Artifact of Grace: A Cause Worth Crafting

 
Kristin Mae Photography ©

Her name is Kristin Griffith, and she’s a twenty-eight-year-old photographer from Denver, Colorado. What makes her heart the happiest? Ghana, Africa.

One day, Kristin’s friend Molly, who had visited Ghana several times, asked if she’d be interested in going. After thinking about it for a few weeks, Kristin agreed. What started out as a random trip would soon stir up Kristin’s biggest passion.

During her trip, Kristin was able to help serve at an orphanage. She fell in love with the country and, most of all, the people: “More Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 2.47.43 PMthan anything, Ghanaians make this country beautiful,” she says. “They are more joyful than anyone I’ve met, with a faith that’s so simple yet so great. They are welcoming and relational….Life is simple in Ghana, and I often miss it when I’m in the U.S.”

The country of Ghana is both colorful and tattered. In the villages, people are selling goods that they carry on their heads. Kids are running barefoot while goats roam freely. Delicious mangos, gigantic spiders, and sweltering humidity are just a few of the memories Kristin has of her visit. She recalls the “Ghanaian women in colorful clothes carrying water back from the river, and mud huts, and a hazy light that makes a photographer happy.”

But one thing stood out and became clear to Kristin after her experience in Ghana: She wanted to adopt from there.

Kristin and her husband, Jeremy, have been married for five years, but she never wanted kids until she got back from Ghana. “I was pretty nervous to tell Jeremy that I was ready to have kids, but not biologically first. I was ready to adopt.” After discussing her desire with her husband (who hadn’t been to Ghana himself) and letting him think it over, Jeremy’s desire soon matched his wife’s.

good_shepherd_005 (1)Ghana’s government has suspended adoption for over a year now. Kristin and her husband are waiting for the suspension to be lifted and, in the meantime, are preparing for this big life change. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the process, one of the biggest hurdles in adoption is the cost. In order to adopt two children from Ghana, Kristin and Jeremy will have to come up with almost $40,000.

And so, out of the woodwork — quite literally — came Artifact of Grace.

Artifact of Grace is a cause that Kristin created to raise money for their adoption. The duo makes handcrafted furniture and gifts and puts the proceeds toward their adoption fund. “I grew up with a very handy mom and learned most things from her,” Kristin explains. “She gave me freedom to be creative while also teaching me useful skills. Honestly, I still just learn as I go.”

For simply “learning as she goes,” her products are pretty spectacular. From handmade wooden bike crates to hand-stained wooden maps and a wooden and metal dining room table creation, Artifact of Grace products are perfect for making a home look beautifully rustic.

Though the short-term goal of this project is to fund their adoption, Kristin’s ultimate goal for AOG is even more beautiful: “I wouldScreen Shot 2014-06-17 at 2.55.14 PM love to see AOG grow into something big, something bringing in a lot of money, and with that money, I want to set up grants for other families to help in the adoption costs.”

So what can we, as Germ readers, do to help this family? The best way, according to Kristin, is through word-of-mouth and Etsy marketing. If you aren’t able to invest in their furniture, visit their website, learn their story, and share AOG with your friends and family.

Also, let Kristin inspire you. Even as a young person, she found her calling — something outside her country and something bigger than herself. Find a way to use your talents and passions to change the world, just as she is doing.

“…we want AOG to be a place of encouragement and challenge. We love hearing inspiring stories from others or answering other people’s questions, whether it’s about faith, Ghana, adoption, or how to follow a dream … We definitely don’t have all the answers, but that’s what doing life with people is all about … figuring it out together.”

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All photos by Kristin Mae Photography ©

Ashley Dunston graduated from Vanguard University with a degree in English. She spent the past year making coffee drinks in Newport Beach, but she has recently moved to Colorado and hopes to pursue an MFA in creative writing. She enjoys Russian literature, NPR, shopping at thrift stores, and watching Lifetime movies. Surprisingly enough, she is actually not single and does not own any cats.  Email: ashley@germmagazine.com.

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