A Father's Day to remember

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Ukraine adoption finalized

Special to the Citizen
This is the conclusion to the story published Sept. 25, 2015 about the adoption of our new Ukrainian grandchildren.
They’re here! As of June 4, our total number of grandchildren just doubled! Our younger son Brian, and his wife Christen, are the proud parents for four children, all brothers and sisters, adopted from Ukraine and that is in addition to the two little girls they already had! Brayden Anatoliy, age 15, Addalyn Lesya, age 13, Riley Vira, age 8, and Ellyanna Maria, age 4, joined Jordyn, age 5 and Emery, age 2. The children wanted “new” American names which were chosen for them by Brian and Christen. They kept their Ukrainian names as their middle names. But most importantly, they have a new mommy and daddy and two new sisters and a place to call home. They are no longer orphans, but part of a loving family.
In the beginning, the plans were put in to motion to adopt the three little girls, siblings who were living in an orphanage in Ukraine. But things changed around Christmas of last year when Brian and Christen were told that the girls had an older brother. He had already “graduated” from the orphanage and was living on his own in a nearby village. It didn’t take very long for Brian and Christen to make the decision to offer to take him as well. When it was communicated to the girls that, yes, they were all being adopted together, as well as their older brother, I think they were stunned! I think the orphanage was stunned! But all of us knew it was the right thing to do and they worked hard to make it happen and now it is a reality.
Bill and I spent a good part of May and early June in Chicago caring for Emery while Brian, Christen and Jordyn made the trip to Ukraine to attend the court hearing and finalize paperwork. They were in Ukraine for 26 days. This was the second trip; the first one being in early April for eight days. Finally, we received that much anticipated e-mail that passports had been issued, new birth certificates were in hand and air travel had been purchased to return to America June 4. I have never seen such happy faces as the ones that came through that door in the International Arrivals Terminal at O’Hare airport! Four very happy children whose lives have been forever changed....two happy parents, who are now really busy, and some very happy, but tired grandparents who headed back home to Ocala for some rest!
I want to thank all our Ocala friends and neighbors who supported this adoption with prayers and donations, and especially those who attended our fundraiser Nov. 8 at Oak Run. Thanks to the many businesses who donated items and services for me to raffle. Your help was greatly appreciated!
Let the fun begin! This year was definitely a Father’s Day to remember!