Technically, of course, Thursday was not part of the “weekend”. But it was certainly part of the “busy”.
We dropped the kids off at daycare just before lunch. After lunch, I rushed around trying to get things ready for my parents’ visit tomorrow. At 5, we left home to go to the venue. Just a we were leaving, we got a courier: a much-awaited courier. Almost exactly four months and three years after we brought the kids home, we held the original adoption order in our hands.
It wasn’t exactly the “Hallelujah!” moment we were expecting. The order itself had been signed (after a suspenseful wait) in June. The order copy had been received by the lawyer and corrected by her sometime in September or October. That itself had almost required the filing of another petition – poor Mrini’s name had been left out of the order! Somehow the lawyer convinced whoever it was that needed to be convinced that Mrini’s name could be added in without a separate petition being filed, and sometime in October she had seen the corrected petition. Since then – or maybe ever before that – she’d been busy trying to get the kids’ photographs attached to the adoption order. The latest we’d heard from her, late last week, was that the Judge was none to sure on whether this could be done or should be done or even, if it were done, who should be the one to sign for it. So, he told the lawyer to file a petition to have the photos attached, and then he added that he didn’t know under what section of the law the petition should be filed.
We only wanted their photos attached to the adoption order because the passport application form states that if you are applying for the passport of an adopted child, the adoption order should be submitted and it should have a photo attached. You can see where they’re coming from – they don’t want some kind of child trafficking racket going on – but why can’t the Judge see it?
In the end, we told the lawyer to send us the order sans the photo and we’ll use that to apply for their passports and if it works, well and good. And if it doesn’t, we’ll try and get a letter from the Passport Office stating that the photo is required. And let’s see how that goes – it doesn’t look to me like a letter from the Passport Office is going to do the trick, but maybe the Passport officer will take pity on us and not bother about the photo.
Still, until we actually get their passports, we aren’t sure whether we’re done with the Pondicherry court or not. Sigh.
All the same, we had the original order in our hands now, and that called for celebration. But first, we had a dance show to attend.
We drove an hour through the worst of city traffic to reach the venue around 6.30. Luckily, we arrived just as the kids did. From then till 8.15 or so, we hung around waiting for their turn. Since their troupe (they’re part of a troupe now) of 4 boys and 4 girls was in the girls’ green room, Amit was shooed out and he went and sat in the audience. I spent some time backstage and some time in the audience. There was at least one other parent and the coordinator with the kids, and the coordinator is extraordinarily competent, so this time there was no chaos. Plus, it helped that all the other artistes were much older – the youngest act apart from our kids’ act, was of 12-13 year-olds. It probably also helped that for several of their troupe including Mrini and Tara, this was not their first time on stage, so they knew what to expect.
Strangely enough, even though the other performers were much older and much more skilful, the tiny tots were not put on as the first act – or even the second act. They were made to hang around backstage and periodically shushed until the interval. Then, at last, they got to go on stage.
Despite Tara’s assertion that they were doing The Twelve Days of Christmas, what the actually danced to was We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. The act was much better than their first time on stage – all the kids did their thing, not exactly in synch but close enough. Even Tara, who was tucked away in the back row, did her bit. At the start of the second part of their number, they all had to jump and both Mrini and Tara so loved this that they went on jumping well after everyone else had moved on to the next step. But that’s all part of the fun and on the whole it was not too bad at all.
Since it was already 8.30 and they kids’ had had a very active evening with very little food, we hauled them off as soon as they got of stage. At the car park, we seated them in the dicky and fed them roti and boiled chicked that I’d had the foresight to carry along. They stayed awake until 10, when we reached home, gave them some milk and put them in their nightclothes. Then, they crashed.
On Friday, nana and nani – my parents – were to arrive. Their plane should have landed early in the evening and they should have reached home well before the kids went to bed. But fog at the Bangalore airport threw all flights off schedule, so they eventually reached home only at 11, by which time the kids were in bed and fast asleep (and I was asleep on my feet).
The rest of the weekend was a blur of outings, tennis, meals, desserts, beer, coffee, and of course, conversation. Tara finally agreed to join the tennis coaching batch, but as Amit observed, she was so busy talking to the other kids and watching stuff around her that she wouldn’t have noticed if no balls were actually thrown at her. In fact, I’m not sure she even made contact with a single ball in the two 90 minute sessions. Mrini, however, was largely unperturbed by Tara’s presence and did her bit as diligently as ever.
All in all, it was a happy weekend – and made much merrier by the fact that the whole of next week is a holiday! One part of me can’t believe that I’m using up five whole days of vacation just to stay at home and do “nothing”; but the other part of me is wondering why we never did this before!