Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Forward Momentum

It feels like we've climbed a mountain in Delhi and are now starting down the other side towards the end of our stay here.  It will be at least a week (or more depending on the exit visa process), but events of the last couple days have propelled us ever forward.

Since Neve's birth we have been following up on how our Surromama is doing.  She had no complications from the c-section and was released from the hospital a few days after Neve and has been in her Delhi apartment with her family continuing her recovery over the past week or so.  With the c-section, Surromama was out of it when Neve was born and we wanted her - if she wanted to - to have the opportunity to meet the sweet baby girl that she gave life to.  We got the call yesterday that she was ready and bundled Neve up for the trip across town.

As with all things Surromama so far, it has been incredibly difficult to know exactly what to do, how to act, what is appropriate, etc.  The first time we all met I had this feeling that we were in a parallel universe -- standing squarely in the same office in Delhi but still worlds apart.  She had been carrying our little girl for nine months and we, from across the world, had been focused on that little girl for those same nine months.  Our thoughts and prayers and hers were inevitably aligned over that period - but still could not have felt more of sync.

We brought Neve into the agency office and greeted the familiar faces of the people we have befriended along the way in this process.  Dr. Shivani let us use her office and they called us in with Neve and, a few minutes later, called in Surromama and her husband (who was a very nice man).

She sat in a chair dressed in a lovely sari and we handed Neve to her.  She looked down at Neve and touched her cheek.  I don't know what I expected but I have to say that I vastly underestimated the emotional intensity of that moment for both her and for me. Surromama who up to this point had been somewhere in the distance of that other universe was overcome.  I broke down and probably broke some cultural protocols by going to her side to rub her back in support - the two of us staring down at Neve with tears flowing.  Culture and language still separated us, but loving and loss for a baby you carried and loving and hope for a baby miracle that has been given to you - we each understood.

We thanked her for the amazing gift she had given us and she said that she was sad but that she also felt happy that she had been able to do such a good thing for us.  With tears still flowing, I promised to give Neve the best life we possibly could and to be the best parents we could possibly be.  And I could tell from the look on her face that she understood my pledge to her before the interpreter explained my words. I had forgotten Hamish on the other side of the room and when I looked over he too was wiping away the tears and nodding in agreement.

We had brought gifts for her three children and had picked out a sari for her as a personal thank you.   And with that, we parted ways.  Our lives had crossed in the most unexpected and profound of ways and now they have uncrossed.  Except that we want to hold on to our Surromama as much for Neve's sake as for hers as the two are forever and inexplicably bound together and no one can deny that bond.    

Ok, that's that for now.  

The next thing of great importance that has happened is that Neve has been granted Australian citizenship!! She' now a little Aussie baby!  Big cheers heard in and around Melbourne!!  The MCG is busily readying for her welcome celebration!!  Children of surrogacy in India are born with no citizenship - so up till now she has been floating around in some no man's land - no country for the little baby!   And now she has been claimed by the first of two countries that she will ultimately call home.  Well done little Neve!!  Quite an achievement considering you can't even support the weight of your own head!

The citizenship happened remarkably quickly.  The dna test was done last week and shipped to Australia.  We got the results back this morning (she's a match!) and by this afternoon Neve's citizenship certificate had been issued.  Wham, bam, thank you little ma'm!  We will pick up the citizenship certification in the morning and at the same time lodge the application for her passport.  And then go to a fancy hotel for a celebratory brunch!! Assuming all goes well, we should have Neve's emergency passport early next week! Just need the exit visa before we can be on our way around the world!

On more mundane topics, it's raining fish here.  Since we arrived, we've eaten only chicken or vegetarian - but no other meat AT ALL!  So when we were at the M Block market the other day checking out an upscale new grocery store that had been recommended by our new friends John and Margarida, we were pretty much snooping around for MEAT!!  They had "lamb kebobs" which are in fact lamb sausages and we bought them.  They also had a lovely selection of chicken, but we've got that pretty well covered.

On the way home we debated what to do with the kebob/sausages.  The times we have cooked meals in ourselves have caused a stir on the home front.  Dellip runs around trying to help us boil water and put our food in proper serving bowls and Mr. M looks all deflated.  So, we decided to bring them into the fun and asked Mr. M to make them up for dinner the next night.  When we got home and presented the kebob/sausages to him, he looked skeptical and then said at them "for breakfast" and we said, "well dinner really or how about lunch?" and he nodded and chucked them in the freezer.  I was thinking that was strange given we were going to eat them in 24 hours, but who am I to question (the Lady of the Manor has to trust the chef)!!

It appears the message that the kebob/sausage sent to Dellip and Mr. Mohank was not that we wanted to have them cook up the kebob/sausage for a meal (the real message).  The message they got was - these people want fish!!   Next day, they go to the market and come back with fish.  And we had fish that night for dinner (no kebob/sausages).  Then fish for lunch the next day (still no kebob/sausages). I'm a little worried about a fillet of fish showing up for breakfast!!  You have to be careful what you do around here - what you might think is straight forward can end up meaning something else entirely!

Tonight we are ordering pizza in from Pizza Hut (can you believe that?).  I was looking through the take out menus and all this time we also could have been getting McDonald's delivered (that really grosses me out!)  With the coke thing and McDonald's we could have done our own documentary recreation of Super Size Me, New Delhi style!!  Imagine: Two people eating only McDonald's for every meal and drinking only coke try to take care of newborn.  Anyway, Dellip and Mr. Mohank are OVER THE TOP at the prospect of Pizza Hut.  I'm so, so and have asked for salad which they think is funny (but not as funny as they think the morning cardio blast sessions are - which they now freely walk through!)  I've also sorted out that I can get movies off of my i-tunes account (netflix and hulu are blocked).  It's going to be a good night!!

Take care!! We miss you all and thanks for following along!  We're almost there!!!!!


G, H & N

Neve's been destroying bottle after bottle and is packing on the weight.  
She's also got little blisters on her lips from all the sucking!! Ouch!!

Neve has also decided to stay awake a bit during the day which is fun and to open her eyes!  
We are still working on focusing, but you got to start somewhere!


  1. What a wonderful moment you had with your the woman that changed your life! Enjoy your festival of fish!
    P.S. Neve is looking pretty darn comfortable. You just well may be an EP sooner than you thought!

  2. Neve is adorable! I am happy to hear you are making progress on getting out of India. The story of kebab is hilarious. Hopefully, they will make you some red meat soon.

    Thank you for being honest about your meeting with your surromama!


  3. Angus has decided to stay awake at night which is also lovely but perhaps not so much fun ...

  4. 1. Cried and overcome.
    2. Silently laughing again at the fish miscommunication!! Ruby stirrered. Midnight feed read again.
    3. Neve is precious! Fatty face! Perfect skin! Lips as you described!

    Still don't know your current location. David is about to skip to the latest post. I'm preferring pretending I'm with you on the journey. xo