Rodney Atkins gets the VIP treatment from President Bush
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Rodney Atkins gets the VIP treatment from President Bush

Thursday, November 22, 2007 – Rodney Atkins got the VIP treatment when he went to Washington last week. Not only did he perform in front of a gathering celebrating adoption, Atkins received a VIP tour of the White House, bowled in the president's bowling alley, while his son plumped himself down in the president's lap.

Atkins flew to Washington Nov. 16 for a special performance in the White House East Room in honor of National Adoption Month.

In his role as spokesman for the National Adoption Council, Atkins was invited to perform for President Bush, the First Lady, several members of Congress and a room full of adopted children and their families.

Joined by his wife Tammy, son Elijah and his parents Allan and Margaret, Atkins performed for the invitation only crowd and shared his own heartwarming story of adoption. The President enjoyed two of Atkins' hits and asked for a third. While performing "If Your Going Through Hell," son Elijah climbed up in the president's lap.

Prior to the show, Atkins and his family were treated to a special "behind-the-scenes" tour of the inner workings of the White House. In addition to the private movie theater; the group was shown the flower room, the chocolate room, where they saw a white chocolate replica of the White House in progress and the kitchen.

At lunch, the kitchen staff treated Elijah with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cut in triangles. Atkins was also made friends with Presidential Pups Beasley and Barney. The highlight of the tour was a single lane bowling alley, where father and son enjoyed a few throws of the "first" bowling ball.

"It was an unbelievable experience. President Bush and his wife Laura made me and my family feel at home. What a thrill to see all the history that surrounded us," Atkins proclaimed. "My dad kept nudging me in arm and saying, 'Can you believe this, ain't this something.' I was so honored to be there."

"It was funny, the first thing I said on stage was 'Howdy y'all.' Then I said, 'I can't believe I just said y'all in the White House, but I'm sure it's not the first time y'all has been said here.' President Bush said 'No, it's definitely not.' I just hope I represented respectfully country music and my family. It was a thrill I'll never forget. We even put the picture of President Bush with Elijah on the first page of my website. What an experience."

Atkins was recently named the National Celebrity Spokesperson of the Year by the National Council For Adoption (NCFA), a leading adoption advocacy organization.

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