5 solid reasons NOT to join the adoption fund

I don’t know where you like to hang out, but online in the places I frequented, especially a few years ago, there are some groups that use kind of spammy tactics and gimmicks to get readers involved.

These tactics include lots of bold promises, yellow highlighting in sales copy, and pop-ups galore. Some even use fake testimonials or timers for counting down sales that don’t really expire. While I can appreciate some of the tactics, even if I don’t particularly like when they’re used against me, I straight up hate the lying.

I’m saying this because the title of this posts can seem to fit into that last group. Marketers put up these sales pages giving you all the reasons you shouldn’t buy something, trying to use reverse psychology (or whatever it’s called these days) to get you to buy.

Stuff like…

  • Don’t buy this if you like being fat
  • Don’t buy this if you enjoy living without any money
  • Don’t buy this if you want baby rabbits to get murdered

Absurd stuff.

A few guys, though, actually get it. One who comes to mind is Chris Guillebeau. He writes these kinds of lists, offering reasons you shouldn’t buy his products, and his reasons are actually legit. He’s like, “Yeah, if you prefer to search for this information for yourself, feel free to do that. It’s freely available. I’ve just put it into a handy guide to save you that trouble. Either way, though, the blog content is still free, so enjoy it.”

[Note: Chris actually says this better than I do – I’m just paraphrasing.]

I appreciate these kinds of offers. They actually help me evaluate whether or not the product is a good fit, instead of just trying to cram it down my throat regardless.

So in the same spirit, I’d like to try to offer my own list, briefly, of why you shouldn’t join the adoption fund here. I think these are legitimate reasons not to contribute (and there are others too, but these are the big ones that make me personally uncomfortable accepting your support):

  1. If you think it’s a gamble whether or not I’ll adopt: “What if you don’t adopt? What if you change your mind?” I’ve fielded these questions a lot. It’s certainly a possibility – everything in the future is uncertain. But if, based on my history of announcing stuff that still hasn’t happened, you think this has less than a 90% chance of success, don’t get involved. I personally like taking calculated risks, but I don’t want to encourage gambling, and I certainly don’t want to start gambling with other people’s money.
  2. If you worry how I’ll spend the money: If this even crosses your mind, I’d seriously suggest waiting to contribute, waiting until I’ve adopted and you can pitch in for meals or something. I understand wondering how I’ll spend the money, like legal fees versus housing costs, but if you’re concerned that I won’t spend it wisely, I’d rather not accept your money. Maybe I’m just selfish, but the last thing I want to worry about is whether or not the supporters support how I’m spending their money. Frankly, I’ll have enough to worry about without that added pressure. If you can give me money for this with a clear conscience, all ties released, I appreciate it. Otherwise, please reconsider.
  3. If you don’t think I’d make a good father (right now or ever): This is an extremely personal decision on your part. Even (perhaps especially) among my closest friends and family, this is a tough question to answer. That’s why throughout the fundraising experiment, I’ve tried to avoid asking people to give me their reasons for not contributing. Maybe their reasons have something to do with this one, and they’d rather not share that with me. I totally get that.
  4. If you don’t believe in single (male) parent adoptions: This is another huge one. While my best-case scenario is still to get married before adopting, I’m not ruling out the latter. I don’t want anyone involved in this who will have even the slightest regret if I use their money to adopt without getting married, if that’s the way it plays out.
  5. If you’re saving for your own adoption (or otherwise contributing every last cent you have): I think the vast majority of my friends have extra money. While things might feel like necessities, it’s still possible to live, say, without a phone. But exceptions always exist. If you’re working on your own adoption especially, I encourage you to stay focused on that. If you’re helping build wells in underdeveloped countries, if you’re ending malaria, if you’re a missionary, if you’re already caring… I understand and appreciate that. And I think it’s more important for you to focus on your own mission.

Let me try to be clear again. I’m not sharing this list to secretly coerce you into getting involved. I’m sharing it for the friends on the fence, the ones who, for example, want to support me personally but disagree in principle. I’m writing this because I want those friends to have closure.

I want you to do what they think is right and not worry about weakening our relationship as a result. We’re still tight even if you don’t join this. If you’re wrestling with this decision at all, I’m already grateful you care that much.