A couple from Aberdeen are preparing to run a marathon for an adoption charity that helped them find their two children.
Mark and Melissa Hamilton have decided to raise money for St Andrew’s Children’s Society after they helped them build their “forever family”.
Through the charity, they adopted their son when he was three and their daughter when she was one.
Now they are planning on paying them back.
They will be running the virtual London marathon, which involves running 26 miles with a tracker on Sunday, October 2.
It will be their first-ever marathon.
However, 30 of their friends will each be running a single mile alongside them, in a relay race format, to give their support.
A long, but rewarding road
Mr and Mrs Hamilton, both 39, say the adoption process was long, but rewarding.
Mrs Hamilton said: “When we got married, we obviously tried for kids like everybody else. Then after some years, it wasn’t happening, and we went through IVF a few times.
“And then we thought, you know what, adoption is going to be a great thing to do, and we got two wonderful children that fitted into our family.”
The couple says there are lots of siblings in foster care who are looking for families together, as a lot of the babies get snapped up pretty quickly.
But say it’s more about finding quality homes for children who haven’t had a good start in life.
St Andrew’s Children’s Society
St Andrew’s Children’s Society is a voluntary adoption and fostering agency that was founded in 1922.
It has offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and offers families lifelong support.
Mr and Mrs Hamilton decided to use the charity instead of a local authority programme because it exposes adults to children all over Scotland.
St Andrew’s specialises in matching children with suitable families.
Due to Mr and Mrs Hamilton’s enjoyment in sport, their three-year-old was chosen because he loves the outdoors.
It’s about forming a ‘forever family’
Mr Hamilton said: “St Andrew’s use this really lovely term, it’s about forming forever families.
“It’s not about finding any old home for a child, it’s about finding the right home for them as well as fitting into the lives we are able to give them.
“Somebody once said, you know, it’s so nice what you guys are doing for these children.
“But for us, it was never about that, we’re not in this to save the world or to be superheroes or anything like that. For us, it was about wanting a family.”
Stephen Small, the chief executive of St Andrew’s Children’s Society said: “We are so grateful to Mel and Mark, all the volunteers who will be running with them and everyone who has donated so generously so far to their fundraising pages.
“We are celebrating our centenary this year and trying to raise £100,000 – a thousand pounds for every year we have been helping vulnerable children find safe and loving homes.”