Brittany Berrieopened her used clothing store, The Adopted Closet, a couple of months after she adopted her 11-year-old daughter,Gracie. The store sells pre-owned clothes and 100% of the proceeds go to help families pay for adoption fees. Berrie started the store as a way to pay it forward after a relative helped her pay for her daughter’s adoption.
Berrie and her partner,Branden Johnson, have two biological children and have been caring for Gracie since she was born. The couple always wanted to adopt Gracie, but couldn’t afford the legal fees, which can run into the thousands of dollars. That changed when Berrie’s cousin offered to fund the adoption. "My cousin was asking about Gracie and was wondering why the adoption wasn't finalized and I told her it was very expensive," recalls Berrie. "She said, 'When you get home, call an attorney and I'm paying for it.'"
A grateful Berrie was looking for a way to pay her cousin’s kindness forward and had a great idea. "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 says. When other people heard about the sale’s purpose, donations for started pouring in. Satisfied with the results, Berrie decided to make her garage sale idea more permanent. "We did the first sale and I thought, 'We are making this a store,'" she says. "One adoption isn't going to be good enough. We need to keep helping families." The store has already helped to pay for one family's adoption, and Berrie hopes to expand her idea to help even more families in the future.