28 May carol adams.
richmond, virginia. | sister. mother. aunt. grandmother. mentor. police officer. public servant. advocate. community leader.
Domestic Violence does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, national origin, religion, or social economic backgrounds. And the only way to combat this atrocious behavior is through education, awareness and understanding.
Over thirty years ago, Carol and Patsy Adams lost their precious mother by the hands of their father. After suffering years of domestic abuse, Orine Adams was shot and killed by the man who was supposed to protect her and the children they brought into this world—a senseless and tragic act.
However, Orine’s daughters did not allow this tragedy define their family legacy. They both grew up and chose a career in public service. These incredible sisters dedicate their lives to serving, educating, and protecting their community—a truly commendable path highlighting the freedom of choice. These women made a conscious effort to choose a career that allows them to serve and protect—a beautiful triumph, indeed.
In an effort to help those who are currently living in an unhealthy environment, Carol Adams created The Carol Adams Foundation. This outstanding organization is committed to providing support and assistance to those families experiencing domestic violence. Located in Richmond, The Carol Adams Foundation has garnered the support of the Governor of Virginia, Virginia’s Director of Public Safety, Virginia’s Attorney General, Richmond’s City Mayor, Delegates, Richmond Chief of Police and countless others. I am honored to have this amazing woman join the j. jane conversation.
How did you choose a career in law enforcement?
I feel as if my course in life was directed by God. It truly was never my desire to become a police officer. My dream was to join the United States Air Force and become a pilot and travel all over the world.
What is your favorite thing about working in the field of law enforcement?
No favorite thing, I just love people. My energy comes from interacting with others. Helping others is the purpose of my existence here on this earth.
You and your sister were in the house when you mother’s life ended. How did this strengthen your relationship?
Our relationship was strengthened because we have to depend on each. Additionally we are our mother’s legacy. It’s important for us to show our own children that life must go on, even after the loss of our mother.
Let’s talk about forgiveness. Your father served less than two years in prison for this atrocious crime. Obviously, this was before laws were put into place to respond to domestic violence appropriately. Years after his release, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. How did you garner the courage and strength to stand next to his bedside as he drew his last breath? How did you forgive him for taking away your mother?
God is awesome and never takes you on a journey without him being there to carry you through. Forgiveness was never an issue because God is the orchestrator of all life and death events. Therefore, our responsibility was only to continue honoring him as our father.
Who has been your greatest influence in your life and why?
My grandmother Mary Ruth Davis-Powell, she was born on December 5, 1914 and passed away on December 10, 2014. She will always be my hero. She was an exemplary role model, full of love, inspiration and a heart of gold. God’s light radiated through her smile, words of encouragement, and her generosity towards everyone she encountered.
How does the Carol Adams Foundation help those affected by domestic violence?
The Foundation was created to help fill some of the gaps of services for domestic violence victims such as emergency transportation assistance, emergency housing assistance, clothing and furniture needs. We also sponsor parenting programs to help parents understand the importance of a positive environment for their children.
I have read that you include children in your awareness campaigns and events. Why is this so important?
This is important because adults very rarely talk to kids about domestic violence, which creates an “ignored” amongst our youngsters who will one day co-exist in a relationship. Statistically, the data shows that females between the ages of 16 – 24 represent two populations. This group represents our target age of new mothers and most prevalent reported domestic violence victims.
What do you feel our society can do to help kids understand that violence is unacceptable in any relationship?
Our society must accept the fact that domestic violence occurs, and is not something that should be swept under a rug. We should know that it happened with the first earthly family; however, we should have advanced our mindset and stop it, rather than hiding it. As adults we must model our behavior and demonstrate good conflict resolution skills, in order to avoid having to manage anger.
Can you offer examples of how you raise money to sustain your organization?
We host many annual events. From 5K walks to galas and fashion shows, to golf tournaments, we are constantly seeking new ways to raise money to assist women. We ask that those who are interested in supporting The Carol Adams Foundation sponsor one of our many events.
What has been your greatest lesson learned in life?
The greatest lesson for me at the age of 51 is that my father God is awesome. God’s word and promises are true and real. His love is unwavering, his friendship is genuine, and his guidance is out of this world, his grace I cannot describe.
To the rest of the world, he painted a picture of us being orphans; however, when I look in the mirror I see – “My father, the creator of all as my parents.” Therefore, I’ve never been alone in spirit but, I still suffer pain from the absence of my earthly parents.
What is your best advice on how to live a graceful life?
The best advice I can give anyone is to always be true to you. Understand the purpose of your earthly existence and work towards completing your tasks. It’s important to love your family, spoil them with love and affection because memories are for a lifetime. And don’t forget to spoil yourself often!
j. jane side note: