Hope’s Bridge of Middle TN, founded in 2019, started as a referral ministry to offer an alternative to families whose children were being removed and placed into state custody. Founders Will and Amanda Root, opened their home (as an equivalent to a kinship placement) to two little ones, after receiving a call from a nurse who was a family friend, because the children’s birth parents were frantically looking for a safe place for their children to go so they would not enter the system.
When they received these precious babies, their eyes were quickly opened about trauma, drug exposure and the state system. The oldest child was 12 months old but had been through severe abuse and neglect their whole short time on earth. Helping them work through that trauma was painful, hard and some days felt unbearable. But with each day, there was a new glimmer of hope that this child would overcome these obstacles. With a new understanding of these topics, birthed a heart to see real change.
As they were dealing with the trauma that the children had experienced, not too much later, they were faced with the deep grief that comes from losing a son, for in the fall of 2017, their son, Colton, passed away after battling Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, the worst form of epilepsy possible, for the entirety of his life. This was just 6 months after the children came into their care. However, through this deep, unexplainable grief, they managed to see the Lord’s goodness and peace, knowing that in taking Colton home, God had a bigger plan in mind.
About a year later, in June of 2018, the Lord led them to start a ministry based on their very own circumstances with these two precious babies. So began, Hope’s Bridge : what started as a referral ministry and is now a state licensed, gospel – centered alternative child placement agency with a goal to keep children out of state care and into one safe, secure home while working with families towards the goal of reunification.
Since the beginning, the Root’s have strived to stay true to the original mission and calling, even when the odds were stacked against them. This calling? A desire to “bring orphan care back to God’s design”, which starts with the church, called to action to be a Collective Mission – servants – for the vulnerable and displaced around them.
Hope’s Bridge, is not an adoption agency. Adoptions have been facilitated here, but that is not the overall goal. They ask their Bridge families and those involved to always come in with the hope for reunification and the heart of adoption to be available IF reunification is not possible because they wholeheartedly believe in the importance and value of the family unit, by God’s design and the doctrinal foundation that all people were made in the Imago Dei, which is the very image of God.