Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 332

I am seriously concerned for my mental health. I have to laugh, because if I don't, I won't ever stop crying! Our current situation is so complicated I've avoiding blogging all the details because they change every day! I don't know if I want to punch the new attorney in the face or storm capitol hill. This process is nothing short of insanity and the hoops we're having to jump through are out of control.

Let me offer another bulleted sequence of events that led me to this rant:
  • I squawked enough at the old agency they ended up waiving our supplemental fees and returning the money we had in escrow with an agreement that we would have to pay post placements, out of pocket. Great News.
  • New agency's attorney emails me our new contract and asks that we send it in ASAP, with the outlined monies, so that they can start working on our case, meet with Rebekah, etc. Okay, Great.
  • Not great. New contract comes with an expense sheet called "Exhibit A" (if that doesn't sound like a murder weapon, I don't know what does). Exhibit A does not reflect the information written out in the contract and we have a small [scratch that...HUGE] problem with the fact that they wanted us to pay $11,000 upfront and within two days. they know we're in a recession. Maybe there are people out there that can get that kind of money within two days...but we're not them!
  • I call new attorney and tell her my beef with some of the language in the contract. For example, it was written that we must communicate with Rebekah through the agency. We don't want to communicate through the agency, we're doing a fine job on our own. The attorney's response to this? "Go ahead and just cross it out and write in what you feel more comfortable with."
  • Um. Excuse me, cross it out? Should I do that with all the elements I'm not comfortable with? Frankly, I'm not comfortable paying at all. You do know that you're asking us to sign a legally binding contract, right? Not to mention the thousands of dollars you're asking us to pay you, for coming up with this paperwork. Call me crazy....but we should be receiving 5 star service here. That contract should not only be tailored to our needs, it should be laid in gold!
  • Caseworker at original agency calls to tell me that she was concerned about one of the questions I asked and had their attorney call the new attorney. When I clarified all the fees that would be owed, new attorney briefly mentioned there was a $3000 (additional) finalization court fee. I asked original agency about this (our final court hearing will be with them, here in MI) and they had no idea what the new attorney was talking about. MI court hearing will only cost a couple hundred dollars. I'm satisfied with this answer, chalk it up to varying state law, and move on.
  • New attorney tells original attorney that the $3000 isn't actually a court fee. It's a filing fee. A filing fee that we are required to pay the new agency. Even though the original agency is doing the hearing, new agency will be filing the finalization. What?!? And that costs $3000 additional dollars? YOU HAVE TO BE FREAKING KIDDING ME.
  • I'm headed to the loony bin.
Way back when...okay, just a year ago....when we first started this process, I snubbed my nose at all the adoption naysayers (there's a plethora of them). They think it's all about the money, the agencies are only out for themselves, it's not about the kids, yada-yada. My tunnel vision chalked it up to ignorance...they simply didn't understand this process.

I've been tainted. If adoption was truly about the children, why would it be this difficult? I'm not lumping in every agency and attorney, but from my limited experience let me tell you...this system is corrupt.

On a much lighter side....
Thank you for following our story, encouraging us, and lending your support. I have no idea why my side ticker isn't updating how much money has come in....and I simply haven't the mental capacity to worry about it! In two days we've brought in $200.00! I am so thankful for all of you. Many of you have emailed me privately and offered your encouragement. Others are sending me sweet packages and I know countless people are praying. Thank you. Thank you for walking this road with us. It has been more than a little rocky...but in the end...WE WILL CELEBRATE, together.


  1. The legal crap is daunting! Your baby will thank you in the end...just think with all the $$ your paying out you'll never have to pay an him an allowance....he owes you big time....trying to make you laugh...God Bless!

  2. love you friend...just count the days until you see his sweet little face:) so sorry this has been such a long and expensive road. standing with you

  3. Oh my goodness. Our agency charged us a flat fee. Even though it was on the medium-to-high side, I thank God now upon reading your story. I do think you might have a point about some agencies focusing more on money. One agency we looked at probably would have been less expensive, but they charged you for everything, even making copies, for crying out loud. I can't imagine being nickled-and-dimed for everything. Hopefully God is letting you go through this now because He's blessing you with an angel baby and no legal hassles after you bring him home:-)

  4. oh Rebekah ~ this sounds way too complicated. :(
    I'm sorry you've been tainted by this experience...please know that not all agencies are like this.
    I wish so much you could've gone through a private adoption consultant. But you know what ~ it will all be worth it in the end. I know that's not a lot of consolation right now....but at some point in your life (oh, in about 3 won't even have a memory of this. :))
    Hang in there!
    Sending thoughts and prayers up for you ~

  5. Oh my this awful, I think someone should shoot your new attorney in the foot just for being difficult.
    I hate all the costs associated with adoption, it makes me feel like we are buying our child.
    I will be praying for you that this all gets worked out!

  6. Hang in there kiddo! Less than 100 days to go!

    The money will come around, things will get straightened out. Everything WILL be fine. Because it IS about the Children.

    I'm curious about which agency you're dealing with in MI? you can email me and tell me if you're not comfortable spouting it on the open net!

  7. oh my, that would send me to the looney bin too. Literally. all I can say is hang in there, God is way bigger than any of the bills you have been getting. thank goodness.

  8. Can't you just "quit" the agency and Rebekah "give" you the baby? I am hurting for you and so angry at all these attorneys and agencies for you.

  9. This post makes me crazy. CRAZY!! It makes me (once again) happy with the agency we have chosen. I need to stop being so antsy.

    I am proud of you, Rebekah. Don’t just lay down. Ask for explanations and rationalizations. The end will be what it is, but at least you will know you tried. And in the end, it will all be worth it! Keep your spirits up, my friend!

  10. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, nothing will I fear, as long as you are near, please be with me to the end.

    My fave Amy Grant song ever!

    I try to remember that legal and moral do not coexist peacefully. I always opt for moral, ie not going through the agency to talk to each other, blargh...let's completely strip this process of any humanity. Ask God for the lamp to shine on your next step and take it, the path will become clear.
    love and prayers.

  11. Thanks for your post Rebekah! I know it's so hard, and following your journey has been preparing me for mine. I'll be praying for you! Remember, sorrow only lasts for the night, but the joy comes in the morning! Tomorrow is a new day! And there's only 90 more tomorrows, so just hold on! I can't wait to see his face!!

  12. I always thought the role of the agencies was to match the families and to handle all the red tape. If they're not handling the red tape efficiently, and you and Rebekah found each other, why don't you find better representatives? Is it too late to just go with an attorney from your end (where you're not required to have an agency), and find a better Colorado agency? It doesn't seem as though either agency has done much to earn all these fees they keep asking for.

    I know this is going to work out for you. Whatever happens, your family will be settled down and happy very soon. I just wish this process had been easier than 18-months of labour.

  13. That really sucks. It's all I got. Love you.

  14. Wowza.

    Hey, if you move to Nebraska, not only would we be best of friends, but our agency charges NO fees.

    You have enlightened me in the financial craziness and I'll never ever ever take our agency for granted.

    Hang in there. Your son will be SO worth it!!

  15. I just can't help but keep thinking that something is not right here. Anyone, in anyone state, can work through an adoption without an agency, isn't that correct? (We're in a bit of a situation now in which we may be taking custody of our two month old great-nephew, that could lead to adoption........long story but, no agency..).
    Anyway, I would try to find another party/friend of a friend who's a family attorney, another agency, someone...and get a second, uninvolved opinion!

  16. I have just been reading your blog for a couple of months (just before "the call"!), and I am so excited for you!! My heart breaks as I read about all the latest stressors, though! It must be so hard to get straight answers from anyone, since it seems like you are involved with two agencies that have communication issues?! My husband & I may be delving into the adoption world in the summer, if God leads us that way...We are praying for you and your hubby and son!!

  17. Yeah, there is a filing fee (additional) that we had to pay to the attorney. But you don't have to worry about that until everything is said and done, and the attorney can usually give you net30 or some kind of interest-free payment plan.

    I remember "Exibit A" from the BCS fact sheet and almost threw up when I saw the $21K that we had to come up with.

    Bottom line:
    (1) apply for grants through the agengy
    (2) hit up Shaohanna's hope (although they turned us down)
    (3) check out the adoption loan program through West Michigan Community Bank ( that will front you the adoption tax credit. We got $15K from them pretty quickly...they were a Godsend!

  18. God will make a way when there seems to be no way! Lean on him, friend. He's going to carry both you, Rebekah, your husband, and baby boy through all of this.

    And I agree- the adoption system does seem corrupt but I have very, very limited knowledge in this arena. I just cannot believe how many "fees" and things they want you to pay, for seemingly no reason.


  19. Uh, what a crappy mire! I'm so sorry you have to deal with this because of how you and Rebekah found each other. A word of advice from the trenches: be careful how much you call attorneys or ask them to call you back. We got bills later and found out that my quick questions about the process cost us mucho $$$...the attorney will bill you their hourly rate for talking on the phone. Try to e-mail them if possible because we never specifically got billed for e-mails to our attorney. Good luck!!

  20. That is wild, really.
    Maybe in Texas it is easier to adopt, or maybe it is all about picking the right agency. Our system was in no way corrupt. We went with a Christian agency and were not nickled and dimed anything. We knew what we were going to have to pay upfront, and were blessed to find an agency that is one of the lowest in the state. $21,000 or more for an adoption just does NOT seem right. Our agency does not charge anyone that much. The process should not put people in the poor house, caring for a child is expensive enough.

  21. Rebekah...
    I am sad for you and Ben right now with regards to all of the money that is required to adopt your baby. It is really unfair how the agencies take such advantage of us. They know that there is NO other way for us to have a child. We are trapped. We can't grow them on trees or in dishes! We have no other options and they KNOW this. They have the upper hand. I hate that!

    I can remember when we were searching adoption agencies... Most of them began the conversation with..."How much money do you and your husband make?"

    My response would be (after already introducing myself)..."Did I mention that my name was Julie and my husband's name was Mike?"

    And the reply..." Oh, hi... how much money do you make?" :(((

    It makes me sad that babies are being sold through many of these agencies... They are innocent human beings, precious children of God, and WE are begging to take care of and love them... why should we have to pay the high agency prices? ... because we can't have children and the agencies know that. Unfortunately, we have to submit to them! Kills me... over and over again, it kills me!

    I hate judgment....! You bust your tail to educate yourself and have a good job and career... and you get slapped in the face with unbelievable and utterly ridiculous agency prices/fees because you are financially stable....???!!!! Well, after adopting... we may not be financially stable anymore! Wish these people had a clue!

    So sorry. I know you are hurting and you are feeling bummed. This is YOUR time...
    -YOUR time to shine, to be happy, to have fun shopping for baby boy, -YOUR time to anticipate all of the wonderful things to come with baby boy,
    -YOUR time to sleep well at night knowing that you have a child and you are officially a mother,
    -YOUR time to enjoy "Ben time" before baby boy comes,
    -YOUR time to be thankful for Rebekah...
    This is NOT your time to feel down in the dumps about ridiculous financial concerns regarding your most precious hopes and dreams!

    You have waited in line for a long, long time...Now, God is delivering! I want you to feel happiness in your heart and have joy in your spirit!

    Rebekah, God WILL take care of you! Read the poem Footprints...

    Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, we would walk side by side through life.

    But, when I needed you most,
    I saw only one set of footprints in the sand....

    The Lord replied...
    "I love you and would never leave you...
    During your times of trial and suffering,
    When you saw only one set of footprints,
    It was then that I carried you".

    Be still, Rebekah... and know that He is holding you at this time!

    Thinking of, and praying for sweet peace in your heart!
    .... Julie....

  22. ugh, Rebekah....i wish this didnt have to be so difficult. i dont know what to say but i want you to know i just prayed for you!

  23. If you get a chance email me at - I have some info to pass onto you that might be helpful, just too much to post here.

  24. Oh Rebekah- I'm bummed for you. This all just seems so unfair.

    I love Julie's comment. This SHOULD be a happy time for you and Ben, not a time of worry, stress and tears- no matter theraputic they may be!! I wish I could just make everything all better for you, but I can't, of course, but God can and He will. SO- I'll just keep praying for you, Ben, Rebekah and Baby Boy! Never forget that God will make a way where there seems to be no way!!

    * BIG HUGS for you- wish I could hug you in person!!!