Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I can explain

It seems as though I have some explaining to do. My tweets in the last few weeks have included the following:

"Paid $700 for part of our adoption last week. Received 2 checks (1 was tax return) totaling $701 today. Coincidence? I don't think so. #trust"

"Just found out we owed $1,500+ for Brecken's Synagis shots...BUT, there's a program that pays up to $2,000. Coincidence? I don't think so."

"Did anyone else just find a decently large check from the government in their freezer? Cause I did. #adoptionprovision #again"

Allow me to explain.

We paid for our home study during our first home study visit with our social worker in mid-April. The cost was $700 (down from $1,500 because we already have one on file through the agency...just had to update it). The next week we got two checks in the mail: One was from our 2012 state tax return--$501--and the other--$200--was from my friend and her husband (I really only know through the www, but we have all sorts of connections...yet we have never hung out--shame!). If you're counting, we paid $700, got $701 back the next week.

The next week I got a voicemail on my phone from the pharmacy that provided us with Brecken's RSV shots (Synagis), which were VERY expensive, as you may remember from this post. When I heard the voicemail I knew why they were calling: I was pretty sure we owed them some money for expenses in 2013, as our insurance deductible and max out-of-pocket/co-pays started over in January; however, I hadn't yet received a bill. Ever since Brecken's 9-week-early arrival and 5-week stay in NICU, I have basically planned to pay at least $200 per month toward medical bills. Most months, particularly in the beginning, we paid five or six times that amount to different entities related to the hospital, birth, or prolonged health monitoring. (He is doing great, for the record.) ANYWAY, when I called back the lady at the pharmacy told me she'd called about my account.

I took a deep breath an waited for the blow. "Your balance is $1,500-something (that part got blurry as I listened and said "dang it" in my head), but I would like to offer you some assistance through the Synagis copay assistance program. That program will pay up to $2,000 of the expenses you're responsible for in order to assist you; I just have to have your permission to enroll you."

Me: "You need my permission? Hmmm, let me think about it...yep, that'd be amazing." And now we owe nothing (to them anyway).

Fast forward to yesterday. We had our home study visit, in which the social worker comes to the house to make sure it's safe for kids. I wrote a check for $750 to finalize our agreement to work with this particular agency for our adoption. Our social worker reminded me that she needed copies of Brody and Brecken's social security cards for the file, so after she left I went about trying to find them. One was in my official filing system, but the other was in the freezer, where some people store things to keep them safe, fireproof, etc. (Is that weird that we store some documents there?)

As I looked for the SS card, I found something that looked like an official government document, but it wasn't anything I usually saved. I looked closer: Those were numbers on the side and it was from the United States Treasury. OH YEAH! This was the first check the government had sent us after filing our 2011 taxes, which included a house sale, purchase, and a crazy adoption. They sent that check, which we knew wasn't anything near what we'd claimed (adoption tax credit alone is near $13,000), while we gathered proof of expenses for them to send the rest. We held onto the check in a safe place--hence the freezer--while they looked at all of our documents that proved we truly did spend a crazy amount on Brody's adoption. We tend to be skeptical, so we wanted to make sure they didn't penalize us for cashing the check before we got all of the expected amount from them. After gathering more documentation for them to review and waiting several months for their response, we finally received the full amount of our federal return. However, because it took so long we definitely FORGOT about the check in the freezer, which was almost twice as much as the check I had just written for our agency. Yahtzee!

When I found it last night Brad and I might have done a happy dance. He says it MIGHT take all of the amount to fix his trick (which keeps stalling at stop lights!) or to re-carpet a rental house he owns with his dad and needs to sell (quickly and at the right price, please!) because the renter is moving out, BUT it's money we didn't know we had and we are thankful for the extra bit of cushion it will provide for stuff that sometimes goes wrong or--more excitingly--adoption costs.