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Posts from the ‘intercountry travel’ Category

Our Acceptance Of The Referral Is Set In Stone

Cross the stone border
I’ve said it before, and while it’s nothing new, I’ll say it again: “Things change. People change. Everything changes.” In an ever changing world around us we are clinging to the idea that once something is set in stone – it’s there forever. Sometimes this good old “set in stone” isn’t enough, so not too long ago Russia’s then President wanted his words chiseled in marble… that, in case you are wondering, didn’t help much in terms of preserving things forever. Things change. We are designed to deal with changes. So, let’s deal with em.

There is a clearly defined process for adopting a child from a foreign country, and while steps of the process are not set in stone, chiseled in marble, or cast in iron, we all, be it adoptive parents, adoption agencies, or any other entities involved, must follow that process.

How does that relate to the topic of referrals? Well, a piece of paper, or an electronic transmission, from a foreign government is not  an unbreakable covenant between a family and that governmental entity, it’s a notification. Just as you can decline a referral, one can be withdrawn by following a procedure. In a case where a national of that country decides to adopt the child referred to a foreign family, the procedure in some places is as simple as notifying the foreign family of the fact that a domestic family is interested.

Does this happen often? No, it doesn’t. Does it ever? Yes, it does.

Is there anything we can do to make sure your adopted child comes home? Yes, we, and now we is you and us, can get paperwork done in a instant, get your court hearing scheduled, hope the judge makes a decision in your favor, and hope there aren’t any objections during the appeal period.

When I was describing this to a family over the phone, they told me that there is a lot of hope, and not enough things being definite. It’s true, but it’s also the nature of the international adoption.

It doesn’t mean that your adoption process won’t go well and without any complications, because there are a lot of adoptions like that. Why don’t we hear much about those? Well, parents got their kids home, and they are busy. They have places to go, things to see, family to visit, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews to play with, and they just don’t have time to be online and talk about how everything went well. Being a good parent takes time, and while some parents manage to incorporate some internet time into their tightly packed schedules, what are they going to tell you about their process that went well? We ask our parents for their success stories, and you know the most difficult part? Aside from parents being busy with the kids, their adoption story is usually two sentences in an email. “Everything went fine. It was quick. We didn’t really notice much. Sorry, got to go, John has soccer practice.”

Can your process be easy and simple? Yes. Can it be guaranteed? No.
What can you do to make sure everything is done and behind you? Cross the US border with your adopted child.

Sorry, You Don’t Get To See Your Child, Flight is Overbooked.

Airline Check-in


Your fist trip to meet your child is both exciting, and nerve wreaking, and the last thing you need is another wrench thrown into it by an airline, but it happens.

Airlines screw up. We don’t want them to, they don’t want to, but it’s a fact of life – things don’t always work out perfectly. Our family today had a run in with this fact of life.

An airline overbooked a flight, and our family couldn’t fly out. It wasn’t even an international flight, it was a domestic one. They couldn’t even get to JFK to fly out on time, it just wasn’t happening, instead they got routed through Heathrow, London.

One of the least pleasant options for an air traveller is being routed through Heathrow. It’s one thing if you voluntarily chose to fly though Heathrow, and thus brought upon yourself everything associated with a connection through there, but being told you have to get a connection there is just about synonymous with being told to kiss your travel plans goodbye, because you are going to be late.

In my many connections in Heathrow I have never ever expected a flight to leave on time. It does, sometimes, work to your advantage. Just because your flight is 4 hours late coming in, doesn’t mean your flight out of Heathrow already left. You may just have to wait another 4 hours, and you have time to relax, get some food, and stretch your legs. It’s not bad on your way home, but not when you actually need to be somewhere.

So, routed through Heathrow and by the time our family landed in Moscow their connecting flight was long gone.

What do you do in this situation? Well, you call us. Call our office, call our Moscow coordinator, call our in-country staff, just get in touch with one of us and we will take care of it. Whomever you’ll get a hold of will get in touch with the people needed, and get things going. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of phone calls and you are on your next flight, but if the need arises – they’ll literally hold your hand and walk you all the way thought to the next departure gate.

As I was finish up last paragraph I received an update that the family is scheduled for their next flight, which will be departing shortly, and our regional coordinator called to confirm arrival time and is ready to meet the family. So, it’s all taken care of.

We can’t make the planes fly on time, but we can take care of things when they don’t. However, please do remember that arriving for your flight early (very early), or even checking in online hours before making it to the airport is a good idea, and making use of modern technology to avoid unnecessary delays is… well, that’s what it’s there for – to make our lives easier.

Do what needs to be done to get on that flight, you don’t really want to hear “Sorry, you can’t go see your child, flight is overbooked”, do you?