We began corresponding with two different agencies in India last summer, and to our surprise, both welcomed us to get started right away. There was just one small problem -- Adam had already committed himself to a month in Beijing volunteering for the olympics, and his day job -- teaching at a local university -- didn't allow him to take time off during the school year. For several weeks, I considered going without him, but it turned out to be surprisingly hard to transport the vial of magic fluid that was the key to the whole undertaking. After all, my involvement in this process would be strictly that of cheerleader, e-mailer-in-chief, and planner extraordinaire.
Finally I acknowledged that delivery of the magic fluid would be much easier to do in person (and cheaper, too!), so we planned our trip for Adam's 10-day Thanksgiving break. The clinic began sending us profiles of egg donors. What a difficult job to select your child's genetic inheritance! Unlike in the US, where egg donor profiles come complete with college application-like essays, detailed family medical history, and extensive photos, we basically received a 2x2 inch photo that may or may not have been enhanced, with a basic fertility history of the applicant. Most looked to be about 16 years old; perhaps they were engagement photos because most of the egg donors had already become mothers themselves before age 20. And unfortunately, these women had had little opportunities to develop to their full potential, such as advanced education or extracurricular interests. I hated having to make a decision based on looks alone, but basically our decision came down to who we thought was the prettiest.
As Thanksgiving drew closer, I started to finalize our travel plans -- only to find out that the clinic's lab was closed for part of that week due to a conference. (An interesting feature of Indian culture seems to be the desire to never tell you "no" the first time you ask something.) After much begging and pleading, we firmed up our travel dates so that we could arrive, make our contribution to the cause, and be there for the implantation.