Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Bill

Since I was really little, I have loved getting mail.  When I was a kid, I once wrote to the tourism offices for about a zillion different countries just so I could get their packets in the mail with all of the photos showing how great the countries were.  Of course, I wrote to so many that eventually I got overwhelmed and stopped paying any attention to the packets, but no matter.  You get the point.  Okay, well if you don't, this is what I look like when I'm waiting for the mail carrier to come:

Christmastime is the very best time to love getting mail, because you get something nice almost every day.  Christmas cards, packages, pretty much fun!  So, yesterday when the mail came I was dismayed to find the bill from the agency.  My initial thought was, "Really, guys?  You wait until the week before Christmas??" and then I braced myself.

Backing up, the way you get billed for private adoptions through our agency is broken up by service.  You pay for the initial seminar, the home study, the entry into the pool, and then you stop for a while and wait to be matched.  When you get to the match, it all starts adding up based on how close you get to placement.  Each step closer involves several thousand more dollars.   The idea is that you're not paying for the baby, you're paying for the services provided by the agency as you move towards placement.

I'm not going to give dollar amounts here, but I will say that we made it through ALL of the steps.  We matched.  We met with the family. We decided to move forward.  We negotiated an open adoption agreement.  We took placement of Ida.  That's it - there are no more steps after that, and therefore we technically owed the entire amount, even though the placement disrupted. In addition, we owed the money due to the attorney the agency had to use as we were moving through the process, and because of Ida's ambivalence, there was a lot of interaction with the attorney. If you imagine how much a private agency adoption costs, that's about what we owed.

Back to the mail.  I started opening the envelope with the fear that the savings account that holds all of the money we've saved for the adoption was about to be decimated, but with a faint little hope that the agency decided to be kind to us.

The bill shocked me so much I almost woke Rob up (he's working nights this week) to celebrate.  The agency was very, very kind.  As in, unfair-to-themselves kind.  The attorney fees were about what I expected, but the agency fees were significantly lower - in fact, the agency charged less than the attorney did.

So, Merry Christmas!  Our adoption savings fund is in healthy shape, and we are ready to go if we match again!  Hopefully, we won't be waiting so long that I end up looking like this:

Art credit to:  Cory Basil

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