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.