By: Kerrie Olejarz
The roads were now clear and we made it quickly to the MHA. When we arrived there was the standard security check, but having our liaison with us made it a breeze. As we entered building number one we were overcome with a somewhat musty, mouldy smell. We were told to have a seat while our liaison checked us in. Little did we know that being very late for our appointment would be quite an issue. As it turns out, they told our liaison that they stopped taking people in after noon, and it was now almost one. She told us to sit tight as she marched out of the building. About ten minutes later she came in and said to us “come”. As we walked to the main building she explained that the office was not willing to accept us due to our tardiness, but she made a phone call to a senior member in the office and managed to get us in. What a relief! We did not have any time to lose as we had paid for our tickets home on Tuesday. Having read previous experiences from this office of others before us, we were not sure what to expect. We took a seat and shortly after the government employee waved us over. He was a lovely man who reviewed all our surrogacy documents provided by Dr Shivani. He asked for a copy of our marriage certificate which of course I had left in the car in the bag…no bags allowed in the government offices! I flashed my wedding rings and asked if this would satisfy the request. The gentleman processing our exit file laughed at my rings and continued on. We were with him for less than five minutes. He gave us a file number to take record of for our next appointment at the FRRO. That was it? Wow! That was almost too easy! We were pleasantly shocked at the speed and efficiency of this part of the exit process. We knew our money was well spent on our liaison after this! Our next appointment was on Monday at the dreaded FRRO. We had heard that this was a challenging office with severe over crowding of Afghan refugees, but knowing we had our liaison to help us, we did not waste any time on stressing over it. Up to this point she had helped us through the process, did all of our paperwork, and ensured we stayed on track to go home on time. We headed back to our liaison’s office to settle up on our bill and of course snap a few pics of all of us together, and one with just her and Cailyn. An interesting tid bit about her is that a lot of her family lives about 15 minutes away from us here in Canada! Who knows, we may see her in the future for a social visit. What a relief to have this day over with. We sat back and enjoyed the rest of the evening making plans to enjoy our last few days in New Delhi. These days were looking jam packed; Saturday we were going to Pahar Ganj market -not a place to take Cailyn, so we enlisted the Aussie girls to babysit for a few hours. They were more than happy to babysit, as the twins were still in the newborn centre and I think they were all craving a little newborn time. Cailyn was now just over three weeks old and had been through more than the average newborn! We looked forward to Saturday night as Dr Shivani was hosting a new parents party in Noida, about 30 minutes out of the city, and Sunday, we were off to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The weekend was jammed, and Monday we were off to the FRRO to obtain Cailyn’s exit visa and then spend the evening with some other surrogacy clients.
Saturday morning we headed out to Pahar Ganj, making a pit stop to drop Cailyn off with the girls. Rahul picked us up in his brand new car, and we were very honoured to be the first clients to ride in it. Rahul said he managed to obtain this car with our blessing (I think he meant money), and wanted us to enjoy its first day on the road. The car was adorned with red ribbons which the dealership had put on in celebration of the sale. Oddly enough, I had no hesitation leaving Cailyn with the Aussie gals. I wondered if I would be worried, or anxious, but I wasn’t and I was happy to see that we could do this with no drama. I also questioned my mothering emotions: was it normal to be OK with dropping your baby off for a couple of hours? We had nothing but confidence and trust in our Aussie friends, and I think that was what really put our minds at ease. Pahar Ganj is quite the area in Delhi. It is listed on Google as a backpacker’s haven. At this market, you can get lost walking in-between the tall buildings overloaded with shops and cheap knock off merchandise. And oh my, the overhead wires would be considered a major fire hazard anywhere else in the world. We were on a mission to buy a small hand drum for Mark’s brother, and it was also a nice excuse to get out for a bit. This was our second visit to this market so we knew what to expect. It was a smouldering 55 Celsius and walking around the market caught up with me. Mark was soaked with sweat and I over heated. Finally, after many shops and haggling we found the right price for the drum and sealed the deal. I was done; the heat kills me, and my inability to sweat was not a good recipe this day. We called Rahul to pick us up and anxiously awaited the air conditioned car. While we waited at the main entrance for Rahul, we saw many posters depicting an artist’s rendition of the wanted terrorist from the earlier attack. It was a little creepy to see this, and really, the drawings could have been anyone! Rahul showed up and we were caught in Saturday afternoon traffic. Rahul managed to do a three-point turn amongst the chaos and got us back en route to pick up our baby girl. I was feeling wiped from the heat and needed a cool shower and some rest before we reunited that evening for the parents party. The Aussie girls took the best of care of Cailyn and were sad to let her go. Finally returning to the BnB, I was able to cool my core temperature down with a cold shower and relaxation in an air conditioned room. I guzzled what felt like gallons of water and slowly I started to feel better, not great, but better.