On Saturday I ran the Touched by Adoption 5k, the inaugural 5k held by Adoption Associates, the agency my husband and I are using for our domestic adoption. The race was in Portland, MI, about 20 minutes from Lansing. I've run several races in Portland including my 5k PR last summer in 26:00, and I was excited for this race.
I found myself extremely emotional as soon as we pulled up to the race start. The first person we saw was our case worker, and there were dozens of people with their children. I don't know how many of these parents were parents by adoption, but my heart felt so happy seeing all of the families. Before the race a speech was given by a tearful volunteer and mom by adoption, and I felt so much joy to be running this race. Adoption Associates has placed over 4500 children into adoptive families, and I was overwhelmed by the happiness of being part of this group.
The race was along Portland's rural river trail. There weren't a lot of spectators, but the course was quiet and wooded. It looped around near the start just before mile 2. I decided at the start to really push it and try to break my PR, so when I saw my husband I was struggling. It was the opening day of my WV Mountaineers' college football season, and my husband yelled, "Let's Go!" as I passed. I managed to choke out a "Mountaineers" as I ran by.
I really enjoyed Portland's river trail as it looped by a farmer's market and into downtown Portland. The last mile of the race had more spectators, and I let them help push me along.
I finished the race just off my PR in 26:11. I was disappointed that I was so close to my PR, but I was so happy to run the race. My heart was so full being part of the event, and as we drove home, I was so choked up I wasn't really able to talk.
Running is such an important part of my life, and there were so many families there participating in the race. It made me hope that next year, in the second running of this 5k, we will be there with our child who is placed with us by Adoption Associates.