"I don't think I'm responsible for a global recession," she joked, but the experience left a mark.
"The devastation that we had in the budget office when we had to make such severe cuts and raise taxes, just to keep us afloat," the budget director recalled.
Adams is leaving city government and the U.S. this month to return to her home country of Wales and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop the country's first-ever tax system.
While she says she'll miss the city, she leaves with a sense of satisfaction.
"We have a rainy day fund for the first time ever," she said. "The fact that we're being able to put money aside in case of a recession, it's a great feeling to feel like I'm leaving Philadelphia in a better place." Her perpetual smile and lilting accent will be missed.
City Council members, though they love to beat up on her boss, finance director Rob Dubow, would soften when she stepped up to answer a question.
"I just love your accent," more than one member commented on various occasions.
Adams moved to Philadelphia in 2006 with her then-boyfriend, now-husband David, a Maryland native whom she describes as a "serial entrepreneur." They now have two small children, so she was considering going back. Then she landed a dream job in the Welsh government.
As part of the United Kingdom, the country's budget has come from Britain. But through the process of devolution, which grants U.K. countries more independence, Wales has received its own taxing authority, and Adams will help figure out which taxes will work best for the Welsh people.
"My husband's not keen if I bring up a beverage tax," she said with a hearty laugh. "because it's been so popular here."
Adams says she'll miss Philadelphia in many ways. The streets, the parks, the people but also working in City Hall.
"I really like being surrounded by people who really care about the city and what we're trying to do collectively."