Monday, 5 September 2011

Plenty to smile about...

Contrary to the title of this post, we are having an immensely frustrating time dealing with the red tape that goes with getting UK citizenship and a passport for Beau, and at times it's incredibly hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel (OF COURSE Beau is the light, but the end of the tunnel at times seams nowhere in sight, more on that later), but when Beau dishes out such a warm, radiant smile such as this corker pictured below, all of those frustrations temporarily disappear, and we have a magical moment that puts our fight to get home in clear context... we are SOOOOOOO amazingly lucky to have him and with time, more effort and as ever much perseverance, we get to have this magic at home (not hotel-home, but REAL HOME!!!!).

Of course, its fantastic to have this time together as a family, but we know how special it will be when we get to relax in our own home, with no 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door, with our crazy beloved dogs, close to family and friends, close to somewhere we can go a walk that has actual pavement and without the risk of getting run over by oncoming autorickshaws, and no one ringing the bedroom late at night asking 'what time do you want breakfast tomorrow sir? (actually, that last bit would be quite nice to have at home!!!!)

For us Brits, the citizenship and passport process is a total headache (of course it's a headache in it's own special way no matter who you are or where you're from) but the already tough rules and long processing times have been now been extended. Whereas the British High Commission up until recently advised that getting the citizenship could take around 6 weeks and the passport a further 4 weeks, they now advise that this will take 'many months', and if you call the UK Border Agency who deal with the citizenship applications, they repeatedly quote that they aim to deal with applications quickly 'usually no longer than 6 months'... minimum three, maximum SIX MONTHS!!!!!! That's without applying for the passport and dealing with the exit formalities. The new rules make it very clear that UK citizens will have a very tough time, but regardless of this, I remain optimistic that for future Brits coming to India for surrogacy, or anyone for that matter who has a tough time with red tape for those people who dream of having children with the help of India, this will merely be a hurdle and not a preventative measure. It took so long to get here, as much as we complain about a few more weeks, it's (hopefully) not going to kill us!!!!

We've been here in Delhi 8 going on 9 weeks, and we still have no idea when the UKBA will issue the Citizenship Certificate, their policy is not to give absolutely any information no matter where you are applying from, no matter how desperately you need to return to work, no matter if you might lose your job and have no income, no matter how much risk you face... they just say the usual expect to wait at least another 3 months. It's in a league of it's own for outrageously bad service, especially given it costs US$1000 approx to apply.

Not wishing to tempt fate, we have a feeling that our application MIGHT be progressing, but we're also preparing ourselves mentally for the fact that we might be here many more weeks... we'll keep you posted!

It's amazing how Beau has developed so much in just 7 weeks and a day! Time seems to fly where Beau is concerned, and totally drag where red tape is concerned... He is so alert and content, when he might want something he gives adequate warning with a few moans and grumbles and only rarely does he turn on the siren-wail when we're totally not understanding the urgency of his needs!!!! And his magical smile, it can really turn a tough day into something special!!!

This is such an obvious thing to write, but words can't describe how much we love him, how unbelievably special he is to us, how life has changed overnight since the day he was born and how difficult it is to remember what life felt like before he was born... We have paid the deposit and secured our new apartment in Venice, and knowing that in the hopefully not-too-distant-future, we get to be the family we are in our own home, in a beautiful city, with the dogs that we miss SOOOOOO much, that is an amazing thought that we cannot wait to happen!