Sometimes I hear people say “you know, foster adoption is free.”
It always makes me cringe a little.
Because the reality is that it doesn’t take much money to adopt from foster care (although you do have to prove that you are financially able to take care of a child). But it is hardly “free.”’
You pay in blood, sweat and tears.
You pay in sleepless nights and desperate pleas and time taken off work for appointments that all have to happen during business hours.
In any case, you get financially reimbursed for most things along the way.
Including a lawyer.
My big girl’s adoption was easy-peasie. Or at least as simple and straightforward as such a thing can be.
I called a lawyer, went over a few things on the phone and met him for the first (and only) time on adoption day.
I never paid him a penny. The money went straight from the agency to him. Easy-peasie.
As I’ve mentioned before, everything about Little One’s case was different.
Nothing came easy (except falling hopelessly in love with an infant… oh. dear. goodness)
When it came time to finally get a lawyer, I wanted the best.
So I researched. And I called. And I used my brain and my mama-intuition to make a good choice.
Because everything about this case was different, I used my lawyer for some adoption-related things before finalization. It ended up that I paid her just about exactly one thousand dollars more than I would be reimbursed by my agency.
I didn’t care a bit. I am not poor (just cheap!) and the peace of mind was worth every single penny to me.
Until a sweet friend slipped an envelope into my hand one evening.
Inside was a card full of encouraging words and cash money. This friend had received a windfall and wanted me to use this money to help pay for an adoption lawyer.
Eyes wide, my big girl and I counted the bills. So many bills.
Bills totaling exactly one thousand dollars.
There is no way this friend could have known how much I paid. Or how much my agency would repay.
But the God who counts hairs on our heads also counts pennies.
The Jesus who takes care of sparrows also takes care of solidly middle-class mamas.
Breath catches in my throat to think of it still.
That time Jesus paid for my lawyer.