The meeting with the attorney (DS) went really well. She was as fabulous and warm and nurturing in person as she had been on the phone. We talked about everything we had talked about last week, but more in-depth. She gave me lots of paperwork to look over, which will be how I'll spend part of my Saturday.
We talked more specifically about how the networking will go -- that meaning, how she will "promote" me (my word, not hers) to potential birth mothers, to other adoption attorneys; and how I can promote myself and help my own cause.
There were times when she needed to excuse herself to deal with a minor situation with a birth mother. You could tell from the way she spoke to her, that she's good people, even to those who are not her clients. And that she had established a trusting bond with this birth mother in just a few months.
I told her my absolute ceiling price, including her fees, birth mother fees, expenses related to interstate compact, and any hidden, additional fees. She feels it is absolutely doable.
I also found out last week that I was awarded a grant and that I have until July 1, 2012, to be matched with a birth mother (or get an international referral) in order to receive the grant. I told DS that's her deadline.
"I'm an attorney, I can't tell you 100% guarantee, but I don't see this being a problem."
In New York State, to do a private, domestic adoption, I have to be pre-certified by the Family Court as an adoptive parent. Regardless of whether I find my own local pregnant teenager or DS finds me a potential birth mother, this step is a must so next week, I will have her begin the paperwork for the pre-certification.
That can take up to six weeks to be finalized, so in that time, I will start all the "marketing" stuff I need -- creating my own website (separate from this one), setting up a second cell phone line and another email address to use in advertising materials, and most importantly, writing and designing my birth mother brochure.
These initial steps will not be a huge amount of money. So I'll move forward, give it everything I've got and reevaluate in a few months. It's nice to know that I still have Haiti in my back pocket, should I need it.
The forecast for today is cautiously optimistic with a speck of hope.