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Ask Dave

Finding Money For Adoption

Lindsey and her husband received an adoption referral from Russia. They've already spent $12,000, and they need another $24,000 by July. Her sister has offered to loan them some money. Should they take it?

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.

You either sell your house and work the address problem out, you find some money, or you do the unthinkable and have to move on to the next child. I didn’t figure that was an option, but I’m just throwing out how I’m going to process this in our house. We have walked away from some deals that broke our hearts at times because we refused to borrow money to do them and then later found that we weren’t supposed to do them after all. I’m not saying that’s the case here. I’m saying if I’m in your shoes, I’ve got to find another way to do this other than borrowing my sister’s student loan money. Do you hear how desperate and needy that sounds? You do not want to do that, and she doesn’t need to be borrowing student loan money anyway unless she needs it to go to school, and she shouldn’t even be doing that to start with. This whole thing is twisted up there. No way I’m taking that money.

I guess if I’m in your shoes, I’m selling the house. I’m going to work the address issue out with the adoption agency that you’re paying through the nose for that’s so grand. Maybe they can actually work an address issue out. I still think you’re overpaying. I’m almost positive you are, and I think you’ve been sold on a particular agency, but you’re there now with this kid, and you’re going to go forward with it. That’s why I say I’m going to get a bunch of hate mail when you’re not going to understand my answer, and I’ve got to live with all of that.

My answer to your question is I would sell the house. I would do a lot of other things, but I would not borrow my sister’s student loan money, and I would not borrow on a credit card to make this happen. It would make me very, very sad. It would probably cause a big fight in my family and some other things, but we would not be going forward with it if it meant borrowing money.