We first met the Brandlis when we had just moved to the island and were checking out various day cares for our son Henry. It was on our final stop that we met a little boy named Ro, who walked right up to Henry and began to play with him as we talked to the teachers and the director. They became fast friends as 2 year olds often do.
A couple of days later when I was picking Henry up, another couple came to pick up there child. I was surprised to see that this white couple was picking up their African American child. We learned that they were foster parents and had Ro with them since he was an infant. Right away I was struck by the bond they had as a family, BJ was outwardly sunny and friendly and Steve was polite and calm. Ro clearly adored them and they him. In fact, it was because of the Brandlis that we decided to begin our own journey as foster parents and asked them for lots of advice and looked to them for basic information and comfort when navigating the complex foster care system.
When BJ and Steve were presented with the opportunity to adopt Ro, they chose instead to work with a family who Ro could more easily identify with growing up. I know what some people might be thinking, how could they "give away" the child that they raised? It was simple, Steve and his wife knew that Ro's life and his future was more important than what they needed for themselves. They knew that having Ro grow up with siblings and parents who looked similar to him would help him find his own identity easier.
A few months later we brought home our first foster child (who we would end up adopting a year later). She was really shy, she was nervous and scared. I kept her close to me, carrying her around on my hip everywhere we went. She spoke just a little bit and was clearly nervous. One day that week, I took her into Market Chef, Steve was there sitting with his wife having lunch. I said hello to them and introduced our foster daughter and our foster daughter literally DOVE out of my arms and right into Steve's lap.
What is that saying? Never trust people that animals and kids don't like? While Steve talked to her and asked her questions, his wife doted on her and I just watched as our girl just began to shine in all the light they cast upon her.
Over the years we have had 2 legal issues where we needed advice, Steve was always the first one we would call. What I liked best about him was that even though we considered him a friend he was very straightforward, professional and realistic with us. He delivered information to us in such a calm way that even if the news was bad, we felt safe and trusted the choices he made.
I am so thankful that we met little Ro that day (incidentally Steve and BJ give us updates on Ro and are still very much involved with him as family friends), and that the Brandlis came into our lives. Without them, we would not have our daughter. We know that no matter what is going on, if we need help with our kids, someone to join our fundraiser, legal advice or just a kind hello on the sidewalk we can count on them.
I can't imagine voting for anyone other than Steve Brandli. I know that he has the heart and mind to listen, carefully organize facts, be sensitive to a person's story and so many other factors when it comes to making sometimes hard choices in a court room.
- Voter turnout 81.43 percent in San Juan County; Updated vote totals
- Election results: Krebs, Gaylord and Jewett win, affordable housing REET approved
- Grifo: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Gaydos: Supports Gaylord for county Prosecutor
- Ranker: Supports Jewett for District Court Judge
- Longan: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Storey: Supports Asher for Sheriff
- Editorial: Brandli is the logical choice for District Court Judge
- Editorial: A hesitant Yes For Homes
- Mock Election now open for all Washington K-12 students
- 44 Businesses and Organizations: We support Yes for Homes
- Evans and Brownell: Support Randy Gaylord
- Samish Indian Nation Chairman: Supports Initiative 1631
- Mager: Elect Steve Brandli
- Some ballots cast, others still on the way to voters' mailboxes
- Alexander: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Nick Power: I know where the problems are in the county
- Gaylord running for 7th term as county Prosecutor
- Did Krebs and Gaylord lie to the county Council?
- Brennan: Vote No on Initiative 1639
- Ibold: A reluctant Yes for Homes
- Brandli would like to be the next District Court Judge
- Jewett's goal to be a judge may be in sight
- Weiss: Endorses Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Delay and Rands: Vote for Brandli for District Court
- Drath: Vote Yes for Homes
- Lange: Why I Support Randy Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- OPALCO supports WA I-1631
- Appel: Our Necessary Alliance
- Retired FBI agent endorses Asher for Sheriff
- Fouquette: How do I fairly navigate the Sheriff’s Guild endorsement?
- Brennan: I-1639 is Wasted Energy
- Brash: Vote Yes for Homes
- Rhoads: Vote Yes for Homes
- Graham: Vote Yes for Homes
- Wilding: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Kaiman: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Peter: Supports Krebs for Sheriff
- Sheriff's Guild endorses Krebs
- Brennan: Doesn't trust Sheriff Krebs
- OPALCO Supports Affordable Housing Solutions: Vote YES FOR HOMES
- Johns: Supported Krebs for sheriff in 2014, will not vote for him in 2018
- Strutz: Vote Yes for Homes
- Roberts: Vote Yes for Homes
- Ford: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Franciosi: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Murray: Affordable Housing - From A Senior Point of View
- Grout: Vote Yes for Homes
- Appleton: Commends Gaylord and Jewett
- Magee: Vote Yes for Homes referendum
- deGavre: Why I won't vote for Gaylord
- Zwilling: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Does the Brady letter matter?
- Moe: Three Reasons to Re-elect Randy Gaylord
- Six attorneys express support for Nick Powers
- Latsinova: Supports Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Olson: Businesses hurt by affordable housing shortage
- Milliken: Supports Asher for Sheriff
- Alderton: Our community needs safe and affordable homes
- Flanery: Supports Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- How much are the candidates spending and who is contributing?
- Pollard: Time to retire Gaylord
- Guest Column by Alex MacLeod: Gaylord ignored warnings about disgraced detective
- Stamper: Supports Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- Dustrude: Supports Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- Orcas Resource Center: Vote Yes for affordable housing REET
- Have questions about Affordable housing REET?
- Drozd: Supports Gaylord for prosecutor
- Lawrence: Vote yes for Affordable Housing REET
- Jung: Vote yes on Affordable Housing REET
- Barbour: Vote Yes on Housing REET
- Ever wonder how ballots are counted? Process may surprise you
- Kenimond: Supports Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Pederson: Supports Gaylord for PA
- Tharp: Support Nick Power for San Juan County Prosecutor