James & Emily

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Monday, 29 December 2008

It has been a good year

As I sit in our living room, heavily jet lagged, I am thinking over everything that has happened in 2008. It was a year with ups and a lot of downers actually... but in the end, I have to admit that we both think of 2008 as a good year. 
When 2008 started, we were both happy to start a new year, we were anticipating on moving into our new house, just across the street, traveling and most of all leaving 2007 behind us. 
In retrospect 2007 wasn't as bad as we thought at the time, 2008 was a lot worse! But still, it was a good year.
In 2008 we were able to create a safe haven for some of our loved ones who where in need of a place to stay for a little while, at work we both have been doing the best we can and we travelled a lot.
What makes me think that 2008 is a lot worse then 2007? Mmm, a burglary... even though we were mugged in 2007 as well, a friend whom we can not help which isn't any different from 2007, work with a lot more stress or is it something I just imagine.. 
And then I realize, I am a very optimistic and curious person; I always look forward to a new year!

I managed to tag along with Alexander to Mexico City, that's why I am jet lagged at the moment, and we had a great time! I always thought that Mexico City is so polluted one could not walk around without a mouth cap. But that wasn't the case due to the fortunate fact that Mexico is a very big Catholic country, nobody drives during Christmas and a lot of stores, bars and restaurants close during this festive period. It seems I am good at choosing times to travel whilst the whole country is celebrating a religious feast: I was in Israel during Yom Kipur, that says enough I think. So back to Mexico City with its 23 million (!) inhabitants! That city has more people than the Netherlands which is a country, a small one, but it is a country! We arrived on Christmas night and had a lovely dinner, just the two of us, the restaurant was almost empty, with not to much class and a live traditional mexican band. The singer was from Greece. And we had a wonderful night, some nights can be magical I guess, this one wasn't. It was a hilarious night.
The next day we went on a tour to the pyramids with some of Alexanders' colleagues, we climbed the whole thing and after 247 high steps we were on top of the pyramids and at that time our guide told us that it is a solid pyramid... that's correct, it is a fake pyramid! I would pay money for a picture with Alexanders face captured! 
Still, we had a very pleasant day visiting a lot of sights, the next day, boxing day or in dutch Tweede Kerstdag,  life started again in Mexico City, and I really liked the parts where we went, but we did not go to the poor areas. And there are a lot more poor areas than rich areas in Mexico City, they just aren't safe enough.
More on a personal note, we went to a big Catholic church, it almost looks like a religious theme park so big, the pope was there, I know 'cause he forgot his car there. And I saw how many people, mostly poor, where reaching out to god via praying. I admire people who are able to put their faith in someone or something you just cannot be certain about. But at the same time, I did think of something the pope has said a week earlier, about same sex couples. And I also thought of the movie Harvey Milk (an american cult movie about civil rights for ss couples in the USA). And I know one should not talk about politics, religion or money on a blog. But it was hurtful for us and many others and my wish for the pope and his advisors in Rome is that they respect others as much as they like to be respected.  

Of course we talked about the profiles we have received, but haven't made a choice yet. We're aiming to go to Mumbai in April, so we do have to make some last decisions soon. And this is why it has been a good year; we are getting closer to be complete!
Due to my jet lag,  I am of to bed now, if this post does not make any sense, I will remove it tomorrow:)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Almost Christmas

It has been over a week since my last post and this is due to laziness... at work I've been very busy, mostly because its the end of the year.
On the surrogate part it has been quite busy as well; a lot of talking with each other and trying to find the right people to organize things back in the UK. For the legal part everything is in order now, so now we are making an appointment in a clinic in London for the last tests! So finally we are getting somewhere again. A has been fantastic this last week, he has been busy as well with work and things, but he still found the time to organize so much on the surrogate part. 
From, I won't say his/her name, we received a copy of their contract, details are so important! And legal advice is ridiculous expensive and at the same time it is so important, we're very glad that we don't have to ask our lawyer every single question, because even if a lawyer just thinks of you the bill is getting higher and higher.
Rotunda has emailed us a bunch of documents, my library is getting bigger and bigger LOL. There are just a few minor details which we have to agree on with the clinic, and it is more up to them to agree, otherwise we will choose a different clinic. So far in any case, I feel confident about Rotunda. They have been responding to our emails very very fast, and all answers we asked are answered. We are both so very much excited! This means we could be, in the most perfect world of course, parents in 2010... it gives us enough time to get ready at least haha. 
The blogs I read from people who are much further in the process are amazing. The strength these people have to continue their journey is truly remarkable. I for one can be dramatic at times... not that my friends would agree. For everyone on this journey there is something similar and something totally different what makes one believe in this journey. 
As I said in earlier posts, we are very busy at the moment, however, it seems that I'll be spending Christmas in Mexico together with Alexander! But I won't be sure till next week, it all depends on our assignment; fingers crossed.

We wish all of you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Sunday, 7 December 2008


On the 5th of December of every year, Sinterklaas comes to Holland with lots of gifts for children.
It is an old tradition, he actually arrives the 2nd week of November by boat from Spain and he has lots of helpers, which are called "zwarte Pieten". From the moment on he arrives in Holland, children may place their shoes in front of the fireplace every night and hopefully the next day there will be sweets in their shoes. The so called "zwarte Pieten" enter the house in the same way as Santa Clause does, via the chimney. In return the "zwarte Pieten" get to take some carrots up the chimney for Sinterklaas' horse. Yes, he throttles every night on his horse on the roofs of houses for three weeks. 
It all works up to the 5th of December, because on that night all the children who have been good that year will get presents! And the story goes that if a child has been naughty (or bad) that year, it will go in the 'bag of Sinterklaas back to Spain! With the 'lovely' weather we are having here it would be the best present actually :) 

I can remember so well how these nights would go when I was a child. We would behave impeccable for weeks! If my parents would only mention the word 'Sinterklaas', we would act like angels in an instant. And then after weeks and weeks, which felt like years and years in a child's' world, the day arrives where hopefully a big bag of gifts will be placed in front of the front door. Usually there would be lots of bouncing on different windows, just to let us know that Sinterklaas had arrived. So if we are ever so lucky that our biggest present is to be announced, it must sound like loud bouncing on a window!

In Holland kids usually believe in this story till the age of 7 or 8, however, a good friend of my told me that his 5 year old son is believing 'just in case'... time is changing. 
But still, it would be so nice to celebrate Sinterklaas with our own family, it has a wonderful, warm and loving feeling to sit with our own family, sing songs, see everyone unwrap their gifts and just be exhausted by all the excitement over the last couple of weeks... and up to the next event because Alexander was brought up with Santa Clause! More gifts! LOL, I can not wait.

Today I am starting on the Christmas decoration, for me it does not matter that we won't be much around, the lights have to be in place haha.
A good holiday season to all and I hope everybody gets the present you want the most!

Thursday, 4 December 2008


It seems as things are at a stand still at the moment. And that is not the case!
Especially the last couple of weeks we have been talking a lot (!) about the whole process and I can imagine Alexander wants me to shut up over this subject.
But there have been some little changes to be honest, our eggies are still very unsure (even though we had a lovely offer), Mumbai is under attack, credit crisis and it all makes one think; what to do? 
I made a list; eggies will be sort out so check, Mumbai attack is over...check? no not yet, credit crisis not over...so what? as if I or we can do really much about it, so just keep on spending! Check!

However, none of the above is a killer in our journey, we will continue. The truth is, I am really, really struggling with no smoking at the moment. Perhaps it is the time of year, my weight gain, no haven't lost the extras yet. I haven't got a clue to be honest. A couple of days ago some friends came over for dinner, we had quite a few drinks and usually sigarettes where part of these nights. Not for me now! Some of my friends did (their spouses do not 'allow' them to smoke :) and they really didn't consider my feelings. :~( I just have to be strong and I will be strong!

And then their is this other little thing; time. Time just passes by so quickly, sometimes I wonder how long the whole journey will take! I mean, we have been figuring out ways to become parents for a long time now and have decided on surrogacy. But, deciding on one thing does not mean that goals are reached in the nearby future. I have written before that I truly think tha't men, at least some men, have some sort of calling to nurture, I am one of them for sure.
For now, we are doing one step at a time, we really want to make sure we are doing everything the right way (with regards to legalities), even when it means things will take a bit longer, thats fine. 

From next week on, we won't have a lot of time to work on everything. Our project in Rotterdam will start and we will be spending a lot of time till the end of January on it. 
I will try to post on a weekly basis, and if we get news early; there'll definitely be time:)!
We think of everyone who is in the process and hope you all stay healthy and safe where ever you are.