Thursday, January 25, 2007

A month has now passed since our return from Ukraine with our daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is doing great and we all love her very much.

In the past, I have heard people say that, upon completion, all the trials and tribulations will be forgotten. In fact, all the negative aspects of our very long adoption journey remain as fresh as ever. You simply cannot forget the ugly parts, except to say that it is over and to move on. One that sticks out at the end was our travel agent, who provided the worst experience of all.

The Dept of Homeland Security, was another bad experience, as we were still waiting for the I 171 H form to come in the mail. Since you cannot speak to anyone at DHS, we sought assistance from the staff of US Senator Chuck Schumer (NY). The ability of the Senator’s staff to get the form we needed the week before we traveled, was remarkable as was their sincere desire to help us. Senator Schumer’s staff could not have been more responsive to our needs at such a critical moment. Elizabeth may not be with us today without their help.

I have to say, that our treatment in Ukraine could not have been better. From our facilitators and drivers, the staff at the orphanage, and especially the everyday people we met along the way in shops and restaurants, we will remember the people of Ukraine of their kindness to us. Ukraine will remain a special place to us, and the fond memories we will always cherish. We are proud to have our daughter from Ukraine.

We are also proud of our son, Thomas, who has been a great “big brother” and enduring the five weeks away from us and being so good about it. And finally, to our family and friends for all their warm wishes upon our return, we will never forget you!

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