A Shawnee couple’s new hope for adopting a baby came from the vision of a Northland landscaping company, where the staff has decided to apply its construction expertise towards building families.
Riverside-based Hinkle Hardscapes is hosting a raffle fundraiser and will give away a $60,000 backyard makeover as a way to kick-start its new adoption grants.
The unusual combination started about a year ago for both Hinkle Hardscapes and hopeful future parents Ashley and Patrick Fields, who live in western Shawnee.
The Fields were married in 2009 and tried for many years to have a baby with no luck. With medical conditions stacked against them, several years of efforts through infertility doctors also failed to help.
“We wanted to conceive on our own,” Ashley said. “It took a toll on us emotionally and physically. It became everything we revolved our lives around.”
Late in 2016, the couple finally decided that adoption was their best choice.
“My cousins were both adopted and near and dear to me, so I was ready to go down that road,” Ashley said.
They started the application process for adoption, but kept it quiet, not wanting to get their hopes too high. Ashley also started a GoFundMe page in April to help cover the costs of potential adoption fees, which often run between $15,000 and $30,000 or higher.
She didn’t really tell anyone about it and just thought she’d see what happened.
Around the same time, the staff at Hinkle Hardscapes decided to start a nonprofit called Hinkle Cares Inc.
Emily Brown, one of the co-founders of the organization, said the charitable initiative started with the simple vision to do something good for the community.
“Our whole goal at Hinkle Hardscapes is to build outdoor living space that brings joy and help families give memories,” Brown said. “We wanted to give back in a way that would encompass that vision.”
As staff brainstormed ideas of how to do charitable giving, they decided adoption was an often overlooked issue that seemed like a good fit.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to help families build memories than to add a new family member to their family,” Brown said.
The company decided to partner with Zoe’s House Adoption Agency in Overland Park.
Zoe’s House works with expectant mothers in Kansas and Missouri and adoptive parents throughout the country. While Hinkle Cares is using Zoe’s House as a primary resource for connecting their new grants to adoptive parents, they found the Fields through that unpublicized GoFundMe page Ashley had created.
They called her in October and asked if she and Patrick would be interested in becoming the first recipients of the Hinkle Cares adoption grants.
“I was surprised, because not very often do you hear that companies have a non-profit,” Ashley said. “I thought that was amazing that they thought to do this, to give back to the community this way.”
While Fields family is the first recipient of an adoption grant, the folks at Hinkle Cares are determined that they won’t be the last and have come up with a way to raise money for more adoption grants through doing what they do best — landscaping.
Hinkle Cares is conducting a raffle, which runs through the end of June 2018. The prize is a $60,000 backyard makeover, which will include a fire pit, pergola and outdoor kitchen as well as all of the furniture needed to complete the outdoor living space.
Tickets are available starting at $10 per chance at hinklecares.com. The winner will be selected July 6, 2018.
Brown said focusing the Hinkle Cares charity on adoption has given staff at Hinkle Hardscapes more than they anticipated.
“We started this just wanting to do something to be nice, but as we got to know the people at Zoe’s House and know the stories, we are invested and want help a lot more than we expected,” Brown said.
Hinkle Cares is hoping to raise $100,000 with the raffle to help other families receive grants in order to be able to complete their adoptions.
Fields says even though they are still waiting for a baby, the importance of the grant has been priceless. It has turned eight years of heartbreak into hope again.
“I am just so moved that they decided to have this money go towards adoption,” Ashley said. “Patrick and I are so thankful every single minute of every single day that we were chosen for this. We feel so honored, and we feel that God has a hand in this.”