Joe Bailey Welcomes the Riders to Knoxville
Tour 2007 Cyclists
October 17, 2007 - During the third
annual bicycle tour across the state of Tennessee, 50 cyclists delivered
a message of hope for children who need a permanent home and a loving
The tour, which departed Memphis on October 8 and arrived at the
World's Fair Park on October 12, was created to draw attention to
the need for adoptive families, to pledge support to those who choose
to adopt, and to celebrate the families who have adopted.
The forever home is a precious gift to children. Through adoption,
they have been claimed by a family.
Welcoming the riders to Knoxville and commending them for their
efforts were U.S. Representative Jimmy Duncan; City Councilman Joe
Bailey, representing the City and County Mayors; Juvenile Court
Judge Tim Irwin; Tennessee Department of Children's
Services Deputy Commissioner Bonnie Hommrich; and DCS Regional Director
"With this event, we want to celebrate our children who have
been waiting for adoption and these wonderful families who have
given them a place to call their own," said Hommrich. "We
want people across the state to know how much we need loving families
to take children, especially our teenagers, into their homes and
into their lives."
This year, 50 bicyclists pedaled 433.7 miles across the state in
honor of 50 families who have recently adopted or actually finalized
their adoption during the Adoption Tour.
Currently, more than 7,500 children are in state custody, and more
than 1,300 of those children are eligible for adoption. They remain
unclaimed. The Adoption Tour highlights the efforts of Adoption
Support and Preservation (ASAP), a program that supports adoptive
and foster families.
Services exist to help such families. Harmony Adoptions of Maryville,
AGAPE Child and
Family Services in Memphis and Catholic Charities of Tennessee in
Nashville provide ASAP programs for Tennessee's Department of Children's
Services. ASAP supports adoptive families with services such as
crisis intervention, support groups, counseling, mentors and individualized
care. "We want families to know they are not walking the adoption
journey alone. Support will be there for them long past the finalization
of their adoption," says Pam Wolf, executive director of Harmony
The Adoption Tour's bicycles represent the ultimate symbol of carefree
childhood, and the many hours spent pedaling represent each child's
journey to their forever home. All of the riders have a personal
connection with adoption, either as a parent or a caregiver. Each
of the 50 children adopted were given bicycles of their own.
The Adoption Tour was made possible through the generous support
of DCS, Youth Villages, Agape, Catholic Charities, Harmony, Camelot
Care Centers, Omni Visions, HHC, London & Auburn, Wilson Bank
and Trust, Threads, Parker PBC&A, Cedar Bluff Cycles, Mahoney
Outfitters, Helen Ross McNabb and Partnership for Families, Children
here for information on adoption and adoption resources.