The Morrisons and Taylors don’t know each other, but they share a similar tale.
It’s a story of countless hours completing paperwork, preparing for home studies and going through background and medical checks. For these two families, there is light at the end of the tunnel, because both hope to bring their adopted daughters home by year’s end.
“We are hoping to bring our daughter home from China as early as July if all of the paperwork continues to run smoothly and we don’t have any delays due to the lack of finances,” said Katie Taylor, of Evans. She and her husband, Jeff, have four children of their own, but felt called to adopt.
“We are trusting God to provide exactly what we need for each step along the way, and although it is hard to know that our little girl is there, and we are here, I know God’s timing is perfect,” said Taylor.
The wait is much shorter for Kim Morrison. Her daughter, Ava, will be brought home next month.
“We made the decision to adopt after we were unable to have another child on our own,” said Morrison, a kindergarten teacher at Westmont Elementary. “We have many friends who have adopted children from other countries and we decided that this is an awesome way to grow our family and help an orphaned child at the same time.”
Morrison and her husband, John, also decided to adopt from China.
“We found Ava on a Web site that advocates for orphaned children,” said the mother of Hayden, 10. “As soon as we saw those sweet cheeks and pigtails, we knew she was the one.”
Both families have called the adoption process a daunting, emotional and financial challenge, but are adamant that they wouldn’t change a thing. Family and friends have stepped in to help with fundraising efforts, and the two families were recently selected to participate in the third annual Trot to Adopt.
Begun by Tom and Sohailla Digsby as they were preparing to adopt their daughter from China several years ago, Trot to Adopt has grown into an annual fundraising event.
“Their heart for adoption and helping other families has led them to continue the trot each year, helping other families that are in the process of adopting,” said Taylor. “With our adoption costing almost $30,000, we couldn’t do it without the support of the trot and other friends, families and businesses.”
This year’s Trot to Adopt will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans. The event has two races – a 1K course suited for families and a more-challenging 5K course.
The cost to register for the races is $25 per person for the 5K and $25 per family for the 1K. Registration can be done online at www.trottoadopt.org or on the day of the event. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the race will begin at 10 a.m. Registration fees go to the Morrisons, Taylors and two other families and to the Village of Hope, a facility in Grabouw, South Africa that cares for children infected with or affected by HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis.
The four families have also been working on their own to raise money for the race.
“The families mostly raise funds through sponsorships,” said Sohailla Digsby. “Last year we had about 250 people participate and we raised close to $20,000 for the four families that we had selected.”
The winner of the sponsorship total, which will be announced the day of the event, will win an iPad mini, Digsby said. Sponsorships can also be given on the day of the race, rain or shine.
“We will also have walk-in registration, so if someone hasn’t registered by Jan. 19 and still wants to participate, they can,” Digsby said.
With the expense of adoption, the Taylors say the money raised through Trot to Adopt is a godsend.
“Adoption is expensive and is much like a pregnancy with lots of emotions, waiting and lots and lots of paperwork,” said Katie Taylor. “It’s something that you have to be called to do and it certainly doesn’t go without trials along the way, but at the end, there is a beautiful, little brown-eyed girl, that needs love, attention and therapy that she wouldn’t get any other way.
“We can’t look back, but just look up, for we know God will be with us every step of the way,” she added.