Monday, September 15, 2008

My Mother

I wanted to post about my incredible Mother. The woman who has been there every step of the way for me. She has picked me up when I was about to give up with this whole process. There would be times when I would be challenged greatly with paperwork, or set backs with the Country closing, or other road blocks and she would encourage me with her words to continue to move forward. While we in the Ukraine she was our lifeline. We called her every day if it was possible and sometimes 2-3 times a day. She consoled us, counseled us, gave us ideas, researched for us, supported us and most importantly loved us. We depended on her daily, and she was always there for us, every hour of every day. I could not have made it through this without her. Although many of you have not had the pleasure of meeting my Mother she is an extremely bright, strong, independent woman who taught me that with perseverance and integrity one can always reach their goals. No matter how hard it is, never give up, find a way to make it happen. She is one whom believes in honesty and one who stands up for what she believes in. Her caring ways have reached thousands with her support of many organizations. She spent her whole career life, teaching, helping, taking care of special needs individuals, and making a huge impact on the lives of so many. I remember at her retirement party realizing the important role she played in making a huge difference in this world. I can only hope that one day I make half of the difference she has made. My mother is my dearest friend, a woman whom I admire and respect tremendously. She has been the greatest influence on the woman I have become today. I want to say thanks for being there every step of the way!
I love you Mom.


Our travels home were long but fruitful. We schlepped the stroller one last time. We could have easily given it away, but Jesse was determined to bring it home, and so we did. We met a nice guy named Alex at the airport who was on our flight. He was born in Moscow, moved to a small village in Mexico when he was nine and then to Miami, South Beach. He was carrying tennis rackets so we assumed he played but not until we got to talking did we find out that he is a professional tennis player who is currently traveling playing the circuit. While exchanging information about ourselves he became aware that we lived in the Los Angeles area. He wanted to know if we knew where Calabasas was because he would be there in a few weeks for a match. Of course we know where Calabasas is we told him, not far from our home. He invited us to come watch him play and we invited him to our home. Looking forward to getting together again. While we were on the plane, Jess and I ventured back to where Alex was sitting. We figured if he was up to visiting it would make the 11 hour flight go faster. Alex wanted to know our story, so there we were in the back of a 737 sharing our unsuccessful adoption story. Not sure if he was just being nice, but he let us go on and on describing in detail our story and letting us relive our agony. He had no idea how therapeutic it was for us. Without notice a woman in the seat in front of us turned around and said she could not help but overhear our conversation. She had alot to say about the Ukraine and how adoptions operate and we welcomed all of her comments. Then Alex and her began to talk "sports", and they realized they both knew someone that Alex was just playing tennis with in the Ukraine. They also discovered that they both live in South Beach within 4 blocks of one another. Soon after we discovered that this nice Ukrainian woman was also a professional athlete, a 3 time GOLD medalist, sprinter. The rest of the flight Jess and I spent talking to these two remarkable athletes who continued to encourage us to move forward and never give up. It was a perfect flight. Landed in New York on time and found our way to the right terminal to check in for our flight to LA. We had a 4 hour layover in NY. Prior to leaving the Ukraine we had been communicating through e-mail with a wonderful woman who lives in NY who helped us tremendously. We sent an e-mail to her telling her we had a layover and we would love to have coffee if she lived close enough. She sent an e-mail back telling us to phone when we arrived that she would love to meet us and asked us how we would feel if she brought her adopted daughter and husband with her. We were so appreciative that she was so sensitive to us and told her we would love to meet the whole family. After we checked in we were heading towards the phone booth to call her when a woman approached us asking us if we were Jesse and Nicole. She had found us without us calling her. What a lovely welcoming back into the US. I started to cry. Here we are in NY with a woman who has never met us but believed enough in us that she came with her family to find us at the airport. No words can express our gratitude. All 5 of us parked our butts on the floor of the airport and got to know one another. It was an event we will never forget. We loved her,her husband and their beautiful daughter. Their story was an inspiration to us. They traveled to the Ukraine 3 times before they found their daughter. And we could see and feel that although it was not easy to find her it was worth every single challenge and road block they encountered. Wish we had more time to spend with them, but have made a commitment to ourselves that we will visit again when we go back east to visit relatives. We also know that this is the beginning of a really wonderful relationship.
Home at last, re-grouping, feeling completely disjointed. Jesse said to me when I woke up, "how are you feeling?" And I started to cry and said, "I just imagined we would be waking up with our child and I would be pouring milk into a bowl of cereal saying, "have as much as you want!" For now we are resting our troubled minds, and healing our wounds before we move forward.
We have received an out pour of well wishes from friends and family. Thank you all, and know that as soon as we work through this we will be in communication. It may take us some time to get back to our old selves but we will get there. One thing is foresure... Jess and I are in this together.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I didn't think I could pull myself together to write tonight. What a ride. Our hope is that we will be able to get out of here quickly and return home.
When we started this trip we knew that our lives would be changed forever, but not like this. We fought this fight to the very end, exhausting every single resource possible. After our agency told us to "go home" we received an e-mail from the Assistant to the Minister of the Ministry of the dept that the SDA is under. Then a phone call asking us if we could meet at 11am Friday to discuss our situation alone and they would supply the interpreter. This was only possible because of influential contacts. A client of mine referred a very high powered Attorney to us who had excellent political connections and he actually made this connection for us. It's all who you know. Our meeting today was successful in a few ways confirming what we already knew about this mess and how it happened, but unfortunately this contact could not get us our 3rd appt without breaking the law.
We appreciate all the love and support from everyone. Since we reached out to people for help we have received an overwhelming 200plus e-mails. All from people who cared enough to reach to us.
Still torturing ourselves with all the questions. Why? How come? And although we are not quite there and we do not understand, there is a part of us that firmly believes that everything happens the way it is supposed to.
Changed forever...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hanging on

It was an extremely painful day. The profound betrayal and devastation almost too much to bare. We grieved all day, taking out our anger in displaced ways.
We received an e-mail this morning from our agency that read, "We are recommending that you go home!" Go home? How is that possible? We came to the Ukraine to adopt our child. What do you mean go home? Jess and I reviewed our history of this adoption in the making, from the day we decided after the news from our infertility specialist, to the long hours of research, running around with paperwork, late nights completing our adoption courses,the nightly discussions, our friendships we have developed through our adoption arena, and so much more. Both of us remembering our preparation prior to leaving. Jesse and his electronics..."gotta stay connected", he would say and of course work. Cleaning out the "new ones" room. Taking my extra clothes from that closet and saying to Jesse, "where am I gonna put all this stuff?" Baby proofing the house, and buying a stroller to bring with us. Which we have schlepped around to LAX,Rome,Kiev, Kharkiv, and Dnipro. Remembering our long talks about our child...boy or girl?...what kind of personality will they have? old will they be?...where will they sit at the dinner table?...will they like Sushi?...and the list goes on. Going over and over in our heads, how could this possibly be happening?
And then came late afternoon...can't say too much except...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Completely Numb

Unfortunately our situation went from terribly bad to worse. The chain of events that have happened today are causing us to believe that someone is telling us to "get out of dodge!" All of it is UNBELIEVABLE. We are no longer sure about our appointment tomorrow with the Director of the SDA due to a confrontation that took place today between our facilitator and the Director. It appears that Jess and I are in the middle of a feud that is not ours. We have been trying to stay afloat but others are sinking us.It is our worst nightmare. Continuing to reach out and will exhaust every single resource before we leave this place. Will write more once I wrap my head around all of this.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pure exhaustion

Our situation has become very complicated. We are beyond exhausted staying up most of the night to find a way to make this happen. Networking and networking. We are overwhelmed with the responses and help from our friends and strangers alike.
A restoration of our faith in mankind. I am too tired to write much. Our plan at this point it to have a conference call with our Agency at 8am our time tomorrow morning and stratigize about our meeting with the SDA Director on Thursday. We are told this is not an easy task but nonetheless we are going for it. Hoping by tomorrow I will have my energy back and ready to write. Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 8, 2008


We were denied our 3rd appointment. I do not have the stength to write the details tonight but wanted to communicate this info to all of you who are following our journey. Is this really happening? How could it be so? Our next step is to go to the Director of the SDA on Thursday. More later.