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. Uh...do 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.
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.