EDITOR'S NOTE: Beth and Ryan Drafts’ last name was misspelled in Saturday’s edition of The Augusta Chronicle. The Chronicle regrets the error.
Patiently waiting to meet their fifth child, Beth and Ryan Drafts have tapped into their creative side.
The Drafts have raised the entire cost for their third international adoption, a resourceful approach that several Augusta-area families have taken to cover the expenses necessary to bring home a child from China, Ethiopia or other faraway nations.
“So often, I meet families that say they really want to adopt but that it’s too expensive,” Beth Drafts said. “Think about creative ways to fund it.”
The Drafts started fundraising for their third Chinese adoption with a raffle for an iPad Mini. The raffle raised about $10,000, which a foundation matched. Proceeds from smaller fundraisers were also matched by grants.
Three families, including the Drafts, will receive portions of proceeds from the fourth annual Trot to Adopt 5K race Saturday at Blanchard Woods Park. The event also benefits the Village of Hope in Grabouw, South Africa, which cares for orphan children infected by HIV and AIDS.
Jennifer and Jeff Drake will use funds from the race to help cover the costs of trips to Ethiopia, where they are adopting a 2-year-old boy named Dawit. The couple, who have three biological children and a girl adopted from China, also need to pay the children’s home that has cared for Dawit.
“He has no family. His parents are deceased,” Jennifer Drake said.
Millions of children need homes with loving families, she said. Adopting is a difficult process, but the financial burden can be lessened with support from the community, she said.
“We want other people to realize this is something not only rich people and celebrities do,” she said.
The third couple benefiting from the race are adopting their first child. Jamie and Leigh Hobson, of Grovetown, have three biological boys and are trying to adopt a child from China.
For families who can’t adopt children, the fundraiser race is a way to help support other families, Jennifer Drake said.
“That’s their part – to help our families and take some of the financial burdens off of us,” she said.