The day we met him

Photo Courtesy: http://www.abc.net.au

When we got the news from our adoption agency about our baby boy, it was unbelievable for us to know that we are being offered a baby in the city that I come from.  In our waiting time we were told that the baby could be offered from any part of India.  In that case we might have to deal with regional language difference.  The child may not understand the regional language the parents talk if the parents are from a different state.  We were getting ourselves prepared to deal with that situation.  But fortunately we were offered a baby from the state that I and my husband come from.  

Oh boy, what a trip it was for us…

My family did warn me saying that the time we were planning to come is not the best, as there were cyclone forecasts made right at the time we were planning to be there.

We did our best to call and explain the weather forecast warnings to the international adoption agency here.  We were not given any choice, nor did they understand what a natural calamity could mean during travel.  Same time last year my parents lost their home to the flood that hit the city during midnight.  They still feel traumatized by the whole experience of having to run for their life in the middle of the night , getting stuck on a building top floor to save their lives for a week, having no food, water, medicine for that whole week, having no one around to help, hardly knowing if they would survive and get out alive of that situation.  

We had to follow the rules and timeline given to us by the adoption agency. 

Our flight landed in the middle of the cyclone forecast.  That evening many of the flights got re-directed to other city airports, many airlines cancelled their flights.  There were heavy rains for two to three days.  But the cyclone did not happen.  There was also a political situation where the chief minister of the state was ill and admitted to the hospital for months.  The news channels were all about it.  There was so much of tension built in the air not knowing if she will survive or die.  

We landed there on a weekend, had plans to pick our baby on a Monday, but we couldn’t due to the heavy rain and the political tension.  We called the institution in Chennai on Monday, asked them if they would agree to let us meet our baby for a week or so where we would come and play with him, and take him home once he gets comfortable with us.  This would give him a chance to get to know us a bit in his own environment before we take him home.  They refused saying that is not how they do it.  We agreed to come and fetch him on Friday.  

Meanwhile the political scenario got developed where the chief minister was almost ready to be declared dead which caused total chaos.  The shops got shut down in the fear of violence, vehicles in the streets got stalled, traffic jam everywhere.  We had to keep up our agreement, our baby is waiting for the pivotal change moment of his life, so did we.  I was feeling all too anxious about the moment where I get to see him.  I was wondering if he would be alone or if he would be among other babies and kids.  I had no clue what to expect.  We went in the evening to fetch our baby.  We had trouble finding the institution as he was kept in another one due to his institution undergoing renovation work.  Our cab driver dropped us down at an approximate location and we asked around for the exact address.  We found it within a couple of blocks, got into the entrance.  There were kids playing on the playground, the place looked calm, we took some pictures and was getting ready for going in.  My heart beat was heavy.  We went in to the office room.  Our boy was sitting on the lap of his caregiver.  He looked so calm as though he just woke up from his sleep.  I experienced an overwhelming feeling of wanting to grab him and kiss him.  But it didn’t look like the staff there wanted to encourage that.  The caregiver and the in-charge of that institution talked to us about him, gave us his health file, explained that he had measles and dysentery, gave us the medicines he was taking.  We were waiting for the head of the institution he originally belonged to join us to finish the paper work.  She arrived after finishing her court process work around 17:30.  We did some quick paper work after that.  Then we took some pictures.  Then it was that moment where I stretched my arms towards him, and he immediately came to me as though he was waiting for this moment.  I took him in my arms, he was calm, quiet and serene.  My husband then tried to hold him, but he refused to go to him.  We were given the health file with medicines enclosed, and a pink stripped white towel.  I was wondering why they would give a towel with the baby, but I didn’t ask.  My baby, paper work and other formalities took my attention away.  We were then hurried by the institution staff as it was closing time for them.  We weren’t given any more time to stay there.  We wanted to get home, but the political scenario outside was a bit scary.  Cabs and autos refused to attend to us as they all were rushing home not wanting to get stuck in the likely violence.  Looking at our baby in hand one of the auto driver stopped by and agreed to drop us home.  There was my baby in my arms, bundled in a new towel we had just bought for him.  He was staring at the outside view.  He was calm and quiet.  We took him home, he remained quiet for another half an hour or so, once he realized he was in a new place, he started to cry.  We fed him, tried to relax him.  He slept on my chest that evening.  We had him sleep in between us that night.  That moment where he slept in between us, we felt we had a new chapter of our life starting.

Advertisements

6 months since we adopted our baby

Its already been half a year since we adopted our little baby boy.  He is 16 months old now.

Its difficult to believe it, but here we are, feeling as though the clock has decided to run at double the speed.  This reminds us that time is a relative concept.  From the day we decided to apply for adoption to this day where we have him in hand, it has taken almost 6 years.  It was a long waiting game for us, several things went wrong in between, we quiet often had to lead our life in uncertainty of whether this will come true for us or not.  This waiting time has put us in spots where we had to consider whether to stay where we have been living and working for more than a decade, whether to forego the opportunities we had to live and work in other countries that we wanted to experience, whether to hold life on a temporary basis or to settle down in the city we are currently living in.  The uncertainties in our life became the norm in the way we had to live our life.  All that was for the tiny little baby we wanted to live our life with.  Well, finally we have a beautiful addition to our family.  I am going to be here talking about my experiences and looking for inspiration to raise the sweet little one into a loving responsible man.

Did I think of raising an adopted child as comparable to raising a child with typical biological background?  Yes, I did.  Now I have nothing but reality in front of me, day in and out, and it is so not easy.  I am hoping to write about my experiences, both to help others that may be in the initial stages of adoption than I am in, and also to get inspired by others who are in advanced stages than me in raising an adopted child.

What is Hope?

Aside

Hope
Photo Courtesy : http://www.mondaymusings.org

What is Hope?

I do not know if you all have wondered about something called hope.  I often wondered about it in my life.  The reason why I had to often think about it is because, I realized that I more often needed it to pass through the difficult phases in life.

When I think back what helped me get through all that I had to, I could point my finger on one thing, that is Hope.  So, I started analyzing it a bit more to learn to keep it by my side more often than I am used to.  To begin with, I started with questions like ‘What is the source of Hope?’.  Where does it generate from?  Who creates it?  How can I have more of it?  How can I make sure of its permanent presence in my life?  As several questions clouded my mind,  I was determined to take all the time needed to find answers to those questions.  These answers could make a big difference in my life… So they were quiet important.

Thinking about the source of Hope, I could see that it could have many sources.  It could originate from my parents, my friends, my colleagues and other acquaintances.  I saw that Hope coming from these sources did give me something to work on, but not to the same extent as I have seen it working in some other situations where I saw some phenomenal results.  So what were those other situations where I saw phenomenal results?  How did I reach those results?  More thinking led me to see that the source of hope in these other situations was none other than self.  I chose to call this ‘Self Hope’.  Then I understood that there is a big difference between the results originating from other sources and self.  When a person learns to practice to be self hopeful, it directly has an impact on the person’s attitude.  When the person’s attitude is loaded with self hope, the person starts to look things differently, the person is more motivated to exhibit the strength required to keep going, to retain the energy required to look for new dimensions of life, to spot the right opportunities and do more.  Self hope motivates the person to not give up.

Why does the source matter?  I figured that when the source is external, it is like an energy drink.  The effect dries out soon when the sugar level goes down.  But when the source is internal, it is like a perennial river.  It has no bounds and it is free flowing.  When I spotted this difference, in all my difficult times, I kept this in mind and worked on having an inner source of hope and real belief that something different is yet to come.  I saw myself more in control, and more in command of what I should be doing next to make that new different thing to happen in my life.

What do you all think of Hope? Did the source of hope matter to you? I would love to hear your experiences.

How to avoid being raped

One of my previous post was about a rape news in Delhi – the Indian capital city.
Even though it is not the first time I am coming to know of a rape news in India, this particular news affected me a lot due to the fact that it happened on a running bus, the number of criminals involved were a group of 6. I lived and worked in Bangalore for a while and could say how things were a bit different in that city that called for some extra caution. All this while this particular Delhi incident has been lingering in my mind and made me think on what would help people protect themselves from being raped. Below you will see some ideas of how one could be more proactive in not falling for such traps.

Ideas & Tips to protect oneself from rape

1. First thing – Learn about the city one lives in. It could be that you were born and brought up in a city all along, but still be unaware of the recent changes that’s happening in that city. These days, due to globalization, economical development(for countries like India) and economical crisis(in Europe & U.S.), the dynamics of several cities are changing rapidly. So, it doesn’t mean that once a safe city is going to stay that way for ever. Keep up with the city’s development and news around.

2. Stay precautionary than taking it light – If you come to know of dangers of a city, then don’t ignore it. Operate with precaution than taking it lightly. If certain areas are more prone to danger, then keep away from them. If it is known that certain areas are unsafe after a particular time of a day, then stay away from those areas during the unsafe hours. Sometimes I have seen people taking such things lightly, because they feel they know the city too well or don’t know the city at all. But its enough for such an accident to happen once in life, that one time could happen anytime and usually it comes as a surprise.

3. Surrounding awareness – Be aware of the surrounding all the time whenever you are out of known safe environments. Especially if it is odd hours, if there is no public around, then it calls for a high level of awareness on the surrounding. Be watchful of anyone following you, any vehicles following you, anyone staring at you for a long time and so on. Even if you are out with a company, that is no reason for not being aware of the surroundings. Avoid taking private vehicles for commutation in odd hours.

4. Self Defense – Learn some form of self defense art. Not only will it come handy, but also give a lot of confidence in facing the offenders.

5. Defensive items – Carry some defense items all the time with you, like the pepper sprays, chilli powder/sprays. One might also try carrying a small knife, but it is better to learn to use it properly. If possible one can ask for learning to use it in the self defense courses itself. Carrying simple things like chilli powder is not something that I have seen people doing in India. It is not popular as it is in the western countries. I think this practice should be propagated as a common practice to countries like India as well.

6. Parents responsibility – For young aged girls, it is the parents responsibility to educate their girls about the potential dangers in the city they live in. Due to the age factor, young girls do not see the impact and likelihood of such attacks. Parents should raise the awareness of their girls by various ways, educate and make them take the precautionary steps serious enough, and encourage them to learn a self defense.

7. Fun comes next to Safety– Everyone likes to have fun outside until late night, but sometimes fun invites danger. Staying late night for partying or having fun, and then trying to commute late to home may invite risk and danger in unsafe cities. Fun is not more worthier than Safety. Always plan ahead of how you will be reaching home safely if you plan on staying late away from home.

Sometimes these measures could still fail if the attack is made as a group towards an individual or a couple. That’s why I can’t talk enough of the importance of the preventive and precautionary actions. Raising the awareness of such crimes, increasing the education of how to avoid being in such vulnerable situations would help to some extent to protect oneself from being violated.

New Year Wishes & Resolution for 2013

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.
Luckily, the world didn’t come to an end afterall as predicted using the mayan calender :).
Let 2013 be a fabulous one for all of us.
There are so many challenges in the world to work on for all of us together, that means we all are going to be occupied and busy right?
The power and opportunity for every individual in the world has risen tremendously due to the digital world we live in today.
Thanks to the technology and the brains behind it.
Let us all use the opportunity given to us today in a responsible way, to make a real difference in this world!

I have never been a person that felt the need for a new year resolution.
But this year I am going to try having one.
As blogging is a new activity for me, my new year resolution would be to keep my blog active and write as much as I could.
This is going to be difficult as I have to find time for this new found interest.
I started this blog to experiment my ability to write and express myself.
Being a newbie to the blogging world, I have a lot to learn about it, find the topics that I am interested to blog about, and improve my writing skills.
I think, I have more than enough to look forward to.

Welcome 2013!!!

The Delhi rape victim is dead – a sad year ending

I got to know from the news that the young 23 years old rape victim is dead.  I felt so sad to read the news.
Link for details: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-12-29/india/36050640_1_brain-cells-cerebral-edema-nirbhaya

The girl has suffered multiple organ failure, swelling of the brain, several infections and what not?
Is someone’s life in India so worthless to die young due to social violence?
Does the year have to end in such misery for the girl’s parents?
How much terrifying it is to know that we are living among such criminals who would abuse someone to death, just for some moments of sexual pleasure?

I read that 6 suspects have been arrested. But what are the plans for these criminals?
Is it enough to arrest them, give them a trial that runs for several years to give them enough time to exploit the holes in the law, let them use the influence of big shots in their circle, allow them to plea and appeal in one court after the other, and finally relieve them with as little penalty as possible?
Let’s say that the Indian judicial law miraculously acts appropriately, and punishes the criminals enough in this case, due to the vast international publicity this incident has gained. will that change the prospective criminal’s societal attitude and stop such social crimes from happening? I am sure not…

While I think it is important to have strict laws and judicial system to protect the public from such crimes, it is not all enough to address the real culprit of such crimes – the societal attitude towards women. Instead of talking about setting up committees to discuss on preventive actions like increasing the police presence in odd hours in public places, will the government think of having corrective plans to bring in a shift in how women are being looked at and treated in the society?

Delhi gang rape atrocity & youngster’s bravery

Being an Indian woman, I couldn’t stop writing about the recent shame – Delhi bus gang rape event.
Living in Europe, seeing this news as a headline in the local national television disturbed me a lot.
I further did my reading on the internet about it, and describing what I felt while reading it is going to be difficult for me.
Here is a link, if anyone is interested in the details of this news.
http://world.time.com/2012/12/19/brutal-delhi-gangrape-outrages-indians-spurs-calls-for-action/

I cannot imagine what the victim would have undergone emotionally, physically, mentally and psychologically.
What a brutal act? Will she ever be able to come over this experience in her life?
Will there be any help in the society for her to come past this horrible nightmare?
I doubt it….

There could be several types of criminals in a society.
But the ones that exhibit taking pleasure in others pain through brutal violence are just like carnivorous animals that are so unwanted in a society.
Safety is every human necessity, and how much of it is given in India today? especially for women?

What raged me is what I saw in the news in the following days in the television here.
The police treating their own civilian students like criminals, bashing the young boys and girls who came down to the streets to fight for justice and change, shows the atrocity of the police and the government.
When the real criminals gets to go free of their crimes, who is getting punished here? – the public that is devoid of safety, protection and justice.

What is even more painful was a man giving an interview talking about the reasons for why this is happening more in the northern parts of India. His reasoning was that the girl fetuses are being aborted in the northern parts, leading to an imbalance in the male to female ratio, and men not being able to get married in time. Let’s say that the male to female ratio is imbalanced, so do they say that it is acceptable to let such rape incidences happen in a society? These type of incidents have always been happening in the society for several decades. This particular incident just happened to get a lot of publicity and managed to become an international news. Otherwise such incidents have always been happening at all times, and went unnoticed and unattended, at the most it could end up on the local news papers leaving just misery and despair for the victim and her family. Instead of giving hypothetical, political diplomatic reasons, I hope they arrest the criminals and get them psychologically analysed, to figure out what has transformed them into heartless monsters, to bang someone with an iron rod, and still enjoy her sexually as a gang, and throw her out from a running bus. They all deserve to be hanged!

I have to applaud the youngters who fought in the face of injustice, who raised their voices to be heard. Such a bravery!
This is what is required of youngsters in India, if at all India has to break herself of all the political bureaucracy and atrocious injustice.