Updated with new questions at bottom
My new attempt at having a spirit of contentment is already being put to the test: Our adoption tax credit application is officially being audited.
While this is probably an annoying and mildly anxiety-producing exercise for the average adoptive couple, for us it will likely mean we won't be getting any money. While our claim is completely legit (our adoption actually cost more than double what we would get from the tax credit), we unfortunately didn't keep a good record of things at the time and we didn't pay with personal checks, so we can't just ask our bank for copies.
There is still a tiny sliver of hope that our attorney has the records in question, but we've already asked once via email to no avail (we called, but the secretary is very busy). Tomorrow we will start hounding them, though, until we find out for sure. I'm just not counting on what we need being there.
We'll still send what we have (mainly, a receipt from the attorney), and it'll likely be weeks before we hear whether it will be enough (my guess is that it won't be).
We've had about a week and a half to let this sink in, which is when we first saw it posted online that we'd be getting a letter in the mail (today we received that letter), but it still hurts a little. But I'm trying to remember what I told Ryan that first night - that by God's abundant grace, we don't need the money. We currently only owe family a relatively small amount and we will be able to pay that back over time. We were blessed to have such generous friends and family who gifted so much to us, and we were able to pay back a large loan last year. We are going to be okay. We don't owe a bank. We won't lose our house over this. It could be a lot worse.
All this will mean (other than that our generous relatives whom we still owe will have to bear with us a little while longer) is that we won't be getting a big fat check that would change our lives. And that's okay! We don't need our lives to change. We were going to be prudent and use it to start a savings account, but thank God that's all we had planned for it (okay, I have to admit, I daydream about using a hundred dollars of it for different things here and there - it'd be a drop in the bucket!).
I did kind of secretly hope the money would be there in case we wanted to pursue another adoption, but I can't worry about that now. How and when our family grows is in God's hands, and I can't be upset about something that is completely out of our control.
God is so good. I have not shed a tear over this because it is not a make or break situation. It's just money. This is an easy cross to bear when you think of what others are dealing with tonight.
It's just another way I can work on being content, living with what we have and not wanting more. Like $12,000 more.
And, now that I think about it, God may have purposely laid the groundwork for me to begin working on a spirit of contentment just in time - the confession where my priest mentioned it came just two days before first hearing of a possible audit.
I like to think that God is in all of this, watching out for us. Not letting us go off track with jealousy and anger. Something about that seems so nice and gives me great peace with it all.
Of course, if my prayer buddy does want to say a few prayers that the attorney miraculously has copies of the cashier's check, I wouldn't mind. It's not entirely over yet.
Update - Okay, so I figured I'd add some more specific information to this post in the hopes that someone reading this may be able to offer some insight. Here's the thing - we were very excited to get down to Louisiana to pick up our daughter and instead of depositing money loaned to us from our families in our account first, and then paying with a cashier's check of our own, we had my parents and Ryan's parents give us cashier's checks that we gave directly to the attorney (dumb, we now know. We can tell ourselves until we're blue in the face that we should have been more patient and put the money into our account, but we didn't, and so there's no point in it dwelling on it now [sorry, that was just a personal pep-talk]).
I can't assume we're the first people to ever need the adoption tax credit to pay back adoption loans. While we've paid them back in part, we need the credit to pay them in full. Makes sense, right?
So have any of you had a situation like this? Did you claim money on the tax credit that was essentially a loan you still owed? Did the government require proof that you were in the process of paying? And did anyone out there do what we did and actually have someone other than themselves pay the expenses????? I'm guessing not. Gosh, that was dumb.
Thanks for your help. And to answer Char's comment below... I honestly had no idea that the bank keeps a record of a cashier's check. We will definitely be calling our families tomorrow and begging them to contact their financial institutions!