It's an adoption tax credit miracle!
We woke up this morning ready to go. I had already emailed my mom overnight so that she would know to contact her bank in the morning to ask for a copy of the cashiers check. We had also called and emailed the secretary at the attorney's office. We were just waiting to hear.
Soon, my mother called to say the representative from her bank branch searched for her cashiers check, but they were only able to look as far back as January 7 (the check was from January 4). Seriously, what are the chances? It's also complicated by the fact that my mother doesn't have a receipt from the check, so there's no check number to search for.
She told my mom she could pay to do a search, but that it costs $25 an hour. When my mom asked if you can limit the search time to, say, an hour or two, the woman said she honestly didn't know because no one had ever asked for a search before (apparently no one has ever had $12,000 on the line!).
My mother felt bad, but vowed to search through her old receipts, purses and anything she could think of where her slip from the cashiers check might be.
Then, we talked to Ryan's mom, who had already read my blog post from last night and contacted her bank and was waiting to hear from them.
We went through all of our adoption records hoping that maybe the check copies had been there all along. Nothing.
I took a shower and prayed the whole time. I prayed for everyone who was looking for us - my mom, Ryan's mom, my sisters, the secretary - that they would all find copies. After I prayed for all the specific intentions, I started saying Hail Marys over and over.
At one point, I thought about how there were either copies or there weren't, and my prayers weren't going to change that. But then I immediately had the thought that yes, they could. An image popped into my head of the secretary leafing through a file cabinet, and how maybe my prayers at that very moment could make her look a little longer, not get interrupted, look in the right place.
I started imagining Ryan swinging open the bathroom door and shouting, "She found them! She found them!" But I was done and he hadn't busted in. I turned off the water, got out, and checked my email on my phone.
There were two emails from the secretary. I immediately went to the first one she had sent, which read that she was very sorry, but she doesn't ever make copies of the cashiers checks. Apparently, because they have an adoption affidavit that they filed that lists all expenses and what was paid, that's typically all that's needed (we already have this, and it will help, but we needed the checks too). I was bummed, but it was what I had expected.
Then I remembered the other email and clicked on it. To my shock, she had emailed back two minutes later to say she had FOUND THE CHECKS! She said while she never makes copies of them, the attorney must have done it that day back in 2010. They were mixed in with some completely unrelated documents in our file. I couldn't believe it!
She had been looking while I was in the shower! I had prayed that she'd look a little longer, not give up, and she hadn't! It's amazing to think that even though she knew she didn't make any copies of them, she kept looking. And there they were!
So, as it turned out, I got to burst out of the bathroom and announce to Ryan, "She found them! She found them!" Ahhh... what a relief.
And the other awesome part is that we realized cashiers checks don't have names on them since they are like cash. So hopefully we won't have to get into who the money was from, how we have paid it back, promissory notes, and all of that. Not that we couldn't explain all of it, because we can, but I just figure less complicated is better when it comes to taxes.
What a relief (did I already say that?). Now we are just like every other family waiting to hear about their adoption tax credit money. I'm so excited! We have a fighting chance!
We are also working with someone for our audit. When we filed our taxes through Turbo Tax, we paid a little extra for audit insurance. We contacted them today and they are going to tell us everything we should do.
So thank you so much for your prayers. I truly believe those checks were found because of prayer, and that prayer may have even led the attorney to make those copies two years ago (prayer knows no space and time, right?). I shouldn't be surprised - God has guided us through every step of this adoption.
And another added bonus - when I was looking through all of our adoption information, I found some stuff from Clara's hospital stay that I have looked through dozens of times before. But this time, I noticed that there was an order form for newborn pictures from the hospital and that there was a photographer's initials on it. I realized someone must have actually taken the photographs! I figured I'd check the website listed, but that they were probably long gone. Then I noticed something fall out of the photography booklet and it was pictures of Clara! I had found a proof sheet of four little photos of her. They all say "PROOF" across them, but I'll take it. We have so few pictures of her from her time before meeting us, that I was thrilled to come across these. (And I later checked the website only to find that the pictures are, in fact, no longer available).
I love these! It means so much to me to have them. And to think that they've been there all along.
Our little munchkin. This whole thing has given me a chance to reflect again on how blessed we are to have her.
Money or no money, we already have what really matters. And now, shockingly, we might end up with the money too! I know it'll be a very long process, but even a long wait sounds wonderful now because until this afternoon we didn't think we'd have any shot. God always surprises us.