Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 52: 2 mos old and US embassy trip

Today was a big day. Not only did they turn 2 mos old, but they made the big trip to the US Embassy to fill out the paperwork to get us home and take their DNA test. I used my specially bought Build a Bear outfits in order to make a big impression on the embassy employees deciding our fate.

Tara hopes that her rousing display of patriotism will sway embassy officials

Vivek pays tribute to a national pastime and his mother's Alma Mater. Fightin' Texas Aggie class of 2034!
They gals witnessing the DNA test were so charmed by their outfits that they wanted to take a photo but were upset because all cell phones and cameras get checked in at the entrance. The twins both cried something awful for the 3 cheek swabs each because he had to roughly scrape the cotton swab on their cheeks. Vinnie didn't cry for his. It was hilarious watching the two ladies try to get  a thumb print of their teeny tiny thumbs on the card, and next to my husband's giant print it was adorable and I wish I had a photo. The paperwork went smoothly except that despite an instruction sheet to the contrary I'd followed to the letter the night before, they made Vinnie fill out a continuation sheet documenting every time he had been out of the country. It demanded specificity but the boy went to India when he was 5 and that was dates of one of many trips he could not perfectly recall. Idiotic bureacracy but you do the dance they tell you to in order to get your babies home. They did open doors and usher us to the front of the lines, and were mostly helpful.

The main snafu of the day was the dope from Karan studios didn't make our passport photos the correct size and I didn't check them myself. Fortunately they had a photographer on site. Unfortunately Vivek decided to break his alert streak and refused to open his eyes, while Miss Tara was muggin for the camera no problem. It took almost 15 minutes and I was sweating and frustrated after flicking his feat and rubbing and singing and whistling and snapping and drumming the table, and the camera man was getting impatient. He cried and flailed but refused to open his eyes until the last minute when instead of antagonizing him I broke and grabbed him off the table and comforted him. Then I put him back on the table and we managed to get a photo of the right size printed after he clicked the shutter during the millisecond he had both eyes open.

They did forget to have Vinnie sign 1 document, but called our cell and were extremely apologetic about it and he can come back by himself while I care for the babies. They said that once the DNA results are in they will process the paperwork and call us to pick it up there between 2-4. We felt safer doing that then paying a courier service to deliver it to where we are staying. They said that they will process it as an expedited emergency passport to speed up the process, and with our DNA test being paid for 72 hour expedited processing too I have high hopes of being out of here in about 3 weeks. I did get my main question answered...I DO NOT have to purchase my plane ticket before going to the FFRO, which concerned me since I didn't want to pay transfer fees if the process took longer than the average 2-3 days. The only thing left to worry about now is whether they try to make us go back to the Anand FFRO, but if the tricks I learned on the net to go to the MHA first and put your local address on everything you can for residency works then we'll be home free.
Yes Vivek...did you have a question? (He was actually sleeping with 1 hand in the air!)

After taking a taxi back Vinnie did two diaper and wardrobe changes, and I taught him how to administer all the supplement drops. It was hilarous and he was missing their mouths and making a mess. I think it took him a half hour for each baby. We got in trouble for not informing the family that we had gotten back and all was well, but we are not used to so many folks worrying about our welfare all the time. We apologized and promised to make sure they knew our whearabouts, even if we are confident we can get around India on our own.

Mom returned and I took a long awaited four hour nap while they took care of the babies. Vinnie had forgotten my advice to change diapers at every feeding if they don't show signs of discomfort beforehand, and so I awoke to some diapers so full that they defied the laws of physics.

My little man filling up diapers to their utmost limits
I think the best moment of the day was when they called the "Grover family" up to the window. It was the first time I had heard someone say that, and it made me feel super warm and squishy inside. Then she had us take an oath of parentage, and it was a quick official moment but felt good to say as we stared at passport photos of our children and vowed that we were indeed their parents.

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