Mom Opens 'The Adopted Closet' to Help Families Pay For Adoption Fees

Photo: (Photo : meandcolors/Pixabay)

A mother from Dewitt, Iowa, who experienced going through an adoption process with her 11-year-old daughter, has opened "The Adopted Closet," a clothing store that aims to raise funds for other families' adoption fees.

Brittany Berrie has been Gracie's caregiver since her birth more than 11 years ago. However, Berrie and her husband, Branden Johnson, did not have enough money to pay for Gracie's adoption fees since the couple has other obligations and raised two biological children.

One day, a cousin asked about Gracie's status and wondered why it had never been formalized. Upon learning of the family's dilemma about the high cost of adoption fees, the cousin agreed to pay for everything.

Last November 2020, Berrie started the adoption process, and by July 2021, Gracie became Berrie's legal daughter, thanks to her cousin's help.

Read AlsoBirth Mother Meets Daughter She Gave up for Adoption 19 Years Ago After Sister Spots Her in the Mall

Paying it Forward

Following Gracie's adoption, Berrie thought of a way to show her gratitude for her cousin for the generous gift. She figured she could pay it forward by helping another family pay off the adoption fees. Typically, the legal cost of adoption starts at $12,000, depending on the attorney's fees, the child's situation in foster care, or the circumstances of the birth parents.

Berrie, a stay-at-home mom, initially established a garage sale over the summer with Gracie and their relatives to raise the money. They also planned on selling the rest of the items online to raise more funds to help more families.

However, their garage sale expanded into a full-blown store after the community got behind Berrie's idea. The mom said that they received boxes of clothing donations from their neighbors almost daily, prompting her to open "The Adopted Closet."

"I know what that feels like to hear the words of it's going to be taken care of," Berrie said. "The fact that I can do that for somebody else, it's the purpose of everything; it's the purpose of the whole store."

First Beneficiaries of The Adopted Closet

The Adopted Closet is located in Berrie's home garage, which she and three other family members manage at least three days a week. The store's first beneficiaries have been Adam and Cassandra Holdorf, who were able to finalize the adoption process for their two sons on November 6.

Berrie knew Holdorf through the church, and she is familiar with the family's foster kids. The Holdorf have wanted to make their sons' adoption legal, and Berrie also helped them negotiate with a lawyer.

Meanwhile, to keep her store up and running, the mom is also in the process of setting up the store's e-commerce site and has set up donation boxes around Salt Lake City to replenish their inventory. For now, however, interested people who want to support their cause can look up The Adoption Closet on Facebook.

Berrie said that her cousin's offer changed their lives forever, now that Gracie is legally their child. She plans on continuing to thank her cousin with this initiative.

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