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American adoptive mother on the restrictions made by Ukraine

February 16, 2006, 0:00 3291 Author: Jeri, proud mom of Alexander ForUm Letter of adoptive mother

Dear Editor,

I have been reading a great deal of press about the new constraints on American families that have or will adopt from Ukraine.

We adopted our son in November of 2000. We are of the almost 90% of American families that not only submit annual reports to the Ukrainian Embassy here in Washington DC but also maintain contact with friends in Ukraine.

Our son's heritage is extremely important to us. We have traveled back to visit friends we made during our adoption trip, to meet Alex's maternal grandmother, half-brother and sister. I do believe had we not traveled back to the National Adoption Centre and made an issue of Alex's birth sister’s paperwork being in "limbo", she would still be at the orphanage today. His half-brother was still living with the grandmother, therefore not available for adoption.

I am the coordinator for fundraising at one of the orphanages in his region. I continue to send and raise money for the children that will never be adopted. I love my son's country! The people we have come to know are the most considerate, giving and caring people on earth.

Because I have such contact with other families who've adopted from Ukraine, it pains me when a few bad people affect the way some Ukrainians view adoptive families.

I consider that my son has the best of both worlds. He comes from a land with a rich history and proud people. He lives in a country that accepts him completely and does not shun him because his birthfather is Romani. He will grow up to take care of his Babushka Luda and help his siblings that live with his birthmom. Our son has extra family to love and be loved by.

Yes, he has the material privileges that can come with being adopted by a financially stable family. More importantly though, he has what he prayed for so long ago...a family that loves him and that he can live with. Someone who expects him to be responsible and considerate. Parents he can turn to at any time to love him and protect him, encourage him and demand he give his best.

A family is more than blood, it is always being there. Thank you for your time and attention.

Jeri, proud mom of Alexander

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