Several times a month, a caseworker drives the 2 1/2 hours from Macon to Augusta to meet with women considering adoption and families waiting for children.
It makes the slow process of adoption that much more tedious, said Loren Rae Easterling, the director of ministry development with Covenant Care Services, a Macon adoption agency working throughout the state.
It's why Covenant Care is looking to expand with a caseworker in Augusta, and eventually a physical office.
An advisory committee has formed, with 14 individuals representing area churches, to raise the $50,000 Covenant Care needs to hire an additional worker.
The agency, which employs 15 people, operates satellite offices across the state and places an average of 30 children in homes each year. It celebrated its 21st year in ministry this year.
"Out of those offices our caseworkers can respond to the needs of birth mothers, and journey alongside women in their pregnancies," Easterling said. "We realized a lot of the women we serve have no one to go to labor and delivery with them. They have no one to drive them home after the hospital. We thought, 'We can do better.' "
Easterling said fundraising is still a grassroots effort, with the advisory committee having hosted four events in their homes since this summer. They've partnered with restaurants such as Sticky Fingers and Chick-fil-a to raise funds.
Others are asking churches to consider adding Covenant Care to their budgets and a golf tournament is being organized.
Though the case worker will likely work from home at first, the goal is to eventually establish an office in Augusta.
"We want to be more visible and available to women in Augusta," Easterling said. "We want women to be just as likely to drive to a Covenant Care office as an abortion clinic."
She said caring for birth mothers is a priority.
"We at Covenant Care see women who make an adoption plan as selfless and courageous and honorable," Easterling said. "We'd like them to be honored for their sacrifice."