Thursday, February 21, 2013

There, And Back Again (Part II): The Ice Queen

We're leaving!  Finally after a month of living in New Delhi, we will be on our way home tomorrow.  We will both miss it, though Saffron has not expressed her opinion on the matter.  Today we will say our goodbyes to all our newfound friends, do some last minute shopping, and pack, pack, pack!

Yesterday was our adventure to FRRO (Foreign Region Registration Office), the most pointless part of this entire process.  You see, once your child is declared a U.S. citizen (or whatever country you're from) you need to get an exit visa in order to leave.    Yes, the child who has no claim of citizenship in the country he/she was born in has to get permission to go home.  And let me tell you (and I've already made a joke about the department of motor vehicles here before), this place makes the busiest day at a crowded L.A. county DMV look like a day at a library!  There is no order or efficiency.  They have computers, but don't seem to utilize them to their advantage.  It's almost as if they are purposely making their job more difficult and then bitching about it being so hard.

There is an interview process with a woman who thinks she knows all about surrogacy, but knows nothing.  She cannot really relate to anyone from another culture.  The gentleman I spoke to at FRRO said this interview is a mandatory procedure that everyone going through surrogacy has to do.  This is a flat-out LIE.  Two days prior, four people got through FRRO without ever having to see her.  So they pick and choose.  And I'll give her the benefit of the doubt too, she may be a nice and compassionate person outside of her "profession" and her higher-ups may be telling her to do/say/ask certain things, but she has to live with the things she says and the reputation she's getting (and lady, it ain't good!). She also had the nerve to tell me that the laws of surrogacy changed, that I got this far was a complete "fluke", and that I can never do it again.  She, and the people trying to change the laws in India, need to examine very carefully how much surrogacy and other medical tourism adds to their economy and what it actually means to people and families. Yes, regulations need to be put into place, but people also need to make their own decisions.  Honestly, the nicest person I dealt with there was the cashier who liked my shirt.
Excited to go home!

Earlier in the week, we met our surrogate for the first time.  It was a very emotional and personal experience that I will never forget.  We've shared some very personal things on this blog, but I this is one moment that I think we'll keep to ourselves.  But for those of you going through the process, I recommend it - but let it be on her terms.  It may be too emotional for her and she may want to forget it and move on.  I will say that it brought closure to us and I hope for her as well.

Photo courtesy of Randy Schmidt (thank you!)

Lastly, we were one of a few couples that did a television interview with CBS regarding medical tourism in India, emphasizing on surrogacy.  We had to think really hard before doing this:  1) because it will air nationally, privacy was our main concern (despite having a blog seen around the globe, there are varying degrees of anonymity); 2) we didn't know what angle the interview would take (would we be demonized and put in a negative light?); and 3) I hate seeing and hearing myself on video.  Then we thought about the positives - and if we can help people realize their dream of having a child, it would be worth it. People will see this interview once and never again.  We said to each other that if either of us felt uncomfortable during the interview, we would walk.  Plus, we thought Dr. Shivani wouldn't have let them in the door had they been there to exploit anyone. The CBS crew ended up being amazing and I wish them the best of luck on the feature. They were very cool to hang out with and their photographer, Randy Schmidt, was kind enough to take some photos of us.  I was very impressed that they made no mention that we were a same-sex couple or that it was even an issue.  I hope the televised version still treats that aspect as a non-issue.  That's all for now - more when we're stateside!

Namaste!





9 comments:

  1. What a sweet happy little baby. I keep oohing and aahing at my computer! Safe travels.

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  2. Saffy is to die for...she's so adorable! My goodness...you must be so ready to head home. Safe travels!

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  3. Congratulations on the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Your life is forever changed now. Celebrate every moment and hold tight to the incredible blessing India has given to you both.

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  4. So happy for you guys :-) Glad it all worked out and that you get to head on home. Safe flight - and once again congrats on your little bundle of joy.

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  5. Wow guys I'm sad to see you go but happy to watch you return home with your bundle of joy! Thanks so much for your gifts they're already being put to good use!! Please keep in touch!! X

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  6. So happy for you! Congrats once again. Upward and onward as they say. BTW, can I just say that Saffron is to die for! Safe travels home.

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  7. Hey John and Morgan, We're so happy for you guys! We'll have to do a play date when we visit our friends in MA. Safe trip. Cheers!

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  8. Oh what a cutie pie! Have a safe trip home!

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  9. Well said about the "Ie Queen" @ the FRRO, glad you made it through.
    Talk with you soon!

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