Chosen Half Marathon for Adoption

Spend any time at River Stone Community Church in San Marcos, Texas and I guarantee the subject of orphan care/adoption will come up.  I was raised in church, but prior to our arrival at River Stone in 2009, never before had I heard orphan care preached as part of the gospel message. I naively thought adoption was something only people who were unable to have children in the traditional manner pursued.  Boy was I wrong!!!

When we arrived at River Stone in 2009 there were already five former orphans living with their forever families; four international adoptions and one domestic. Since 2009 eight more families have adopted eleven children.  Having closely witnessed many of these adoptions unfold, I can honestly say, adoption is a completely unselfish, expensive, complicated, difficult and heart wrenching but extremely beautiful and worthwhile process.  Not only have I witnessed these children united with their forever families, but I have been honored to play a role on many different levels; one of my favorite has been participating in the Chosen Half Marathon for Adoption hosted in Gruene, TX.

Had I not been challenged to register for the Chosen in 2010, I don’t believe I would be the runner I am today.  Training for that race is where I got my start as a distance runner, but no matter how many half marathons I run, none will ever have the special meaning this one does.  When registering, runners may choose to run for a certain team; the teams are made up of families who are in the process of adopting.  In 2010 I ran for the Bollinger Family. When I crossed the finish line their beautiful new Ukrainian daughters, Olivia & Natalia were there to greet me.  In 2011 I ran for the Guenther Family. Heart breaking to me is the circumstances that keep their son, Wilson in a Haitian orphanage, held up by paperwork.  Yesterday I ran for the Simmons Family.  I met their son Leo, also from Ukraine, for the first time today.

In 2010, I completed the race in 2:28, my goal was 2:30.  I spent the next year training hard and finished 2011’s race in 2:08!!  There were quite a few runners from River Stone & I was the second member to cross the finish line.  I had planned for a sub 2 hour race in 2012, little did I know I would be side lined after a terrible car accident in November 2011 that left me with a broken neck.  Starting the race yesterday, my only goal was to finish.  I finished the USAF Half Marathon in Dayton, Ohio 6 weeks ago in 2:25, but I had only completed two long 10 mile training runs since then. I honestly wasn’t sure I was prepared, but this race was all about Leo, I was out there for him.  Surprisingly I finished the race in 2:16, faster than I’d run just 6 weeks ago!!  Part of me struggled over the athletic set back, part of me struggled with being the last River Stone runner to finish this year, but then I stopped to think about what could have been, and realized that I had nothing to be sad about.

James 1:27 has become one of my favorite verses; “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” My hope is that every aspect of my life would be a reflection of this verse.

One thought on “Chosen Half Marathon for Adoption

  1. Rebecca Rushing says:

    Becky, I am so proud of you, for all your witness, and good work to help others reach their fulfillment of adoption.
    Love, Gran Becky

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