Better Late Than….
By: Kerrie Olejarz
The next day we were feeling refreshed after all the previous days’ excitement. It was now Thursday and Cailyn’s passport was not ready. It was a tad frustrating, but we had faith that all would continue on track, and we would be home in less than a week. Thursday evening we headed to the mall to meet up with some girls from Australia. We met Kim in December when we were in Delhi for IVF. She was there waiting for the birth of her first surrogacy baby. She was here again having had a second try at the process and had twins! Her twins came early and were in the Newborn Centre, gaining strength. She was fortunate to have two wonderful friends come with her, and also with her was the baby that was born last December, a gorgeous little red haired girl. The evening was a lot of fun and we enjoyed a great meal and company. Shortly after 9 pm we grabbed a cab and made our way back to the BnB. Cailyn was just so easy to socialize with and everyone enjoyed meeting her. We loved every every second of her, every little breath. We were anxious to get home, but really took this time away to enjoy being a family, unencumbered for just a short while. Our daily routine included the wonderful task of hand washing the day’s laundry and hanging it up to dry. We were so happy that we had brought muslin blankets for the baby as these dried in a snap and were always clean and fresh! That evening after the fun of laundry, we settled in and said a little prayer that our passport would be ready in the morning. Sweet dreams and an early rise meant a quick and early call to the High Commission. The news was great: our temporary passport was ready for pick up! We quickly called our immigration liason who was happy to hear that and managed to grab us an appointment at the MHA office for 10:30am. We now had to get into high gear and get this show on the road! As we entered the dining room for breakfast we were surprised to see it raining really hard outside –not just raining –flooding in the streets! Every one was outside walking in the rain, enjoying what could be the last of the monsoon rains. We expected our driver at any moment and were ready, waiting at the front door with baby bag packed and baby. Five minutes went by, ten minutes went by, fifteen! We called Rahul the driver service owner who said the car was on its way, hang tight. Finally, almost one hour later, our car arrived! We were stressed, knowing that we would be late, or possibly miss our Indian government appointment. Once loaded in the car, we got a slap of monsoon reality; the streets were knee deep with running water. Traffic was snarled, jammed beyond comprehension. Our driver made every effort to weave in between rickshaws, cars, and pedestrians. The streets were like rivers, water was flowing downhill at a fast pace, and the backsplash from the vehicles must have been ten feet high! Our stress and anxiety was gone, and we laughed at how late we were and how the rain and road conditions were not going to improve in the immediate future. Finally, after 2 hours, we arrived at the High Commission. We were officially two hours late for our Indian government appointment and made a quick call to our liaison who said “HURRY!”, and that we did. Security at the High Commission recognized us and we were speedily processed and quickly hustled in the rain to the main building. We were immediately passed the passport through the prison-style drawer in the bullet proof glass. Record time, in and out! We called our driver to come get us, and he arrived quickly. While we waited for him outside the High Commission grounds, the armed guards were standing with us, trying to stay dry. We asked if they would take a picture with us and one of the gents agreed. Mark first, holding Cailyn and her passport with the armed guard who took it upon himself to wrap his arms around Mark! When it was my turn, I told him how his machine gun or rifle, whatever it was, terrified me. He was kind and tucked it off to the side of his body and we took our picture together, sans touching. You see, men in India hold hands, walk arm in arm and are very public with their embraces of friendship. On our first trip to Mumbai we just assumed that there was a large gay population, but we were wrong. It made sense that the guard was comfortable to wrap his arm around Mark and not me. Our driver pulled up and we were off to the Green Park area of New Delhi to pick up our liaison. This area was either on higher grounds, or had a better sewage and drainage system, as the roads were clear –wet, but clear. We called our liaison and she made her way down to the car and we were off to the MHA! We were going to be almost three hours late and even though we worried it may be rescheduled, we had our girl with us who would do everything she could to get us into the appointment, better late than rescheduled!