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Saturday declared 'Audrey Gilchrist day'
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Audrey Gilchrist, born in 2005, spent her first day out of the womb abandoned in a bus station in one of the poorest provinces of northern China.

Audrey's biological mother likely abandoned her because she was born with bilateral club feet - or abnormally twisted feet - and feared she could not afford medical treatment to correct the abnormality.

She was adopted last year by Tyla and Harold Gilchrist of Austin, Texas, and has since received surgeries, casting, bracing and physical therapies to correct the position of her feet.

 "That's why it's taken her so long to learn how to walk," said her grandmother Joyce Cox. "She's barely taken her first steps."

 On April 29, at the age of 21 months, Audrey began to walk.

Cox of Covington, the Gilchrists and Covington Mayor Sam Ramsey have collaborated to sponsor "Audrey's First Steps: The Miracle Mile(stone)" Saturday with a walk around the Square.

 Funds raised at Saturday's walk will benefit Tyla Gilchrist's organization - Grant Me a Chance Inc. - which is an all volunteer non-profit organization raising awareness about adoption and providing grants for the adoption of older children, sibling groups and special needs children like Audrey.

"It's for people who don't have the money," Cox said, "but have the home and heart."

The Gilchrists also have another daughter they adopted from China - Lilly, 4.

Ramsey has declared Saturday - also Audrey's second birthday - "Audrey Gilchrist Day" in his support of The Grant Me a Chance Foundation.

On July 7, 2006, Audrey spent her first birthday in an orphanage in China waiting to be adopted, so her second birthday with this celebration and fundraising walk will provide a stark contrast to her first.

"She's a very beautiful, wonderful child who's running all over the house right now," Cox said.