College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon will host the One: Twenty-Seven 5K Race and Fun Run Oct. 28.
The 5K serves as a fundraiser for Amy and Brian Robertson, members of the church who are in the process of adopting a child. The proceeds from the event will go toward the family and the many orphan care initiatives with the church.
In previous years, the church held a fundraiser called “Maddie’s Dash” which raised money for a child in need of a liver transplant. Since Maddie is in better health, the church chose another avenue for its annual fundraiser.
According to the ministry’s website, the One: Twenty-Seven ministry is dedicated to helping active participants of College Hills who are involved in orphan care initiatives such as fostering, fostering to adopt and adoption.
The ministry got its name through two Bible verses, James 1:27, which mentions looking after orphans and widows, and Samuel 1:27, which talks about God granting a prayer for a child.
The goal is to raise $60,000 on Saturday. According to the website, half of the proceeds will go toward future orphan care efforts and the rest will go toward fully funding Brian and Amy’s adoption.
“We really feel very embraced by our church family,” said Amy.
The average fees for domestic infant adoption, the journey Amy and Brian are on, can be up to $30,000. Though the cost is a deferent to some people, the Robertsons are willing to pay if it means they can have a child of their own.
Amy, a nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt, and Brian, a technical software analyst at a local healthcare IT company, began looking into adoption in September 2016. By the following April, they submitted their application.
After completing the application, prospective parents must then complete a Home Study process where they are fully evaluated. It is a fairly invasive, but necessary, step in making sure the child is coming into a loving, stable environment.
The Robertsons completed their Home Study in July and are approved for a child. This is where the waiting begins. The average wait for adoption through an agency is a year and a half; however, a child could still come into their home at any time.
The adoption agency Amy and Brian are working with is Bethany Christian Services, an accredited nonprofit organization whose mission is to demonstrate Christ’s love by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services, according to the agency website.
Many people underestimate how much paperwork is involved in the process as well. According to Brian, the process itself is a time commitment.
“We had the application, and we filled it out and went to our intake meeting,” said Brian. “During that meeting, they handed us a folder and said ‘Here’s more stuff for you to fill out.'”
Brian wants those looking into adoption to visit multiple agencies to find the one best suited for you. The Robertsons met with three agencies before deciding on Beth Christian Services. He also advocates telling someone you’re looking at adoption, as they could connect you with a person who has been through the process before.
“This ministry is not about us, and that’s one of the places we got to that led us to begin the adoption process,” said Brian. “Because it’s not about us, it’s about a child. It’s not even about that child. It’s about what God is going to do… [The ministry] is about how God will work through his people to provide homes and care for children that need places to be.”
If you would like to support Amy and Brian but don’t want to race, the church is accepting donations. Donations can be made through their website as well as checks mailed to the church. If sending a check, please specify One: Twenty-Seven ministry in the memo line. More information can be found online.
To register for the 5K, visit collegehills.org/127. The fee is $35 for adults and $20 for students and children. Race Day T-shirts will be sold at the event, but will likely sell out fast.
The races will take place within the parking lots of College Hills and Winfree Bryant Middle School campuses.
The 5K begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with the 1.27 mile Fun Run starting at 9 a.m. The silent auction, which will include baskets donated for the event, will close at 10:45 a.m. College Hills Church of Christ is located at 1401 Leeville Pike in Lebanon.