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How to Adopt Without Going Into Debt

Julie Gumm published a book chronicling almost the exact same experience I’m writing about here in her new book, Adopt Without Debt.

I’ve hesitated to write on this subject until the process is complete but have decided to move ahead with a disclaimer, so here it is: Our children are not home yet, we are in the midst of the process. Things could go haywire tomorrow. If they do, we’ll cope with the problems as they come. But this is what we have learned so far.

When God called us to adopt we were only a few months into a new commitment to eradicate debt from our life. Like thousands of others we were convinced by Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course that our financial dealings were displeasing to God and not very good for us. We started making big changes. We downsized our house, sold our car, canceled our cable and got on a budget and before long we were making big progress dumping debt.

Just when things start rolling we meet Jean & Betchina and felt equally committed to adopting them. So, what do we do? We could take out an adoption loan. We could refinance our house. We could put the expenses on a credit card. But all three of these options were out of the bounds our our new commitment to financial responsibility. We Googled dave’s advice on the subject and…

Question: Lindsey in Nashville and her husband just received an adoption referral from Russia. This adoption was started in January, and they thought it would take a while. They’ve already put $12,000 in it, and they need another $24,000 by July. They’re going to sell their home but can’t until they’ve been to court in Russia. Her sister has offered to loan them some money. Should they take it?

Answer: I’m going to get so much hate mail that I’m going to be able to bale it because people aren’t going to understand my answer, but I’m going to give you the answer anyway. I think adoption is one of the most beautiful and highest possible callings out there. The chances that I would borrow money from my sister or borrow money from a credit card to do an adoption are zero. You’re probably going to do it anyway, and I’m not going to be mad at you, but I do not believe in borrowing money, and I’m not going to borrow money for anything.

As wonderful and beautiful and sweet as adoption is, the way I set my life out as a Christian, I am sure that the Bible does not endorse borrowing. If God wants me to engage in an activity, He’s going to give me the money. Otherwise, I take that as direction from Him that I’m not supposed to engage in that activity whatever that activity is. I am not borrowing money to do it.

Well, there you have it. Dave confirmed what I knew. If we were going to adopt we were only going to do it without debt. Once we embraced the decision to proceed without debt we got busy raising the money. Within 4 months of making the decision we had raised all of the money necessary to complete the adoption, $28,000! In my next post I’ll talk about how it happened.

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