Monday, July 15, 2013

The Car "Accident"

Welp, last week I answered a tough question about asking for adoption donations while taking a vacation. This week I think I'll continue the trend and answer another question people might like to ask me but haven't for fear of being punched. Not that I would punch anyone, but they might wonder about this topic and not want to ask for fear of offending me. In that case, I will direct you to this Psalm: "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." I'm not offended.

Here's the deal: I drive a nice, "luxury" car. There's nothing wrong with driving a nice car (AT ALL), but when I roll up in my nice car to drop off an adoption fundraising t-shirt it can be a bit awkward and embarrassing. In my head, I imagine what adoption supporters are thinking, "What the heck am I doing giving her money for her adoption? She's driving a stinkin' Benz (not really what I drive) and I'm driving a Prius with a torn-off bumper! If she can afford that car she should be paying me to wear this stupid shirt!" Our adoption supporters might not really think a thing about it, but I like to overanalyze just about every detail of my daily life, so I think it for them.

Here's the truth in this awkward situation: We drive that car because of a car accident, in a round-about way. 

As you know, we are teachers. That, by default, means we don't make a ton of money. My district pays decently well, but Brad's does not. That really means we have no business driving a luxury vehicle. And when our time with this car is over, we will probably never have the opportunity to own another luxury vehicle again. However, we did not just go out and buy this car. It is actually the result of a few small miracles.

Last Spring, with one day left before Spring Break, I was driving to a meeting on rain and sleet-covered roads (which I did not realize) when I flipped my Jeep. I felt the car sliding out of control and probably over-corrected, although I can't tell you exactly what happened in those scary moments. My life went into slow motion as I veered in front of another car (barely missed her), then off the road into a ditch as my car flipped to its side and then popped back up on all four wheels. Windows shattered, the EMPTY car seat in the back reminded me how thankful I was to be driving without Brody, and I looked down at my 12-weeks-pregnant belly hoping that the baby didn't feel the violent jolts of the Jeep the way I did. I opened the door without a scratch to be found on my body, but I was worried about the baby inside, about which only Brad and my parents knew. I called Brad to interrupt his baseball practice, and he drove down to get me. We decided to go to the ER so they could check on the baby. After HOURS and HOURS of waiting in ER, we were happy to find that the baby was fine but I did have a severe UTI, which can threaten a pregnancy. In a weird way, we were thankful for that car accident, without which we might not have known about the UTI (even though the meds did make me unbelievably sick within the next few hours and for several days after, including Brody's first birthday party, of which I remember practically nothing. That's a whole other story.)

Fast forward a few days from the accident, when we learn that the Jeep is totaled. Great, we think, just what we need, another bill (still paying for first adoption....pregnant....). Our insurance company said they'd give us some low-dollar amount for it, so my husband made a call to our agent to double check the amount. Seems that they had made a mistake (or our agent is awesome). They ended up giving us an exceptionally high price for the Jeep, which meant we had enough money from them to buy a decent family car.

My parents called, "We were thinking about selling the car." [Yeah right. They are just trying to help us out again...or they think we can't afford to buy a safe car for our kids' sake...] "Would you guys want it?" Your NICE car? Yes, but it's too nice for us! Long story short, they practically GAVE us that car for very little money. That's kind of what my parents have done all my life. If someone--anyone--needed something, they tried to make it happen. And they usually did. (And they'll probably get mad that I'm telling people what they do because they don't want the credit. And I want to be like them so badly!)

In summary, as a result of that car accident, the baby and I got a clean bill of health, we got a really nice and safe family car, and we ended up with some extra money to help us replenish our funds after the crazy adoption.

WIN-WIN-WIN.

We will definitely enjoy this car while it lasts, but when we've run it into the ground (or we outgrow it...ah-hem...), we will buy a used vehicle that can withstand a little squeezie-applesauce, spilled juice, mud, and (accidentally) crazy driving.