Friday, 31 August 2012

We are in Delhi


Ok so we left all the packing until the last minute on thursday 30th August, packing to travel to Delhi via Singapore for 9 days. I don't know why but I felt the need to have a big clean out of all the clothes in the cupboard, I mean packing 3 hours before our flight is bad enough but I start spring cleaning the house...

We got to the airport around 12.30pm and the flight scheduled to leave at 3.45pm. Melbourne to Singapore a 7 hour flight. Fantastic seats Tim booked (new a380 and we got the front emergency row right behind business on the upper deck. Massive aircraft) highly recommend Singapore airlines. Mountains of food and drink exactly what i did not want on a 7 hour flight. This was the longest flight I had been on to date. So 7 hours to Singapore with a 5 hour stop over in Singapore before continuing on to Delhi. Another big WOW! Singapore airport is huge...... I'm really sounding like a novice traveller now. I have never seen 6 travellators In a row just to get to the departure gate. Sky rail to go from terminal to terminal..... Really makes Australia look like a little remote island compare to some other parts of this world. So the flight was set to leave at 2.15 Singapore time 4.15am Melbourne time. And still no sleep. Well except for the 5 minute blocks of shut eye in the singapore terminal. At last onto the flight bound for Delhi. Seats not as good this time but still very good compared to Australia's airlines. More food, more drink and me constantly head butting the seat infront due To a lack of sleep, and Tim snoring like a diesel engine in the seat next to me. All I wanted to do was drink 10litres of water and sleeeeeeseeeep, but this just wasn't going to happen.

Finally we land in Delhi. As usual we pick the worst possible line to get through immigration. Can't say they were friendly immigration officers but Australia's are just as personality-less. Coming from Melbourne we are not used to the humidity and we are both dressed in Denim jeans t shirt and jumper. Once through imigration we grabbed the bags and out through customs we go.

Ok so now the nerves are really hitting me. What are we going to encounter. SCI have organized for Rahul to meet us at the airport and take us to our hotel. Does Rahul know why we are here? Yes? Surrogacy being illegal in Australia and with so many narrow minded Aussies towards "gay" and same sex relationships, let alone anything to do with surrogacy I suppose we were imagining the worst coming to India. OH How wrong where we. Rahul is awesome. He is sooooooooo very friendly and he knows exactly why we are here. He knows everyone who has been down this same path before us, at first I was a little embarressed with some of his questions, only because we haven't really talked about what we are doing with anyone else on great length, but Rahul has seen it all before, he made us feel so very comfortable and welcomed. Rahul insisted he push the trolley with our bags, Im not use to that. Then when we got to the car before I could even grab my bag off the trolley there was 2 guys and Rahul loading them into Rahul's car (talk about service) even my back pack with all the money and passports was taken and put in the boot. As we were getting into the car one of these "helpers" was standing in front of me with his hand out for money???? Wtf in Australia we don't generally tip anything or anyone so I'm not used to this custom, but no Rahul is signaling for me to ignore him and get I'm the car!!! Ok well I couldn't tip him anyhow cos he put my bag with the money into the boot.... HahahHha

Ok so the drive from the airport to the hotel svelte was an experience. No apparent road rules just courtesy and a car horn. It was 6 am so I don't think the roads were busy. I think we are going to get Rahul to drive us around Delhi for sight seeing, it was fun to see how all the road users accommodate each other with a common level of respect. We arrived at the hotel and Rahul gave us his card and told us he would be available 24/7. He is even going to give us. Mobile phone so we can contact him whenever. This guy is great....

Unfortunately for us checkin time is 2 pm and here we are at 630am at the hotel with no available room to check into. So it was a case of make yourself comfortable on the reception area couch. We only had to wait until 10am and they allowed us to check in early without additional charges. As we were waiting for the elevator the concierge said to Tim and I "here for baby" wtf is it that obvious? It is really great that it is so welcomed, and it makes it a lot easier when we don't have to explain what we are doing here. Even the female immigration officer at Melbourne airport made a weird comment along the lines of "all the way to India for 9 days" with a weird eyebrow raise!!! We really feel more comfortable here in India with the surrogacy process than in our own country. It just goes to show how narrow minded or "behind" Australia can be...

Ok so the svelte suites! Fantastic.. Clean, modern, comfortable, friendly, and very well located. Highly recommend the svelte for anyone considering traveling to Delhi. Not the cheapest, but certainly not over priced. We have a royal suite that comprises kitchen, living, dining room. Then separate bedroom, bathroom and walk In robe cupboard. There is a restaurant here and room service. And all very conveniently located above what we call delhi's "chadstone shopping centre" (for those from melbourne)

So for today we are catching up on sleep, and just searching our way around the shopping centre. It is 7pm on Friday night and from our room we can see the buzz of south Delhi's upper class party district coming to life and it is nice to just watch it all from a distance.

Anyhow I'm getting RSI in the thumbs from all this typing using the iPad and the on screen keyboard. Never imagined I would ever travel to India but I am so happy to be here and so far so good. I think I will really like this wonderful place.


Chris and Tim

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

9 days until we are away

9 days!!!!! And we will be in India, the start of a whole new chapter in life.
Nervous = yes
Excited = yes
Thinking about the what ifs = no we try not to think of the negative more so focus on the positive.
Give the gift in return??? This is the question that has been on my mind eversince finding dr Shivani and the SCI community, it has all been so welcoming and stress free. it really seems like a very well structured process and very professional.
Anyhow back to giving the gift in return. Before finding surrogacy as a potential option we had many people contact us hoping we would donate to them to start their own family. It was something that I thought I couldn't cope with (knowing there was a child of mine but having no contact) when in reality that is exactly what surrogacy has offered us..  So I decdied that  wanted to help others complete their dream. I believe in karma and I enjoy helping others. I like to be able to give, and given my opportunity it is the least I can do.
India here we come. 9 days in a very different country. The soon to be birth place of our child(ren). "positivity" and I cant wait to go. I can't wait to experience this place, their culture, their lifestyle. Most exciting we get to meet the people who can make our dreams come true.
Thank you to all who have helped, supported, provided information, encouragement and feedback, it is all of you who are making this possible.

The holiday of a lifetime "with a twist"

Very soon we will take a holiday to a country we never imagined visiting to begin a life long dream. I am a very positive person and I can find the positive in every situation I also don't see the difficulty in tasks and proceses, I just get the job done, so far everything seem to have been very straight forward and simple. Thanks to the support forum and others in the same situation it almost seems too easy.
We started this process in June 2012 and it has all happened very fast (no wasting time is justhese way I like to live life) we have booked flights and hotel, we are planning to stay and enjoy the country for 9 days. Step right out of our comfort zone. As if what we are doing isnt already out of our comfort zone, the dream of a family is what keeps me strong and positive to challenge myself through all the hurdles that lay ahead.
During the past month we told our parents, sister and 3 close friends of our plans. No negative reactions so far. Lots of support from everyone. I thought mum was going to give a big negative vibe to the whole thing, which she didn't! My dad was really happy and positive, and my sister was the most supportive which I was totally not expecting. We were never close growing up, it's only now we are both in our 30s that we have a close relationship. It's funny tho cos even if people have an opinion conflicting with my views a lot of people won't speak up and express it. So I can only go off face value of what I'm hearing. I'm sure there are going to be many negative comments and criticisms of us and our family. 1 thing that sets us apart from a lot of "traditional families" is that we are planning and have planned for this. We built a family home. Got our own business' organized and established, even put in my childhood dream of a swimming pool and lastly put the money aside to do this. We don't need to rely on the government for a handout. We set ourselves up to be prepared or as prepared as we can possibly be.
So far on this journey we have read more blogs than I ever imagined. Read more forum posts and googled a million things. There are so many people in the same position as us. I really look forward to meeting some of them as the journey continues.
I will post again very soon time to go to work for now,
Xoxo Chris an Tim

The journey begins

Hi, we hope you enjoy reading our story, we are a gay couple from Melbourne Australia, we have been together for almost 8 years, and although only 32 ans 25 we are both at the stage in our life where we want nothing more than to have a family.
After many emails, discussions, reviews, thoughts, feedback, and emotion things seem to be starting happen. We could be a family this time next year.
We had decided that commercial surrogacy was not the right option for us and for years had searched and hoped we would find  a wonderful lady wishing to co-Parent and create an alternative family unit. Big family, mums and dads, uncles and aunts, a large family network and the resources of more than just the two of us. But after 3-4 years of little interest and negativity and a large percentage of people only wanting a man to be the "donor" and receive the occasional picture each year, we lost hope. Commercial surrogacy for us Always seemed out of reach cost wise, we are financially secure but not so much so that we have large savings accounts. upon further investigation and research we learned that surrogacy was actually affordable for us in India. We sent off an email and were sent a lot of information, prices, possible donors and process details etc. the realization and the excitement about what we are doing is finally setting in.
We decided that we wanted to share our surname so that we would both have the same surname as our children. But the question was whose surname as hyphen-ating our surnames would mean my name in full would be this long
########### #########-#######
And his would be
####### #########-#######
Looooong names. We contemplated the idea of creating our own "new" surname but felt that not right. So we looked at who's name would be the most difficult to change, and the winner was me. I get to share my name with him and I am very happy that he is happy to take my surname.
Anyhow I got an email this morning informing us that our number 1 selection for egg donor is available in early September and we are very excited.
So to give you an idea, we looked At both Caucasian and Indian egg donors. Initially we thought Caucasian was the way to go but there were several factors to consider we were told. First the cost. It was about $13-20 k just to have a Caucasian donor fly in and donate. Secondly you really only get one bite at the apple so to speak. So all that money spent with no guarantee. We stopped and though logically about this situation and recalled the realization of our situation, that we can not become a family without an egg donor and surrogate and that in the grand picture we dream of having a healthy and happy family regardless. Allocating all that money to have aCaucasian egg donor could limit additional tries should we not be successful the first time.
We received a couple of hundred Indian donor profiles to review. The very first profile we looked at ended up to be our number 1 choice. Coincidence or meant to be. Not only that we both independently selected her without the other knowing that to be the others first choice. Without being small minded the profiles don't give a lot of details apart from a picture, height, weight, skin complexion, hair and eye color. But she was beautiful. Very attractive with fair complexion, dark hair and eyes. We didn't have a great deal of hope that this donor would be available and as instructed picked a further 5. We sent them along with our enrollment form to confirm our definitive interest in taking this route to achieving our dreams. We heard nothing! Was something on our application wrong? were we selecting donors that were not available? It was odd that almost 5 days to respond when we expressed a firm commitment to proceed but in the investigationstages emails were responded to almost immediately. Where we paranoid? YES we were.Patience is something that e are going to have to develop more of with this process. I finally sent a follow up email offering more information and confirming our details had been received. I got an email back almost instantly saying that they are working through our list of donors to confirm availability and that many had been put on hold for others. I was asked if the list was in our preferred order which it was and that number 1 on the list was our favorite and the first one we both opened andagreed to be perfect one. They told me they would get back to me as soon as possible. That they did and it was couple hours later they told us that our first  choice was available and wait for it available early September. (the date specified is a coincidence again as it is my mothers birthday) I like to believe that these things are positive signs for what we are doing.
So great things are happening and the realization that 2013 could mark the year that we become a family and dads.........