On Tuesday the Australian Panel Doctor Dr Jayant Rele kindly agreed to come to the hospital and take the girls DNA test. I arranged with Dr Kabra for him to be able come and it all went to plan with everyone being so helpful. The girls had to have a heel stab similar to that needed for Guthrie's screening test done on newborns in Australia. It was all very official. The best thing was that it was one big step completed. Both the girls howled and showed that there was definitely nothing wrong with their lungs.
Yesterday morning we got up earlier than usual. I made one last pass over all of the documents we had amassed for the girls citizenship applications and then bundled them up into a satchel. We had booked our usual cool cab driver to come earlier as well. This was so that we could make a quick detour into Hiranadani Garden on the way to the hospital to send the applications by courier to the High Commission in New Delhi. I could have taken them with me when I fly to Delhi on Friday. Instead we felt that if we sent them earlier by courier, if anything was missing they could let us know and I could collect what was needed to take with me. Varun at the Commission also agreed that this was a good idea when he contacted me on the Tuesday to confirm an appointment for 230pm on Friday to have my DNA test done (after which I booked my ticket with Kingfisher Airlines to fly out 7 am Friday and back that night at 6pm, giving me a total of 9 hours in Delhi). I am just praying that it is not a heel prick!!!
So we were as organised as we could be. Off we went to Hiranandani and found Blue Dart DHL Couriers. We had read about them on a couple of other peoples blogs and thought they would offer us the best chance of getting the documents to Delhi. Turns out that we made the right choice. When I walked through the door the guy said straight away to me "Australian High Commission?". My shoulders must have dropped 10 inches as the weight of the world melted away. He then went on to say the Mr Varun must be getting old because he had been sending documents to him regularly for the last five years. I'm not sure if Varun would have appreciated this. I sure was comforted that the process has been happening for so long. it could only mean that practice makes perfect. So we can highly recommend Blue Dart as a courier. I even got to have a little conversation about the cricket. Always a favourite topic, Not! But hey, it helps to get along with people. You can track your parcel and I was even more impressed that it arrived exactly when they said it would. All for 400 rupee.
After Hiranandani we headed off to Santa Cruz the suburb where Surya Children's Hospital is. The scenery on the way has become quite familiar, even though every day we seem to take at least on little detour from the usual route. We made it to the hospital a little earlier than normal. The hospital has a number of different units which all branch off a central stair well. The girls are in the NICU on level 2. Along the wall of the stair well is a long bench seat where all of the parents congregate and wait for their turn to visit. The bench also serves as a storage locker for your shoes, which you have to take off before entering the unit. We have been privileged to be able to visit at the same time each day, outside of normal visiting hours. This is so that we respect the norm of men not being in the unit while Mums were feeding. At least that is how we understood it. So there is never really a big group here when we arrive. As we leave there is usually a large crowd of anxious parents wanting to get in. Every day there has been something different happening and the place is always so busy. So anytime we have had to spend waiting has always flown by. Some faces have also become familiar each day. I know we stick out like a sore thumb!
Having got there even earlier than usual, there was no one there and it was to early to go in. So we had time to sit there and talk. Turned out that we both had jitters in our stomach. Jitters caused by excited anticipation. Was this going to be the day that one of our little angels would come home with us. We had a bag all packed with ever thing we needed. We talked about how it was going to be hard to leave one behind. Then we both realised we needed to pee (nerves we guessed). Such a simple thing in India is not always easy. Not every where has toilet facilities. We new the hospital would and we managed to find the restroom. Anyone who has been to India will understand why I mentioned this. After a short time Dr Kabra called us into his office. He told us that Taylor was definitely being discharged today. I know we must have looked like two little kids who had gotten away with nicking a cookie from the jar. He went over how everything had to happen. What we needed to know about caring for Taylor. Then he completely surprised me by telling me that someone from the staff in the NICU had entered my name into google and this blog had come up. He said that he had read it and enjoyed it and that I wrote very well. I was a little embarrassed, but grateful. So I now make mention of Dr Kabra and all of the staff at Surya Childrens Hospital. Hoping that they may read this:
- Vince and I are eternally grate full to all of the amazing Doctors, Nurses and others at Surya who have cared for our darling daughters. When we knew the girls were so premature and had been admitted to a different hospital we were so very anxious. The team at Surya soon allayed those fears with their professional care of these very special human beings. You made us feel welcomed and showed amazing compassion to those who are now the most treasured thing in the world to us. We can only thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish everyone the best.
Once I had settled Taylor's account and we had fed Willow the nurses asked us to wait outside while they got Taylor ready to go home with us. Then the moment arrived and they handed us this little bundle. After this long post I can honestly say that I cannot describe our emotions. So I will simply post a picture:
Mr Singh (our regular driver) got quite shock when we walked up to the taxi holding a baby. We had forgotten to tell him that one of the girls might come home. He drove so carefully on the way home. Neither of us spoke the whole way home. We just starred and smiled. We very so happy that we gave Mr Singh double our normal tip. He has been really great to us.
When we got back to the hotel our new found friends Mike and Youssef and their son Zayne were waiting for us. Youssef kindly filmed our arrival which is a great little memento to have for Taylor.
We sat in the foyer with the Boy's, as we call Mike Youssef and Zayne who are a new family much like ours. Knowing that they understood this moment for us made it even more special and we were so glad that they were here to share it. Then we took Taylor up stairs, praying that the Internet gods were going to let us Skype some very excited people back home. We spent most of the afternoon sharing our daughter with the world. We also got to change and feed her in a relaxed environment. Taylor was a star and our first night could not have been better. There was only the one sad fact. Willow was now on her own. Our hearts were with her as well.
Much to Grandmas' frustration. We actually took Taylor out on her first night out on her first night home. We went out to a cafe called Indigo Cafe to help celebrate Youssef's birthday (which is today, so a big Happy Birthday). The trip to the cafe was like a mini tour of Andheri as our driver struggled to find the place. It is tucked away in a little back street. We were an hour late, but who cared. The cafe was worth the wait and the company was awesome and we had a fantastic night. the cafe serves beef and alcohol so this little carnivore was in heaven.
So that is the story so far. Tomorrow morning I fly to Delhi. Willow will have to make do without us for the day because we cannot take Taylor back into the NICU. The guy's have kindly offered to sit for us but Vince wants to stay at the hotel in case I need him and seeing that the computer is our best line of communication. Taylor is being fed by Papa as I type. So I am going to sign off and go pack my bag. Put all the paper work together (yes more paper work). Then snuggle with Taylor and Papa for a while until her next feed.
I have said many times now that this blog is meant as a record of the journey we have taken to achieve our Family. That it is a record for Willow and Taylor to know where they came from, how much they were wanted and how much they are and will always be loved. So Taylor I hope this story makes you smile one day. I know that my cheeks ache with smile that has now not left my face for the past two days. Willow you will never know how hard it was to leave you. But we know you are doing so well and will be with us soon.