Yesterday we had our consular visit and it all went off without a hitch. No DNA requirement, all documents in order, a hearty congratulations from the very nice officer, a raising of the right hand and an "I swear," and she's a recognized citizen born abroad. We'll go back to get the passport on Monday or Tuesday at the latest, and then off to the FRRO to get her an exit visa, and away we go. The whole process is running much more smoothly than we had anticipated, which is great. She continues to amaze us. I can't stop kissing her. Am I going to be one of those parents? Probably. We do have moments, Steve and I, where we look at each other and say, "Oh my God, she is going to say all the time, 'Dads, stop it. You're embarrassing me!'" We just can't help it.
From the Greenberg. Other adventures: We are coming to feel really comfortable here in Mumbai. Apart from the easy kosher food (pure veg) we often feel that we are among our people. On the way back from the consulate, we happpened upon a joyous festival with lots of men in beards in head coverings, big posters of a white bearded holy man who died but is still alive somehow and others depicting a white stone temple. We hung out in the crowd for a bit and were told that our kippot were not quick large enough and that we would need to get a proper, more frum, head covering were we to stay. But they were totally gentle and non-judgmental about it. Actually, no this is not a Lubavitcher fabrengin but a Sikh celebration of the birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
Goldstein back: We also stopped at the clinic, Rotunda, to drop off a note and some extra cash for the surrogate, as a way of saying thanks, and to pick up the blessing that Steve asked for. Everyone cooed appropriately, we took some pictures both with Goral Gandhi, the lab director, and Dr. Soumya Ramesh, the doctor in charge of all IVF stuff. Of, course, in the waiting room, were lots of other couples just starting the process, filled with excitement and trepidation. We did get the blessing. It was simple, and written out in Urdu: May Allah grant her every wish.
On another funny note, we had dinner at the main restaurant over at the Renaissance Hotel, which is attached to these corporate apartments. It is one of the swankiest places we've been in. The whole place smells good, like the best spa you can imagine. Better than the Aveda store. Anyway, the restaurant, which of course has a strict vegetarian option, cooked in a separate part of the kitchen, is staffed by the most beautiful young men and women you can imagine. Actually, the few women are sort of greeters and all the wait staff are men. But everyone is dressed in these beautiful northern Indian costumes, long gold paisley tunics with pants and pointy shoes for the men. Gold dresses and brocade shoes for the women. They are celebrating Lucknow month, so all northern food. I'm sure they had basically a casting call for beautiful people when they went to staff the place. The food actually was just fine, but the ambiance was phenomenal. Some more pics!!