We were humbled, amazed and overjoyed at the receipt of a very special gift from the White House. In April, the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, wrote an inspiring letter to Adam. In the letter, he commended Adam for his virtual hugs and his message of love and connection. He said that for all the people around the world working hard to beat COVID-19 – “your message helps give them strength, and it gives me strength”.
Adam was inspired by the President’s words, as he told him to work hard in school and never let himself give up if he wants to be a CAPCOM. The President shared his childhood struggles with a speech impediment with Adam, and how he worked very hard to overcome it. He knows this was his struggle to overcome, saying – “It’s part of my story. And one day, if you end up sitting in the CAPCOM seat in Houston, I know you will inspire even more people to reach for the stars and follow their dreams.”
The President signed off by saying: “Adam, you have already inspired the Irish people and the world with your message of connection. I hope you continue to share love and virtual hugs around the world. We are rooting for you. Jill and I send a virtual hug from the White House to you, your Mom and Dad and your brothers and sisters.”
President Biden also sent a special gift to Adam that is, literally, out of this world! Adam received two flags – an Irish and American flag – that have been flown in outer space. The Irish flag was flown on the space shuttle Atlantis and the American flag was flown on the Orion Spacecraft. Before we framed these flags, each of the children had a chance to touch them. So a part of our DNA will remain on the flags forever, and a part of space on each of us!
(photo: Shaunagh O'Connell Photography)
We are beyond grateful for the letter from President Biden to Adam and our family. It is just unbelievable. This letter will form part of the history of the King Family for many generations to come. When Adam shared his Virtual Hug on the RTÉ Late Late Toy Show ™ in November 2020, he said it was for everyone – and he meant it. We are so happy that the people of Ireland at home and abroad, the international space community, and everyone around the world who connected with Adam’s message, took the Virtual Hug as their symbol. We are overjoyed that it has inspired people to find a way to connect when it has been hard to do so. The letter from President Biden – whilst it is certainly a recognition of Adam and the amazing contribution he has made – is yours to enjoy too. It is an acknowledgement and thanks to all of you for taking Adam, his Virtual Hug and his dreams and ambitions into your hearts. We ask you all to celebrate this with our family – it is for everyone.
We extend a warm and heartfelt thanks to President Biden for the inspiring words in his letter. We deeply appreciate his time and generosity in writing to our family and we are delighted to receive a virtual hug from The White House – we are sending one straight back to the President and the First Lady.