COLUMN: Run for the Russells

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

The cost to adopt a child can range anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 or more.

I have heard before that adoption is expensive, but I didn’t realize just how expensive it can be until recently.

As I was talking to Joel Dixon about the Forging Families 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run and Walk this month, he shared these numbers with me and explained that the event is a fundraiser for a local family going through the adoption process for the second time.

Dixon wanted to help Loren and Jennifer Russell in a significant way, and his experience with organizing community fundraiser runs in the past led him to the idea.

“We want it to be a win for the family,” Dixon said, adding he hopes the Forging Families 5K will become an annual event benefitting other families with adoption expenses.

Funds raised from the run will be earmarked for the Russell family and donated to Sacred Selections, a nonprofit organization that supports families in adoption.

Any excess funds this year’s run raises that the Russell family does not need will go toward other families’ adoption expenses, Dixon said.

The 2020 Forging Families 5K is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11. The 5K will depart from the Shelby County Arts Center in Columbiana at 8 a.m., and the fun run will start at 9:15 a.m.

The race course is flat, and the city will provide a police presence for traffic control and participants’ safety.

Both races will end at the arts center, which will be open to anyone who wants to see inside the new facility.

Registration and more details about the event are available at Forgingfamilies.run.

I applaud Dixon and others who have or will contribute to the event, whether they are assisting behind-the-scenes, registering to run the race or simply donating to the cause.

And, of course, the Russell family deserves much praise for committing to the adoption of another child. They admit adoption is hard, but they “feel strongly that every child deserves a safe, loving home.”

I hope the inaugural event’s turnout exceeds all expectations.