How to Afford Your Adoption

– Have you ever though about adoption, but then thought, man I don’t
have the money to do that. Well, today I’m going to show you how you can do it debt-free. (upbeat music) All right, for several months now, my team and I have been wanting
to do an episode on this, because we kept noticing
the topic adoption pop up in the Facebook group. I love the idea and the
heart behind adoption. I mean, seriously, I think it’s amazing. Now, even if you’re not planning
on adopting personally, I bet you know someone,
who is part of your life, who wants to make this
a part of their story. So, I think there’s some
really great takeaways in here for everyone. But the thing about
adoption is, it costs money. Mhmm. And sometimes a lot of money. So, in this episode I’m going to bring on one of my favorite authors
and speakers, Lisa Harper, to share her amazing
adoption journey with us. And also author Julie
Gumm, who wrote the book on how to adopt debt-free. But first, I want to tell you about my own plan for adoption. (piano playing) Listen, adoption is a very personal choice, and I think that some people
have a deep conviction and call on their life to
do it, which is incredible, and some people don’t. And
neither one is right or wrong. But for me, as a believer,
I know a part of our job is to take care of widows and orphans, and there’s so many ways to do that. So, for Winston and I, we have a goal in the next 10 years, that we would actually love
to pay for someone’s adoption. And that’s our 10-year goal, is to be able to do that for someone, which is just so amazing to think about. And I think that it’s fun because I’m like, that
could be a reality for us— to be able to bless another family because of the money habits
that we are doing today. Day in and day out, we’re being
intentional with our money, which includes our monthly budget. Thank you, EveryDollar. But also, on top of that
adoption goal that we have, we attend a church that
one of their main missions is foster care. I didn’t know a ton about foster care, but the more they talk about it, the more enlightened I am on the subject. It’s crazy, you guys. In the U.S., there’s over 100,000 kids in the foster care system
who are ready to be adopted. Listen, there are so many
problems in our world and our country that it seems
like it’s impossible to fix because it takes so much bureaucracy, and laws, and all the stuff. But foster care—this is something that really can be solved. Now, if you can’t open
up your home to a child, there are so many other ways that we can support foster
and adopted families. Things like babysitting, rides, meals, and even helping out with
laundry and household chores. Again, I know this is a really big topic. So, whether you’re interested
in adopting locally or internationally, I want
you guys to hear from someone who has walked through the
international adoption process. You may be familiar with
her. She’s incredible. Again, one of my favorite authors
and speakers, Lisa Harper. Her story is phenomenal, so check it out. (airy synth music) (engine revving) (car door slams) (alarm beeps) Guys, let’s be real. Being
a parent is hard work. Now that I have two daughters of my own, it feels like the to-do list never ends. And as every parent knows,
your priorities change and you have to make important decisions for your child’s future. That’s why term life insurance is a must for every parent. It’s so easy to get and it’s affordable. What you’re looking for is 10 to 12 times your annual income to make sure everyone in
your family is taken care of. Winston and I use Zander Insurance. They do all the work for you to find the best prices and options. So go to to
get started on a quote today, because that’s who we trust
to take care of our family. (guitar playing) (electronic music) Lisa, thanks for coming on. – Oh, I’m so tickled you
had me. I was excited just to see you.
– So fun. Well, I know you travel the world. You’re like, preaching the
gospel and doing great things. But part of your story that I love is that you’re an adopted mama. – Yeah, grace of God.
– Yes, so your story’s incredible, and I’m familiar with it.
But for those people that aren’t, tell me a little bit just about the adoption—
your adoption story. – Well, let me go back,
because this is kind of the tale of two cites—best of
times and worst of times. Worst of times is, I
was hot mess on a stick when I was younger. (laughs) – Kind of looking for love
in all the wrong places, so I didn’t get married because I was attracted to yahoos. And so I didn’t think I’d get to be a mom. And then I had several
different people in my life who spoke in my life about adoption. Not saying you should adopt. I just kept hearing that theme. And you know when you feel like, okay, Lord, you’ve even put
it in refrigerator magnets. Maybe this is something
I should pray about. – It’s constant . . . – Exactly. So I prayed about it a lot and met with a ton of people about it. I’m job security for my counselor— I talked to her about it. And then I thought, you
know, there’s 147 million-ish orphans in the world as we know it today. And yeah, best case
scenario, in my opinion, a child gets a mom and a dad. But there are millions
and millions and millions of kids who will die before infancy in third world countries, orphanages, or age out in foster care in the states. And so I just began to kind
of put out some feelers and say, “If there’s a child
who doesn’t have a shot, or a good chance at a
mom and a dad, then maybe a fluffy single mom in Tennessee
would be a better option.” I started praying about it, and through just a series of miracles . . . First of all, I lost
two adoption attempts that were just heart-wrenching. – Is that rather common
in the adoption process? – Very common.
– Yeah. – Very common. And then a friend called me, and she said, “I
just got home from Haiti. And while I was in
Haiti, one of the young moms in the village I was
visiting died of AIDS— undiagnosed AIDS. And she left behind a two and
a half year old who has HIV, and tuberculosis, and a host of other issues. And the doctors are saying
‘This baby won’t live (she was two years old at the time) for two months, if somebody, really anybody, doesn’t stand in the gap for her.'” And she said, “While we were in the hospital, God just put your name in my heart.” And she said, “Would you be
willing to pray about this?” And I said, “Nope.” I said, “I’ve been praying
about this for 30 years, sign me up.” And then I got off the phone and said a word that wasn’t in the Bible. Because I thought, “Goodness gracious, I don’t know how to do this.” – Yeah.
– And then six weeks later, I was in Haiti, and
they put her in my arms. And it took two years, from that moment, for me to
actually get to bring her home to Nashville. And it was really hard
and really beautiful, and she is now 10 years old and healthy as a horse. And other than Jesus, she is the most amazing thing in my life. – I mean, she is . . . And I’ve met her a few times in person. But even just
following you on Instagram . . . Right, I’m like, just seeing
her, whether it’s in person or just via my phone . . . The joy that this little girl has, Lisa, it is unbelievable. And so like . . .
– She is really joyful. – And so, I mean, is
that just her? Like, how is she now? It’s just like she radiates.
– Yeah she wasn’t . . . She had a spark when I first met her, but she was more wary than joyful, because she didn’t have a
whole lot to be joyful for. And it’s been the coolest thing
to get to watch her unfold. God wired her to be joyful. And she’s, you know, very effervescent. And she’s become more and more so, the safer and the
more love she’s received. – Yes, so good. Oh my gosh. Okay, so talk to me about the
international adoption process. – How was that for you? – You know, and I wasn’t—
a lot of people go, “Oh, you must have prayed about Haiti.” And I’m like, “No.” I just was like, Lord, direct my steps. I’m not that smart, so you’re going
to have to make it real clear. From my experience—and
I have a ton of friends in the adoption community— there’s a few more wrinkles
involved, just with the phases and
it’s a little more expensive going back and forth. So they’re different. You know,
they’re apples and oranges. But I feel like God makes it clear, whatever you’re called to. – So good. So kind of off that point. You know, it can be
somewhat of a trend of adoption. Like there was kind of, like flood the last
few years of becoming . . . – PEOPLE Magazine. – Yeah, right, right, right. So, my question to you is, what encouragement
would you give someone kind of
checking themselves of, hey, this is a true calling and
conviction on your life that’s been put on you? Versus just thinking, oh,
you know, this sounds fun. This is great. Okay, I’m
going to go for it. – Right. I recently had a friend who called me, and she was fussing. She goes, “So and so saw your story, and now
she’s praying about adoption. And I just think she’s doing
it because it’s trendy.” And I just started laughing,
and I said, “You know what, God will purify her
heart in the process.” If he’s called her to that,
he’ll keep opening the doors. So I do think you have
to be prayerful about it, and recognize, you
know, I’m not doing this because this is something
Brad and Angelina did. God has called me to
this. You seek counsel. And then if he calls you to it . . . I mean, I was in way, way over my head. It was so far above my
capacity and my pay grade. And God has filled in every single gap. So, if he’s called you
to it, He’ll make a way. I would just say, in that
process of praying about it, make sure you have counsel around you. – Yeah, so good. So, if someone is at the
point that they’re like okay, yeah, we’re ready to take those steps to adopt. What advice do you have just
in general for adoption? – Yeah, it’s messy. It’s just like life, and
then your heart’s involved. So you’re like, goodness gracious,
not only is this messy— I feel like my heart has
been ripped out of my chest. It is a heart-wrenching process, but we’re called to it
as Christ followers. We’re called to take care
of the widows and orphans. So, if he’s called you to
it, it’s so worth the mess. Just don’t think it’s
going to be neat and tidy. – Yes. It’s just so good, because I feel like sometimes
you can get this picture. You see someone and you’re like, look it’s
adoption and it looks so great. But there are the hard times, right? Even you
just saying that, like, I hadn’t even thought of that. But, yeah. When you have
that child in another country, you have no control. – You know, I think you
just know going into it, God is big enough for this. – So good. – I’m not, so I’m going to continually stay desperate to Jesus, and because he’s a
redeemer and a life-giver, there’s going to be
redemption in this story. – Yeah, absolutely. And there’s hope. – There’s always hope. – So you touched on this a
little bit at the beginning, but I do want to circle back. So for women out there who are single and they’re starting to feel this, this pull . . .
– That’s right. – Like, how was that in
general, just adopting? Like how were people in your life? Were you encouraged? Like, what did that look
like as a single woman? – You know it was . . . I mean, Rachel had, I can say it was . . . It can be real polarizing. You have to find a community,
a community of faith, who goes, “We’ve got your back.” – Yes. – But I will say, if it’s a single woman who’s lonely, don’t adopt a
child because you’re lonely. That’s where you’re
going to be real careful about the motives of your heart, because a child isn’t going
to make you less lonely. Jesus makes you less lonely. – So good. The motive part is so, so wise. And I’m like, you can plug
that into anything, right? – Absolutely.
– Don’t get married because you’re lonely. Don’t
spend money because you’re lonely. I mean, all of it. It
goes back to that place. – Or carbs . . .
– Yeah, right. – Or Carbs because you’re lonely, which
is one of my favorite go to’s. – Love it all. Well, you are just such
a shining bright light. Whatever room you walk into, ever since I’ve known you, I’m just like, you are just an attractive person. And you’re raising, obviously, one of the sweetest, sweetest
little girls in the world. – And I totally believe
in arranged marriage. So we’ll sort that out.
– I know that’s right. – Listen I’d love for
her to be a cruise baby. – Missy will be a little too old for him, but they could . . . (laughing) – But train them up in the way
they should go, Rachel. You know . . . – I think the pairing could
really happen, really happen . . . – Lisa, thanks for coming on and sharing your heart.
– Thank you for having me. – And this is such a huge topic. And I know we can only just
scratch the surface on the show. – I’m so glad you addressing it. So glad, because it needs to be under this canopy. So I’m so glad y’all are doing that. – Well, thank you. Thanks for coming on. Always good to see you. – Thank you. (upbeat music) – Wasn’t Lisa great? Seriously, her story is incredible,
and I love her so much. She’s one of those people
I could be around all day. Now, if you want to adopt, or you know someone who wants
to adopt, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: It can be really expensive. But the cool thing is,
you can do it debt-free. So, I’m really excited about
our next guest, Julie Gumm. She adopted two kids internationally, and did it debt-free. She wrote a whole book about it and has some really
practical tips for you. (electronic music) Julie, thanks so much for being here. – It is such an honor, thank you. – Yes, for those people watching that don’t know exactly your story, tell us a little bit about
your family dynamic today. – Okay. – And what made you guys want to adopt? – Okay. Well, my husband and I are
high school sweethearts. So we’ve been married almost 26 years, and we have four children. And so, two of them are
biological children, and two of them are adopted
siblings from Ethiopia that we adopted 10 years ago in 2008. So, two boys, two girls. Two
adopted, two biological. – So, before you guys went
on your adoption journey, you got out of debt
first as a family. – We did, yeah. We kind of went gangbusters at it. We paid off our credit cards, our student loans, sold a car, and
got out of all of that debt in a relatively short period. Yeah, so those two
journeys are kind of really interestingly intertwined, for sure. – Together, yes. And then you guys did it, I
mean, in an incredible way, because you did it debt-free. – We did.
– To a point that you wrote a book, “You
Can Adopt Without Debt.” Yes, which is so good and so helpful. So, this whole episode, we’re talking about adoption and talking about foster care, because it’s on the
heart of a lot of people. And I think, even in the last probably— and correct me if I’m wrong— but you know, even 20 years. Just the exposure of social media and how we’re just so much
more connected as a world— you just see the need. And I think people’s hearts
have just grown even more. And so, the biggest problem
I hear with people is, it’s just so expensive. – And that’s why I wrote the book. Because literally, I would talk to people and they’d go, “Oh, that’s so
neat, but I could never do that because I could never afford it. I’ve thought about it, but
I could never afford it.” And so, I had a friend that
was urging me to write our adoption story. And I’m like, well, there’s
nothing really special about our adoption story. You know, per say. And she’s like, “Um, yes, there is.” And so that was really it. People coming with that question. And for me to say, okay, if this is
something you really want to do, then there’s a way for you to
do it without going into debt, and without, you know,
taking out huge loans, or emptying your whole savings account, or any of those sort of things. – Okay, so let’s talk about that. So, what are kind of the practical
things that you guys did? Things people can
apply to their life today if they want to start this journey, but do it without debt. – Yeah, absolutely. Well, I mean, the first thing
I would say is look at the different kinds of adoption. You know, some people maybe,
you have infertility issues, and so you really want a newborn baby, and that’s important to you. Other people are really drawn
to international adoption. And we were for sure. And then other people, foster care. So, the number one easiest way to adopt without debt is
to adopt from foster care, because it literally
will cost you nothing. I mean, I’ve talked to some people and they’re like, “Oh, we paid like $300, or a couple hundred here or there.” But adopting from foster care, virtually everything is paid. And then private domestic adoption—again, that can happen several
different ways: attorneys adoption agencies. But
that can range anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000,
depending on where you go. And international adoption—again, you’re probably looking at $20,000, $25,000, $40,000,
and some in excess of that. A lot of that is travel costs. Sometimes, in some countries, you have to go two different times. – So the price itself changes, obviously, with which type you go through. – Right. – So how did you guys do it debt-free? And how can people—how do
people do it debt-free? What’s in the book, Julie?
– Yeah. – Give us the secrets. (laughing) – Well, I actually wish
I had written the book before I adopted, because I learned a
lot through the process of writing the book. I thought, wow, I wish I had known that. We did do some fundraising, which we can talk about. But I, at the time, was doing
a lot of freelance work, web design, that sort of stuff just when people came to me. We probably paid for
about $10,000 to $12,000 of our adoption fees
with just freelance jobs. – Just extra work, essentially, is what that is. – Extra work, yeah. My husband was selling stuff on eBay. We did have a big garage
sale with some friends. I’m trying to think. And then just
being tight with our money— kind of going back to
those things that you did when you were working on the debt snowball. And like, don’t eat out as much, and don’t impulse buy the
cute shirt at target. (laughing) I just put it back every time. (laughing) – You know, it’s a sad day when that
happens. But it’s good discipline. – So, some of those types of things. And so that’s how we did it. But there are lots of different stories and lots of different ways
that different people do it. – Yes, and I’ve had friends
that have gone on this journey, and they’ve done a lot of fundraising. So talk about that a little bit. Like, what are ways people— creative ideas or things
that people don’t think about when it comes to classic fundraising? – Yeah, there’s so much fun
stuff that you can do, actually. And I think a lot of people,
when they hear fundraising, they’re like, “Oh, I don’t
want to ask for handouts.” And that’s fine. We have a family that did a karaoke night. It was like, you know, you pay $5 and you can make somebody stand up and sing some really embarrassing song. When they get called, they
pay money and they can make somebody else come sing. You could pay a cover fee when you walked in of like $30, and then nobody could sign you up to sing. – Oh, funny! (laughing) That’s probably what I’d do.
– And they’re like . . . – I’d do $60 just to verify that I
don’t have to get up and sing. – Me too. They made like $1,300 dollars that night. You know, and so it was
just a really fun time. – That’s so great. Because I do get . . . Because I have friends
in my mind right now, I’m thinking about them. They’re always like, “Oh, I just feel weird asking for money.” You know, some people do
GoFundMe pages or all of that, but not this set of friends. And so, just thinking of creative ways. And I’m like, oh my gosh, that
is so out of the box. And if you are the
person taking the money, and you feel uncomfortable
just asking for it, you’re getting
involved doing other things that is still receiving that profit that you’re able to use
towards the adoptions. And even going back to
just the simplicity of what you said at the
very beginning, of like, working extra, and watching
the budget, and cutting expenses. It’s like you’re saving up for something. – Yeah. – Because adoption and kids in general— whenever you talk about family, emotions rise high, right?
– Right. – It’s a very emotional thing. But to say, okay, we’re going to slow down
the pace a little bit, and we’re going to look to
see how can we do this wisely, and do this without debt. And the fact that it is possible. – It is possible. – And you did two adoption processes . . . – Well, one process, yes. – Yes, but two children. – It wasn’t double, which is nice. – Yeah, that’s true. – Yeah. – Okay. So, what are things that
you wish you had known in this process before entering it? – I wish I had known about
the resources out there for help. There’s
different grant organizations that will either do direct
grants—Show Hope is one. There are some that will
do matching funds for you, and so that’s great. And two, like—a second income. You know I did the web
design freelance thing, but there are a lot of
organizations out there who have adoption benefits. So if you are going to go out
and try and find a second job, try and find one
at a place, that will give you some money at the same time. – Absolutely right. Partner with why you’re
getting the extra job. – Yeah, absolutely. – That’s amazing. Well, Julie, I feel like you just give
such hope to this subject, to the point that, like, it’s possible. – It is possible.
– It is so possible. And there’s so many resources out there. There’s so many ways to go about it, and you can. So if your
heart for adoption is there, there’s a way to do it debt-free. – Don’t let the money stop you. – And you’re living proof of it. And Julie, thank you, so so much. Seriously, your book, “You Can Adopt Without Debt”— if you’re a family that wants
to adopt, seriously, buy it off Amazon. Go ahead and purchase it. So many great ideas in here,
and you’re just awesome. So, thank you, so so much Julie. I really appreciate you coming on. – Thanks, Rachel. (upbeat music) – This was such an inspiring episode. Thank you so much to Lisa
and Julie for coming on. I just love them. And if you’re thinking about adopting, I’ve made something
special for this episode. So, click the link in the show notes to get my debt-free adoption tracker. This will help keep you motivated as you use some of those creative ideas that Julie gave us to save
up for your adoption. So, thank you guys so much for watching. And if you’ve not subscribed
to my YouTube channel or my podcast, make sure to do that so you don’t miss any new money tips coming from me. And, as always, make sure to take control of your money and create a life you love.

18 thoughts on “How to Afford Your Adoption

  1. It's absolutely tragic we have to discuss how to afford to adopt a child, outside of normal childcare expenses.

  2. Adopt from foster care. It’s free! All adoption is beautiful but these kids are here, they need homes. We adopted two this way, fostered 13. Just an option.

  3. ​I have adopted all 4 o my kids thru Foster care! It was the best decision I have ever made.

  4. Very good, loved it, thank you! I am a single woman starting the adoption process and this was great information.

  5. Rachel that is AMAZING that you and your husband are going to bless another family to adopt! Me and my husband want to adopt. But we have a long way to go. We are going to be debt free in 2 months, and then starts the process to save to buy our 1st home. We have been married 9 years, took FPU last year and just been following the steps. You and your dad have changed our whole lives! Thank you for all you do! ❤

  6. Great video Rachel. Adoption and foster care are so important. So many people would love to adopt, but say that they can't afford it. This video will help encourage them along the way.

  7. Not sure if it is a state or federal tax break but you can include your adaption on your taxes and get 13000 a year back until you are fully reimbursed. We did this on our first adaption and are planning on using it on our second.

  8. A high school friend of mine got her baby a couple months ago through adoption: new born. One of the things she did is she made personalized wreaths and would goto craft fairs and sold on facebook. She did this for a year,not sure how much money she made but her and her husband hit their fund goal in about a year and then just a couple months later, they were called and were blessed with a baby who had literally just been born.

  9. You gave my chills when you said you wanted to pay for someone’s adoption ❤️ that is by far the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard!

  10. Thank you for covering this. My husband and I are starting on the road to adopt and have been stressed as to how to do this debt-free or if that was even possible. Thank you for giving us hope!

  11. We just had two children placed with us for adoption from the foster care system using Family Connection Christian Adoption for those in California. They offer adoption for the “waiting children” those whose parents are out of the picture but for whatever reason their foster family isn’t adopting them. Super affordable, we did it debt free and we are so truly aware of the blessing and gifts these two children are to our family! And indescribable joy!

  12. Rachel, this such a great topic to cover. My dad’s sister was adopted. I’m crying hearing you talk about this. I am so thankful for the people God has called to adopt children.

  13. This is the journey that my husband and I are on. Both improving our financial situation and adoption. The timing of this video could not be more timely. Thanks for taking a look at this topic.

  14. There are some incredible fundraisers that also do good, I highly recommend Funds2Orgs and BothHands.

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