About Me

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North Carolina, United States
(Allie & Harris) Wife, teacher, patient, thinker, friend, worrier, planner, seeker. These are the hats I wear on a daily basis for the roles in my life. Harris and I've been married since 1999 and we have two fur babies of the feline sort. We have a pretty good life, all things considered. But, it's not complete. Seven years ago I received a diagnosis of PCOS, a condition which has taken a toll on both my body and soul. It will not beat me though and we will be parents.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FRRO Update...

Monday we piled into cars with two (fantastic!) Aussie couples and Carrie to head over to the FRRO.  We had prepared paperwork for the Registration and for the Exit Visa.  As there was some confusion of what we needed, we figured it was prudent to get everything together for both.

First stop was M-Block Market.  The Nikon camera shop does passport photos for just under $3 US per package of 4.  Harris and I picked up 8 total photos just in case we needed extras for some reason.  We did not have them stuck on the paperwork, but there were glue sticks at the FRRO we used to do this quickly when they told us we had to have them attached.  *If you can attach them ahead of time, it's less stressful.  Who knows when they'll stop letting people use their glue sticks?!*

The trip to FRRO was relatively short; maybe 30 minutes from M-Block in traffic.  We had been assigned a 1 o'clock appointment time.  However, as we all wanted to have everything for both visas, there was some delay and we were two hours late.  We arrived at 3:08 and decided to walk up to see if they'd let us in despite their last accepted time being 3:00.  The gov't official took Harris' passport, asked how many were in our party (7), wrote down that number, and pushed all of us thru without another look at anyone else's passports.  Oh, you do have to leave any *visible* water bottles outside.

Once inside the building you turn left down the first hallway and enter into a room that looks like an American DMV office from the 1980's.  No computers, no automation, no real visible filing or organization system of any kind anywhere in sight.  There's just a ton of desks forming a ring around the room with chairs in the middle where (if you're female with a male partner) you sit and wait.  Up front, there's a number board that changes rarely - so, when you hit anywhere close to your number hop up to the inquiry counter and ask if they can go ahead and look at your paperwork.  We were party number 159, but the boys jumped up front when the ticker hit 150.  They asked for the paperwork to be shuffled around and put in a certain order (I think this was a delay tactic, but it only took a couple of minutes), and then sent all three of the husbands to the back counter area.  Each was processed one at a time, with the correct wife having to stand and show that she was actually the person on the picture.  Eventually, at the fourth desk stop, the paperwork was registered and we got the printout we'd waited for.  This is now tucked away in our hotel safe and we'll take it with us to the airport. 

Even though it was my Day 14 and the last day I could register the visa, there was no penalty or fine.  I've heard different figures on how much that fine is, but since it wasn't posted anywhere, I suspect that this could vary as it is India and we all know that when it's not written down, the price is never firm.  We did have a few thousand rupees with us just to be on the safe side because I am NOT interested in going to Indian jail!  All tolled, the whole process took about 2 hours.  The room had lots of fans inside so it wasn't sweltering, despite the temps that day being over 100 degrees. 


1)  When traveling on a medical visa, you must go to the FRRO website and fill out the online form for the Registration of a Visa.

2)  FRRO wants the application page in triplicate so ask your hotel or the SCI clinic w/concierge team to make copies for you.

3)  Even if you're late, push thru to see if you can get into the FRRO. 

4)  If there's a man in your party, he's going to get a lot farther than you with the Indian officials.  Just sit and let him handle it as much as possible.

5)  Keep any bottle of water out of sight if you have them.

6)  Plan for a 2-3 hour trip for this process.  We went in the mid-afternoon when there was very little crowd.  I don't know if this is always the case, but it was when we tried it.

7)  Anyone without a passport is NOT allowed inside.  In hindsight, we'd have had the driver drop us off and then take Carrie back to the hotel.  She had to sit in the car for 2 hours in that heat.  NOT COOL!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Registration Requirements for Medical Visas!!!

Bit of a boring but IMPORTANT post here...

First, always make friends with other IPs while you're here.  We all know bits and pieces, but together we know it all!  SUPER HUGE THANKS to Annette for making us aware of the new requirements for the Medical Visas!!!

In addition to IPs having to come on a Medical Visa in order to do surrogacy in India, there is also a new requirement that you must register your visa with the FRRO within 14 days of entry.  As Monday is our 14th day, you can see that this was *almost* a problem!  Again, thanks Annette!

I have finished the online paperwork and we'll head to M-Block on Monday to get the passport pictures done.  One other tip to anyone who is about to do this, or anything abroad, ALWAYS keep digital copies of your passport, visas, etc. online in a file that you can access from email.  I have gmail and they give me digital storage.  There's one there that is called "Travel" where I keep all essential information.  Honestly, it's brutal to think about, but I try to imagine that I have to emergency evac'd from the middle of nowhere - what would I need?  Those things are the things I keep copies of online.  My mom also has back-up copies of this stuff for both Harris and I just in case something happens and she has to come find us, and there's copy in our safe at home in case she's misplaced something...Again, I know it's brutal to think about, but it does come in handy when one needs a copy of something fast. 

So, I've pulled the info from the SCI forum about the Visa registration.  Again, if you're coming over on a Medical Visa, please make sure you're aware of these new requirements!!!  Here's what I've found...

Information regarding FRRO registration:

We would like to inform you that Foreigners visiting India on a medical visa are required to get themselves registered with concerned FRRO within 14 days of his/her arrival in India.

Kindly find all the necessary information below.

(i) Four recent passport size photographs.

(ii) Photocopy of photo page and valid Indian Visa page of the passport.

(iii) Proof of residence address in India, Documents of identification.

(iv) The applicant should also complete the online registration form and also take appointment online.

We would like to inform you that the Applicant is required to fill the online registration form and schedule his/ her appointment in the FRRO before his/ her visit. Once the application form is filled and submitted, a unique Registration number is generated by the system. Kindly visit the website http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/frro/ for your reference.

Please find the address of the FRRO Delhi as mentioned below.

East Block-VIII, Level-II, Sector-1, R.K. Puram, New Delhi-110066.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We are here!

Got in late last night due to weather in the US.  The Hilton staff is as gracious as ever, and it's nice to see familiar faces here!  Carrie and I are heading out around noon to do some sight seeing and pick up a few supplies from M Block.

It was weird to not see any couples with babies this morning at breakfast.  Maybe I just missed them?  Of course, we didn't get there until almost 10 this morning because we were exhausted.

Oh, and word to the wise, if you're doing injections on 2 continents, plan a time that's not 4 a.m. on the second continent.  Yeah, we didn't think that one thru!  LOL!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It'll get done...

With only one more full day at home, I probably should have started packing.  I should also have probably started doing laundry before 10 o'clock, and my suitcases should most certainly not still be in the attic.  However, I haven't, I didn't, and they're not. 

Friday, I finished closing down my classroom for the year, and sent my students on their merry way!  It's always such a feeling of shared accomplishment and pride when those buses pull out of the parking lot for the very last time of the year!  It's a time of reflection, exuberance, and tremendous RELIEF to see those kids smiling and waving because you know that you've done your very best to help them grow and become the best they can be.

This week, I also registered for my first graduate classes, and am beyond excited to be starting those next week!!!  The program is online, and I will be able to do everything from India while I'm there.  It'll be nice to have something to work on that is guaranteed to have a positive result so long as I do everything that is asked of me, and stay focused.  Anyone dealing with infertility can surely see the appeal of having something that you're assured to get with hard work and dedication, right?

Today we spent the day with Carrie and her fiance doing random things still left for our trip.  It's good to see her excited and nervous with those "first trip abroad" jitters.  I'm excited to see what she thinks of India, and have the chance to see it again for the first time thru her experiences.  This whole thing has brought us closer, and I'm eternally grateful for that.  Growing up 7 years apart in a household that had such extreme tension, we kind of held to our own corners and tried to stay in the shadows to avoid trouble whenever possible.  At this point, we talk everyday and present a united front on so many things.  There's certainly a level of intimacy that has never existed before. 

So, now I hear the washer beeping.  Better go toss clothes into the dryer so I don't have to go to India naked!  LOL!  That would be a sight!

If anyone is going to be in Delhi the rest of this month, shoot me an email and perhaps we can visit while there.  We are staying at the Hilton New Garden Inn.

Best wishes to everyone cycling this month!