Adoption advocate Beth Drafts raises money to help families overcome the high cost of adoption. Her relentless efforts to help orphaned children makes us proud to honor Beth with our Circle & Shield award.
Traveling through China in 2012, Beth Drafts visited an orphanage. Standing in a room full of babies in cribs, she was keenly aware that these were the lucky ones, the babies whose physical needs were being met. Only one baby was crying. A nurse picked her up, laid her on a hard chair, and gave her a bottle.
“No touch, no love, no kisses … a bottle, in a hard, wooden chair,” Beth wrote at the time in her blog. “This is when it happened, my heart changed. My heart continues to hurt for them, for their lost childhoods, for the love they will never feel.”
Beth’s commitment to help families bring orphaned children to safe homes was born. Driven by her first-hand witness of the dispiriting conditions of orphanages, Beth helps those in her community of Evans, GA, and beyond raise the money they need to cover adoption expenses.
Beth and her husband Ryan have two biological and four adopted children. In the fall of 2013, Beth launched Consigning to Adopt as a fundraiser to cover costs related to adopting their third child, Maryn. It was hugely successful, and Beth held a second consignment sale in the spring of 2014 to fully cover the cost of Maryn’s adoption from China.
But Beth didn’t stop there.
“I’ve found the biggest obstacle that prevents families from providing a safe and secure home to orphans is the high cost of adoption,” says Beth. “I started Consigning to Adopt to fundraise for my family, but I’ve continued to run it to help other families adopt.”
Consigning to Adopt is a bi-annual sale held the last weekends of February and August. Currently it’s mostly a one-woman operation that Beth runs out of the basement of her home. She started with 20 consignors and now has more than 70 consignors reselling high-quality children’s clothing and shoes. Each sale benefits one or more families who are adopting children from around the country and around the world.
The community has embraced Consigning to Adopt, and a line of customers runs out the door for every sale. At first, consignors and shoppers come for the clothes — but they return for every sale because it makes them feel good to help others, Beth says. Her favorite part of each sale? Swapping stories with buyers about how adoption has impacted their lives. Her greatest hope is that people realize adoption is a viable option after hearing her story.
“There are so many children that need a safe place and a loving family to help them flourish,” says Beth. “I saw firsthand the changes in my own girls who were adopted. They did not smile or giggle. They were not interested in toys and didn’t interact with anyone. But now they are thriving. They are full-of-life in every way. These children are why we adopt, why we continue to support adoption and why we advocate for those who wait.”
Meet Beth and Ryan Drafts and their family: on the back row from left, daughter Maddox, 8, son Pryce, 16, and son Colin, 18; on the front row from left, daughter Mason-Kate, 11, Ryan Drafts, daughter Chapman, 3, Beth Drafts, and daughter Maryn, 5.
About Circle & Shield
Cingo means to surround and secure — to protect. That’s what we do. And we have a lot of respect for those who take it upon themselves to make protection a part of what they do, too. That’s why we’ve launched Circle & Shield, our award to a member of the community who helps make the world a better place, a safer place.