Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous



I guess you could say I was a little ticked yesterday. Well, really, I was more than a little ticked. I think I could have spit on a stranger (although I don't really ever see myself doing that, unless that stranger messed with my kids, then I'd probably do more than spit on him). Anyway, I was mad. I was frustrated and discouraged and everything else that is unbecoming to a woman. I'm going to explain what happened, but before I tell you the story, let me start by sharing what I re-posted to Facebook first thing yesterday morning.



I read that quote and said to myself, "Oh, that's a cute little quote about adoption so all of my Facebook friends can get a better picture of adoption and see that God paid a high price for us." Then I reposted and felt pretty good about it. However, I should have read it over and over again, then taken the hint from God that something big was going I happen yesterday. Specifically, I should have read this part more carefully: "adoption...is costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous." Yes, what a great moment of foreshadowing from the Author. 

After reposting this, Brad, the Littles and I spent most of our morning trying to figure out where to get a physical done for our adoption. The physical is hardly more than a sports physical; the only difference is that you have to have some blood tests, a urinalysis and a TB test, then the documents have to be notarized. Not really a big deal, unless you don't have a family doctor. And we don't, mostly because we really don't care for prescribed medications unless they are absolutely necessary, and it seems that all doctors want to do is shell out meds (don't be offended if you're a doctor...thats just our experience).

But I digress...I spent much of last Thursday afternoon calling different clinics in our insurance plan to try to get set up for an appointment. I must have called at least 10 different places (every clinic under our insurance plan in our main city, for the record), and none of them would work for us, either because they weren't able to add us as new patients or they couldn't get us in until August or later. I found one place who could get us in but they didn't have a notary and it wouldn't be until after this Friday. Well, I'm impatient and just wanted to cross this thing off my list, so those answers didn't work for us either. Walmart's walk-in clinics did our physical for Brody's adoption, but they no longer do adoption physicals, and a few other places I called said they don't do them either. So, after asking my school nurse about it without positive results, we were down to a walk-in clinic and a another local clinic suggested by a friend. We went to the suggested clinic first: You have to already be a patient in order to be seen. Ok, on to the walk-in clinic, which advertised $40 sports physicals without insurance needed. This would be fine, we thought. $80, and we would be done with it. We get there, and they tell us our insurance won't cover the physicals. Ok, that's fine. How much will it cost? "$149 each," they say. Our thought process: "YUCK. But we have to get this done, and this seems to be the only option unless we want to wait even longer, so we will just suck it up." 

Fast forward an hour (with two kids ages two and under in tow, mind you, we weren't exactly feeling fresh and relaxed), I get to the counter to pay. Brad went ahead to the car to get the kids settled.

"That'll be "$670.88," says the clerk.

Me: WHAT?!? She told us it would be $300" (And let's be honest, $300 was already ridiculous considering the fact that they just check our height, weight and blood pressure!)

Her: "I'm sorry she told you that, but that didn't include the lab work."

Me (in my head): She looked at the physical form and KNEW we would have to have blood work. How could she not tell us? Why would you not tell us??!! This is truly ridiculous and I will spit in your face and walk outta here without a second thought.

Me (what really happened): "If I would have known that I would not have done this physical here. That hurts, but I can't do anything now." I said it very calmly. I should have caused a scene, then gone back to talk to the doctor (who, by the way, had adopted from Guatemala). 

Then I proceeded to go to the car and let one little tiny tear escape from my eye because I should have asked more questions; I should have called a few doctors we knew to ask for a favor (I HATE asking for favors! --Hurts my pride.); I should have been patient; I should have gone back in that building and demanded a refund because the receptionist didn't give us the whole truth. Coulda shoulda woulda.

Brad was just as ticked as I was, but all he said was it's over. Can't do anything about it now, so it's best to move on. (I love it and hate it that he doesn't stress.)

Whatever.
It happened.
It was expensive.
It has been and will be worth it.

Later that day I was thinking about that stupid expense, and I realized that I haven't really batted an eye at the fact that this adoption is slated to cost about $35,000-$38,000, but I got ticked because of a few hundred dollars. If I trust God to provide $30,000, shouldn't I trust him to erase the sting of a $670.88 physical? I think it hurt most because it was so unexpected, yet the task should have been so easy. If I know something is coming, I deal with it much more effectively and with a much more sober mind than if it's just dropped in my lap like a hot coal. I just didn't know this expense was coming.

Or did I? I don't think it was any coincidence I posted the quote earlier that day. I should have paid more attention to this part: "It's costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous."

Because it is, and we know it. It has cost us some extra days and nights of relaxation and maybe a better kitchen or updated bathroom. The paperwork, planning, and money management can be exhausting. It's definitely expensive, and some things about adoption are definitely outrageous. But somewhere in the Congo there is (or will soon be) a small child who will be redeemed from a life as an orphan to a life as a son or daughter. And we will get to call that child our child. And it's worth it.