Holiday shopping event makes adoptions possible for Oklahoma families
For the past two years, metro couple Katie and Matt Harder have sold handmade items at The Gift Goes On annual holiday shopping event to raise the money needed to adopt a child. Hosted by the Karis Adoption Fund, a portion of event proceeds helps provide matching funds for Christian families adopting children domestically or internationally.
Through their booth “Miles to Millie,” the Harders earned part of the money needed to adopt their child, Millie, from China. Karis matched the Harder’s funds, enabling them last May to realize their dreams.
“I stumbled across a picture of the sweetest little 3-year-old girl with Down syndrome who had so much joy and spunk,” recalls Katie Harder. “Because of the fear of the unknown we initially said we couldn’t handle a child with a known medical condition. But after seeing her picture, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. We chose not to let fear get in the way of love.”
Money raised through The Gift Goes On, featuring local storefronts and creatives, has answered prayers for local families like the Harders wanting to adopt.
“After several months of waiting we were able to travel to China,” said Harder of their family’s journey. “[Millie] has transitioned incredibly well and is super smart. She fits right into our family. She had an instant bond with her two older brothers and it breaks my heart to think she hasn’t always been with us. We knew we wanted to name our daughter Millie which is why our booth name is named Miles to Millie, and we traveled as many miles as it took to adopt her.”
This year’s event will be held Nov. 19 at The Cube at Council Road Baptist Church, and while the Harder family won’t have a booth this year, they will be there to shop and support other families dreaming of adopting. More than 30 vendors selling handmade and boutique items will be participating in The Gift Goes On. Food trucks with dinner and dessert will also be on site.
“You can check off your entire Christmas list in a one-stop shopping experience,” said Carisa Wilsie, The Gift Goes On and Karis Adoption Fund Chairperson. “Through our vendors, silent auction and raffle, find clothing, accessories, jewelry, leather goods, home decor, food items, family fun experiences, vacation home stays and much more.”
Depending on the family’s need, Karis gives grants, matching grants or no-interest loans for an adoption. The Karis Adoption Fund began in 2012 with support from Council Road Baptist Church. Since its inception, more than 120 children, like Millie, have found families through Karis. Last year, $77,000 was raised at The Gift Goes On for Karis. The fundraising goal this year is $85,000.
The Gift Goes On will take place Nov. 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Cube at Council Road Baptist Church located at 7903 NW 30th St. in Bethany. There is a suggested $5 donation at the door.