“Adoption. Years ago, this word did not have a lot of personal meaning. It was merely just a word in passing…letters on a page. Honestly, it brought about feelings of sympathy for children without “real” parents. How naive I had been…uninformed and oblivious to the unbelievable gift that adoption brings to so many. My, how my life has come full circle,” shared Nikki Racine.
Nikki Racine is the Director of Fund Development and Outreach at Adoption Associates, one of three charities the SHE Rocks Virtual Run benefits. She has held many titles in her life, from daughter, sister and wife, to attorney, race director and runner, but for her the one title that means the most is mom.
She RULES because:
High school sweethearts, Nikki and her husband had worked hard to become the professions of their childhood dreams, her husband a physician and her an attorney, always standing by each other’s side.
SHE rules because after years and years of struggling to have a child of their own, she decided she wasn’t going to give up on their next life dream. Instead Nikki and her husband decided to explore the world of adoption.
“On May 6, 2011, our lives changed forever. Our son, Amari Michael, entered this world. He is from only 45 minutes away from where we live today. His birth mother loved him so much that she knew she just couldn’t give him all that he needed. We are deeply grateful to her, and we honor her legacy and kept his given name. “Amari” means “a miracle from God.” He is our miracle.”
Today her title has expanded to include “Amari and Zane’s Mom.” Her second little miracle arrived home from Ethiopia on February 5, 2015.
She ROCKS because:
“It was an emotional decision for me….I had always wanted to be a lawyer–fighting for legal rights–making a name for myself in the court system. However, my desire to be a Mommy had long preceded my lawyering abilities. I learned that my identity was not tied to my Juris Doctor…and that there was nothing in the world like being called “Amari’s Mom.”
A few months after bringing her first son home she felt a calling to give back to others and help give them the same gift she had received and pursued an opportunity to work for Adoption Associates, Inc.
“Being able to help other children be welcomed home to their forever families has become my mission in life. As women, we all want to be accepted in some way…to be heard…to be remembered. I hope to be remembered as an advocate for adoption….the very word that has created my family…and now has my heart.”
Having the privilege to work with birth mothers has given Nikki precious insight into their hearts.
“All mothers only want what is best for their children, and knowing that they just cannot provide it at that time is a gift of selfless love.”
She also rocks because after running countless half marathons she finally tackled a long time goal of accomplishing a marathon last year and is looking forward to pursuing her next, the Marine Corps Marathon (which she hasn’t told many until now!).
In true Nikki fashion, she has taken her passion for running and the inspiration she has received from the Fellow Flowers community and gone one step further by creating the Touched by Adoption 5K. The race encourages even birth mothers to come out of the shadows and proudly support their adoption decision. Touched by Adoption 5K is a family event celebrating health, happiness and forever families.
Right at the final leg of her and her husband’s attempts to have their own baby, the day before she was to begin fertility treatments, Nikki’s heart went out of rhythm. She had a root canal go awry and as a result she got an infection in her jaw and in her heart. She was very sick and had to have all of her teeth pulled out as a result. She couldn’t run. Walking with one foot in front of the other was her solace. Her teeth have since been replaced with implants, her heart is medicated daily and back to normal and she has been able to return to her love of running.
In listening to her body, adoption became her new journey.
She runs because she can. Because running has helped her embrace her true authentic self and has given her the strength to do anything she puts her mind to.
“God leads us to where we are chosen to “shine”….and I have finally embraced my crazy natural curls that our boys have been graced with since birth. My true authentic self. Fellow Flowers and running has given me strength and support to do what I love..be a mom…and help others become one through adoption.”
Nikki is looking forward to running the SHE Rocks Virtual Run on Mother’s Day and is running in honor of the mothers who have changed her life.
“I’m running the SHE Rocks Virtual Run for my mother and my sister, who taught me how to love unconditionally, for Amari and Zane’s birth mothers who have blessed us with the most precious gifts of all, for birth mothers and adoptive mothers, and for all of the other women out there who are “moms” in every sense of the word.”
Who will you run the SHE Rocks Virtual Run in honor of? What mothers have touched you in your life that may not even know it?