?" Essay Contest!

What Drives You?

Second Place Winner #1

by Wendy Harder

I roared into life as the only girl among four children, and learned early on to shift gears and apply a little gas when life didn't go exactly as "street mapped." I accelerated into the family lane four years ago when my husband and I adopted our son, Jonthan. We had been signed up with a County agency for two years with no success, when I mentioned to a co-worker that we were looking for a child to adopt. She put us in touch with a scared 18 year old who was five months pregnant and looking for adoptive parents. We embarked on the open road of an open adoption. "Katie" (this is a pseudonym to protect her privacy) and I went to doctor's appointments and LaMaze courses together. When THE DAY arrived, I was the birth coach -- and Katie and I together learned how to diaper and care for Jonathan. During Jonathan's first year, Katies was our best babysitter. That first year has some scary curves in the road, because under the law at the time, Katie could have recinded the adoption anytime during the first year. We drove ahead with optimism because we knew and loved Katie by then -- and we believed that the more she felt welcome to come and see Jonathan and how well he was loved, the less likely she would be to change her mind. We had a green light and Jonathan's adoption became final on November 3, 1994. Every year we celebrate "Adoption Day" with him and explain why he is so special. And Katie? She met a great guy (finally), married and is the happy mother of an adventuresome 18 month old boy. Her family is currently stationed overseas, but we will get together whenever they get home. Everyday I'm grateful to Katie and the love she had for her first son to try to provide the best future for him. Jonathan turned four last month -- and we'll stop often to appreciate our special family as we drive along life's byways.

What Drives You?

Second Place Winner #2

by June Marie Reese

What drives me? It's the hug from my five year old as she says "Mommy you're the best mommy in the whole wide world." It's a smile from my twenty one month old as she runs away naked when I try to diaper her. It's the way my husband looks at me after ten years of marriage. It's the days that I am feeling lonely after moving to a new neighborhood and a neighbor knocks on the door with a plate of homemade brownies. It's the yellow roses that I pick from my garden. It's the tears I shed as I think about my parents getting older. It's the feeling I get as I tuck my daughters into bed at night and watch them sleep. It's the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. It's the realization that life is precious and short.

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