I first heard about Walk for the Waiting in the spring of 2013. I was finishing up my senior year of college at Mizzou and a friend called me one day to tell me about this awesome new event she was going to back home.
“Walk for the Waiting,” she said.
“Walk for who?” I asked in return. Waiting… who is waiting for what and why do we care?
“For kids that are waiting for families. Orphans.”
I was struck by her usage of the word, but also deeply moved by the truth of it. Orphans in our very own backyard. At home.
I moved back to Little Rock that August, and when Walk for the Waiting got fired up again, I immediately registered. I started getting the regular email blasts from Eric in the weeks and days leading up to the walk, and one in particular inspired me to respond. It was a simple question:
Why are you walking?
That question struck a match in my heart. Why wouldn’t I be walking?!
Later that afternoon, in between phone calls at work, I processed the question and wrote my reply.
My husband (then fiancé) and I went to our first Walk for the Waiting together.
We loved the event! It was the first time I met waiting kids face to face. The first time I saw the beauty of foster families. The first time I learned that I really could make a difference even if we’re not fostering or adopting right now. It’s not a cause for parents, it’s a cause for the church. The crisis became much more personal for me.
I got plugged in with the planning committee to help plan Walk for the Waiting 2015 and stepped into the role of event coordinator.
God decided to use me a little bit more that year. Eric asked if I wouldn’t mind being part of the promotional video. My dad even got involved, and did the audio for why he’s walking. It was so meaningful to see my family’s involvement with the Walk in such an intimate way. Home videos from my childhood flashed across the screen while my dad’s voice is in the background, explaining why walking means so much to our family. If it weren’t for adoption, those home videos wouldn’t exist.
Doesn’t every child deserve home videos with their family? Doesn’t every child deserve a childhood?
Our family’s involvement with the promotional video made me want to stand up and advocate for childhoods even more. It made the number 4,600 come to life. It was a harsh reality, and I had to do more.
At our Walk debrief meeting a few days later, I was appointed Walk Chair. And here we are after months of prayer and planning, getting ready to welcome walkers tomorrow morning!
It’s been a great experience of chairing this event. We’ve been blessed with more registered walkers and donors than ever before, and have had a lot of great exposure with media outlets getting behind the mission. We are reaching members of the community that may not have ever heard of the foster care crisis, or the need for adoptive families. We have educated kids and youth about foster care and what they can do to make a difference for their peers. We are determined to mobilize the church and reach our goal of NO MORE WAITING KIDS!
The weatherman is calling for rain tomorrow, but that’s not dampening anyone’s spirits! God’s people are rising to face the challenge. Kids don’t stop waiting for families when the sun is shining, so we’re not going to stop walking because of a little bit of rain! When it rains, I’ll see God painting his canvas sky with the picture of His restorative grace.
Walk for the Waiting 2016 is going to be pretty different from what you’ve seen in previous years, as we’ll be in a covered area at War Memorial Stadium. It’ll have a whole new feel and more fun surprises than before! We’ve got The CALL, Project Zero or Immerse Arkansas board members getting ready to kiss a pig! We’ve got an awesome program of worship and fellowship to kick off the Walk, a photo booth for families and friends to document their fun, tattoos and grab bags for kids to enjoy, and a colorful surprise at the end! There’s plenty of room for everyone, don’t let the rain keep you away!
I can’t wait to meet you tomorrow morning!
Until no more are waiting,