By Kim Schwartz, Texas Right to Life
Brittany Berrie, a mother of three, recently opened a thrift shop with a unique mission—100% of the proceeds from the store go toward helping families adopt.
The inspiration behind this endeavor stems from Berrie’s personal journey of adopting her 11-year-old daughter, Gracie.
Gracie, born to one of Berrie’s relatives, has been under Berrie’s care since birth. Despite the desire to adopt her, Berrie hesitated due to anticipated legal fees in the thousands of dollars. That changed, however, when a generous cousin offered to cover the adoption costs last November after learning about the financial burden.
“My cousin was asking about Gracie and was wondering why the adoption wasn’t finalized, and I told her it was very expensive,” Berrie explained.
“She said, ‘When you get home, call an attorney, and I’m paying for it.’” This act of kindness began the legal process, and Berrie officially adopted Gracie in July.
Berrie didn’t know how to thank her cousin enough. Her generosity forever changed Berrie’s life and her daughter’s. In the end, she decided to thank her by paying it forward and paying for another family’s adoption.
“My mom and I were doing a garage sale at my house and we had the idea to try to help pay for someone else’s adoption,” she said. When she told people during the garage sale where the proceeds would go, donations of clothes and items for the sale poured in.
“We did the first sale and I thought, ‘We are making this a store,’” said Berrie. “One adoption isn’t going to be good enough. We need to keep helping families.”
The positive response from the community prompted Berrie to transform her home’s garage into The Adopted Closet, a space where donations are organized, and the store operates three days a week.
Already, the proceeds from the store and the initial garage sale have covered the adoption fees for the Holdorf family, who adopted two sons from foster care, ages 5 and 7, on November 6.
Berrie, alongside her family, actively manages the store and plans to continue its operation, with hopes of expanding to a storefront to provide year-round assistance to families seeking to adopt.
More than 60,000 children were adopted in the U.S. in 2019, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Reflecting on the impact of her cousin’s generosity, Berrie emphasized, “One person can change the script of everybody’s lives. Her offering to pay for our adoption is now affecting and blessing another family and being pushed on, and that is the goal. That is how I’m thanking her.”
As Berrie’s efforts coincide with National Adoption Awareness Month, she remains committed to alleviating the financial barriers that often hinder families from embracing the transformative journey of adoption.