A Q & A with Long-Time Wonderland Supporter Emily Warner
Emily Warner and her husband, Ben, have been part of the Wonderland community for decades. In fact, Ben is a member of a small and unofficial club of supporters who have attended every Justin Van Hollebeke Golf Tournament for the last 19 years (he’s going for 20 this August). Their adorable toddler Beckett was with Emily and I while we had coffee and chatted about life and giving back to the community.
~ Mary Kirchoff, Wonderland Executive Director
A: I’m a surgical nurse at an outpatient surgery center in Edmonds. I used to work at Harborview in the operating room, which I loved, but the commute was too much once Beckett arrived. Before that I was a massage therapist, and before that I was a birthing doula. Doing labor and delivery really got me into nursing.
Q: Why is it important to you to give back to the community?
A: I was raised in Bothell, so I haven’t moved far from home. I did a lot in the community with my church growing up; I also went on mission trips as a teenager. I was introduced to Wonderland through my husband Ben, who learned of Wonderland through Nick Anderson, a high school friend. Nick got Ben involved through the golf tournament. I believe in helping those who perhaps can’t help themselves as easily and feel I get back way more than I give.
Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: Given my doula work and love of babysitting as a kid, I wasn’t sure I would ever have kids. We waited to have them well into our 30s to “get our youth out.” Little Beckett came along in 2017, and Baby #2 is due in August.
Q: What’s the boldest thing you’ve ever done?
A: Shortly after meeting Ben, I left him behind for a month or two to travel through Europe with another girlfriend between careers. Had a blast!
Q: What inspires you?
A: My son Beckett inspires me in all ways, so I want to be a good parent to him, raise him right, teach him right from wrong–to be kind, to be generous, to be grateful for what he’s got. I find myself thinking of the mission trips I took as a teen, which make you see how fortunate you are.
Q: What speaks to you about Wonderland’s mission?
A: Now that I have a child, I love being able to help families get the resources they need to support their children. You never stop worrying about your kids, so Ben and I both love being able to give to help Wonderland children.
Q: What advice do you have for new parents?
A: Cherish every moment, it’s such a short time. Try to stay present to whatever is happening, savor the little hugs and kisses. A smile can make you forget everything. Listen to what your kids need, be compassionate. Being parents with your spouse can be challenging, because parents can have different views. But you have to keep in mind that both parents have views, and you need to compromise and allow each parent to parent as it makes sense to them. Sometimes you have to let go of what you think is right in order to be a team and share responsibility for decisions.