Another day, another trip to a government agency.... and today's trip had a very happy result!!!! After paying our DNA lab an additional $250 to expedite our request, we received the results that confirm that there's a 99.998% chance that Adam is Micah's father. (Just look at their toes, eyebrows, or mouth if you want to remove the existing .002% worry from your mind.) The embassy called us at 10:30 to say that if we could bring them Micah's birth certificate today (the product of yesterday's visits to government agencies), they'd do what they could to process his passport in 24 hours. When I arrive after a 1 hour cab ride, they surprised me by saying that they'd turn the passport around in an hour if I cared to wait. Did I ever!!!!
We just have one more agency to visit, the FRRO office when Micah needs to receive an exit visa (since he carelessly didn't obtain an entry visa prior to his arrive in India). I can only hope that this process is like childbirth in that we'll forget about most of these excruciating details as soon as we walk in our front door...
Anyone who is going to be insulted by any quantification of our trip home, or who is going to accuse me of being ungrateful to the 1 billion people of India should just stop reading right here.
When we planned this trip, I was advised by the airline that I couldn't make a one-way booking to India because of the visa requirements, so I booked a round trip ticket with plenty of time in case Micah arrived closer to his actual due date. And I chose Continental to book my ticket because they offered one-stop travel from Denver-Mumbai. So this afternoon, with passport in my happy hands, I called Continental to re-schedule our flights, only to find that every seat on Continental to the US was filled through the end of August. Must be lots of families from the US who come to India for the summer months to visit their families and need to be back in the US for the school year. For a few hours, Adam tried to convince me that we should take this time to travel in India, see the Taj Mahal, or go to a beach and hang out and relax. I tried to open my mind to this idea, I really did, but the idea of bringing Micah through train stations, airports, and crowded places when he's less than one month old, in a country that's being griped by swine flu panic, not to mention the usual monsoon season illnesses, just made it hard for me. I really would like to see the beautiful places in my son's birthland, but we're just tired of being strangers in what is for even seasoned travellers like us, a strange and confusing land.
We finally were able to find seats on a flight from Delhi to Denver this Friday, costing us an extra $1100 above the $3000 we already paid for these tickets as well as $150 for Micah's ticket. AND we also had to book a separate $200's worth of tickets from Mumbai to Delhi. AND it doesn't seem like we'll be able to get the bassinet seat, so we'll have to hold Micah on our laps for the entire 26 hour flight. Did I mention that we've now paid $4450 for these tickets? Did I mention that domestic and international airports are separate in India, which means that we'll have to check our bags in Mumbai, re-claim them in Delhi, transfer to the International airport, re-check them, and then get on our international flight. This is not optimal even without an infant, but we'll do what we need to do to get home -- where we'll be by Sat. morning at 9 AM!