Brian and Shannon Schmidt of Fulton will be expanding their family of four to five when they bring daughter Lian Tongyao home from China this fall.
To that end, the couple is hoping for some support from the local community by holding the Run For Home 5K Run/Walk on July 14. The race starts at 8 a.m. at the YMCA of Callaway County. Registration - which is due by July 1 - is $25 for adults with a T-shirt, $20 without a T-shirt; $15 for youth ages 12 and under with a T-shirt, $10 without a T-shirt. There will be a $5 late-registration fee for those who sign up after July 1. Registration forms are available on the Jeff City Road Runners website at www.runjeffcity.org under the calendar tab.
The Run for Home will help the Schmidts in their quest to adopt 4-year-old Tongyao - whom they will rename Brynn Tongyao Schmidt - out of an orphanage in Lianyungang, China.
"We just decided it was time to add to our family," said Schmidt, a Fulton firefighter. "We have two children of our own, and we always said if we decided to have a third we would adopt, because I was adopted as a child. We both felt driven to do this."
The Schmidts, who already are parents to Zane, 4, and Gavin, 2 1/2, have spent the past year working on making that dream become a reality.
"You have to have a lot of patience because it's a lot of paperwork involved," said Shannon Schmidt, who works as a nuclear medicine technician at St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City. "It's a very long process, but definitely worth it."