By Kerrie Olejarz
The trip to and home from Agra was long and exhausting; we were hungry and tired. We spent the evening relaxing at the BnB, watching old movies and enjoying Cailyn. We ordered in some salads and yummy breads and just relaxed. Fortunately at Cailyn’s mere 3.5 weeks of age, she didn’t notice how long the day was. She was comfortable, had a full belly and a clean bum at all times.
Cailyn was still a bit gassy so there were random episodes of gas pain, crying and exhaustion, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We only had three days left in Delhi, and as much as we wanted to return home, it was very sad to leave India. Our time in India gave us our long awaited miracle so leaving was bittersweet. Here we were with the most gorgeous little girl to treasure, 8,000 miles away from home, finally, we were complete.
The last few days we had some struggles with diaper rash. We figured out it was a combination of the wipes and diapers we had purchased in India after our home supply had run out. Fortunately we had brought Calendula cream with us and this really helped to heal the sore bum of our sweet baby.
We were looking forward to the next day as we were heading to the FRRO to obtain Cailyn’s visa and also had dinner plans with a whole group of IP’s and new parents. After a lot of bad movies we called it a night. Cailyn was sleeping so nicely in her little cocoon we had brought, it was cool and quiet in the room, just perfect! The next morning we were ready to go get the visa. The nights were not too bad as we took turns feeding and changing Cailyn, this also made me very aware of what a wonderful dad Mark was. He never complained and he enjoyed learning about changing and feeding the baby; he was a great student!
Feeling rested we packed up and headed to the FRRO. Now the FRRO had been plagued with some pretty frustrating stories from parents before us, so we were not really sure what to expect. One of our immigration liaison’s assistants met us at the front entrance and guided us in to the waiting area. It was like any government office to be found around the world, yet the obvious difference was the plethora of Afghan refugees, patiently waiting their turn. We took a seat and were not really sure what we should expect. Cailyn slept so nicely in her travel cocoon and we kept her covered up based on previous tales we had heard. We were fortunate that no one even batted an eye at us; I guess it had to do with the fact that the cocoon looked like a duffle bag, and secondarily Cailyn never made a peep. After about eight minutes we were called to one of the stalls and were asked for 3255 INR, about $75.00 CDN. A senior officer came over and introduced himself, asked to see our passports, counted our money, and then asked for Cailyn’s passport. He explained that he needed to keep Cailyn’s passport to process the visa, and that it would be ready in about three hours. He took a quick peek at Cailyn, smiled, and walked away. Hmm, that was it? What about the drama, the stress? It was a good experience and we were happy to share this on our blog. The process had improved over time and we wanted to spread the good news. We made our way out of the waiting area and found Sunil who explained to us that he would come back and get the passport and deliver it to us at the BnB. Wow, this was awesome service!
We walked outside to find our driver Mishra. He was nowhere to be found so we called him and he said he would be there in about ten minutes. When Mishra picked us up, he asked if we were hungry and did we want to stop for lunch. This made us laugh, as every time we were with Mishra, which was a lot, he asked about lunch and always suggested McDonalds. The catch for him was that we always bought him a veggie burger combo, with a coke. He seemed to LOVE it, and we were happy to do it for him, although we were not big fans of the food. Mishra was a very interesting man, or should I say amusing. He continually tried to get us to buy a (insert very high pitch voice with Indian accent) “a very fine Kashmiri carpet”. We knew there was some sort of kick back for him if we bought one, but we were not in India to buy carpets. We explained this to him, yet he continually asked us if we wanted to buy a carpet. We decided to keep him happy with his veggie burger, fries and a coke instead. He loved seeing Cailyn and was amazed at what a good baby she was. He continually commented on it, and always noted “baby sleeping”. His driving habits were a bit erratic, but he always got us where we needed to be on time and with no hassle. His wife and children were back in a village, growing rice crops, and he came to the city to be a driver to support them. He would go home to see them once every 6 weeks or so, depending on how well he had done financially. He was a very proud Indian and also a proud father of a 9-year-old and a 2 ½-year-old. We always tipped him at the end of the day, 100INR, about $2.00. This does not seem like a lot of money to us, but for him it was a huge help for his family and we were more than happy to do so. It had to be a tough life for him and his family, and we imagined that seeing Cailyn probably made him miss his children even more. After our McD’s stop we headed back to the BnB. Cailyn was due for a bum change and a bottle, and us, some relaxation. We had to start thinking about packing to go home, but had dinner plans that night so that would have to wait until tomorrow. We spent some time with the family from Ireland and the girl from the UK in the afternoon, but were always wondering when our passport would be returned. The woman for the UK became Cailyn’s official Auntie over the last few weeks, and she was finding it hard knowing we were leaving soon. Just before 5 pm, in walked Sunil with Cailyn’s passport!!! YAY! All was good; we could officially leave India with Cailyn!! Tonight we could celebrate a bit with the others we arranged to have dinner with!
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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