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Our Surrogate Twin Boys Leave Kiev to Live it up in the UKFeatured

Hi Friends!

Yes, you read the title correctly…the boys finally became British citizens and after 4 months in Kiev, we are finally on our way to pick up our lives again with our new little additions! First stop – UK to meet family and friends while we wait for their American visas. 

Everything happened quickly! We received notice that Max & Alex’s British passports arrived at the passport centre in Kiev Thursday night. It had been 10 weeks since we made our initial passport application. Friday morning Vinny ran to the centre to get them and what a great feeling to hold those treasured little books in our hands! We immediately booked our flights to London for Saturday morning and then tackled the huge mountain of packing. It’s crazy how much stuff little babies can collect! I was an exhausting task but it was definitely a joyous one! My hubby was amazing. He left me the best job of entertaining the cutest babies in the world, while he tried to fit 10 thousand kilos of stuff into two 23 kg bags! Ok, of course it wasn’t 10 thousand kilos of stuff. I don’t actually know how many kilos it ended up to be, but we had 7 huge bags, each of which was massively overweight, which caused an even bigger confusion for the check-in clerk at the airport and steam to come out of the ears of the French couple who waited for an hour behind Vinny in the queue while the clerk figured out how to handle this luggage situation!

After a not so VIP experience with our agency in Kiev, we still dared to book the VIP experience at Boryspil airport and I am happy to report that it was indeed a VIP experience I would recommend! For around 200 USD for the family, we had a separate entrance when we arrived at the airport, a personal scanning machine for luggage at both the entrance and before passport control (we didn’t have to take out our laptops, liquids or take off our shoes – what a pleasure!), an awesome agent that carried all our bags for us from the moment we got there, access to a private family room where we were offered food and drinks as well as a shower in the sparkling bathroom, our own private passport control, a team of lovely, smiling and service-orientated people and a full escort by the agent who carried our hand luggage right up to the doors of the plane – this is extremely helpful when travelling (for the first time) with twins and no stroller. It was also very helpful when we almost missed the flight due to delays caused by our overstaying in Ukraine. We needed to pay a fine of 850 UAH each for staying for 4 months instead of the permitted 3 months and the processing of this took quite a bit of time, so running to board our plane would have been far more difficult if we didn’t have someone carrying our bags! I’m not going to lie, we were s*%^ting ourselves, sweating rivers of anxiety at the thought of delaying our departure any further but the boys were having a fab time looking around, eyes big and alight with curiosity and wonder.  

*** For those following in our Kiev footsteps, do yourself a favour and invest in this service. If you’re staying for a few months and have loads of extra luggage, the bag wrapping that comes included in this service is also worth the Dollars for this service to give you that peace of mind! *** Here’s a link https://kbp.aero/en/infra/vip

And then we were on the plane, taxing down the runway, and finally in the air with our miracle babies one giant step closer to home! I can’t even describe how happy we were! Max sat on Vinny’s lap chirping away at the people in their row behind me (we discovered that for safety reasons, infants from the same family sitting on laps are not permitted to sit next to each other) and Alex slept all the way on my lap – he didn’t even wake up and cry when the pressure bore down on the ears. What little stars we have. We were so proud of them. They were model jet setting babies – which is a good thing, as we have a fair bit of travelling planned over the next year! Thank you to my friends reading this for the baby travel tips :).

I have so much more to tell you about our week, but anyone with twin babies knows that a stolen 10 minutes here and there is all the time us parents have, so long blog posts are going to have to wait until they go to school in a few years. For now, anything outside of twin duty is in bite size chunks, but don’t worry, I will fill you in on all our antics as and when I can :).

Right now we are waiting for their American visas to be processed and issued and then we will be on our way home to Florida. We simply cannot wait!!!!!!

A few things to mention for my fellow Ukraine surrogacy parents to be…



 

Dr Sam Medical Network is the THE place to register to ensure that your babies as well as yourselves if need be, have top medical treatment at affordable prices. When I say, top medical treatment, I mean that I had the best medical treatment that I have had anywhere ever! The staff are all very attentive and treat you like a genuine person, taking their time to really see to your needs. They go above and beyond by working after hours and being on call in case you are in distress. I can’t recommend them enough! I am so sad that I cannot take my pediatrician with us to Florida as I doubt that we will find anyone as wonderful and caring as he is – a totally amazing person and doctor!! Dr Sam’s also has an awesome American chiropractor 🙂



For translation services, I can recommend a fantastic lady . She is a real sweetheart and again, she went over and above to help me at the drop of a hat when I needed urgent translating. She translated verbally in person for me, written reports and on the telephone when I was trying to explain to a shop assistant what I needed! I don’t want to post her number all over the internet, so please contact me directly if you would like to get in touch with her and I will give your her details.

Personal Uber assistance from a great English Speaking Uber Driver. I have the contact details of a super gentleman who lived in American for many years and has offered to help wherever needed with his uber. Great conversation and navigation which makes for a pleasant trip for short or longer distance.

Also, for those of you on Facebook, there is a brilliant support group for those travelling to Ukraine for surrogacy. It is a closed group filled with so much info that you don’t need to go anywhere else. If you would like the details for this group, then please pop me an email or a whatsapp and I will send them to you. The admins will ask you questions before allowing you in. You will need to have a genuine Facebook profile and please accept my sincere apologies but only heterosexual married couples will be accepted due to the legal surrogacy laws in Ukraine. There is all sorts of info on Kiev as well as various clinics so this is really the place to be if you are genuinely interested in pursuing this route to parenthood.



*** It’s no secret that I have been very unhappy with the way our agency have treated us since arriving in Kiev, but for those who are already with them, I do feel that I need to do a shoutout to the junior staff who have been excellent – Anna, Oksana and Svetlana. These ladies put in a lot of hard work and really go out of their way to be helpful and take a personal interest in their clients’ journey – so a big thank you to them. For those with the agency, if you ever find yourself in frustrating situations because the more experienced senior staff haven’t returned your 10th message, then contact one of these ladies and I am sure they will try their best to sort it out for you – the company has real gems in these three ladies! ***

I would love to write more, but this little bit is already taking three days so I will sign off until my next update which will be all about our time in the UK, so watch out for it!

Love to you all from B, Vinny, Alexei & Maximus xxx

Blog, Home, Information, Surrogacy

A Kiev Christmas in November – The Twins’ Second Photo ShootFeatured

Hey Friends!

While everyone is waiting for news on our passports and subsequent departure from Kiev, here’s a little sneak preview of our oh so cute Christmas photos!

On Thursday, we went to Goroshynka Studio for a morning of fun for the whole family! Living outside of the city centre, where the roads are virtually impossible to navigate with one baby stroller let alone a double stroller, we are very much confined to our apartment and unless one of the lovely ladies or couples from my Ukraine surrogacy community pop in to visit, we don’t get to see any people and are in danger of going completely crazy with cabin fever! It’s extremely lonely and boring for all of us, even for the babies! We are on the edge of craziness from people and outing deprivation in our weird little world, shut off from life in general, so any little outing is a great adventure for us!

 But this was not just a little outing. This outing was make-up, dress up and a lot of laughs with a gorgeous collection of keepsake photos created by the most talented Vita Sovetova of Sovetoff.photo. Vita is an amazing person, the babies absolutely love her and she is an awesome photographer. For those who are coming to Kiev for your surrogacy babies, I highly recommend booking her services for your newborn photo shoot. Newborn photo shoots are usually done within the first two weeks of birth, so if if you are staying longer than that with your babes, then you will miss out on a newborn photo collection if you wait until you leave Kiev – and what a wonderful keepsake to have. But please make sure you book her in advance as she gets really busy!

The day started very wet, cold, windy – and late! The Uber got rather lost on his way to pick us up (a common occurrence), so the lovely make-up artist had to work at extra speed to create something decent out of my drowned rat look! Goroshynka studio is one of the largest and impressive in Kiev and it was busy. The boys were so excited to meet new people and they screeched in delight and were full of smiles for everyone. Max enjoyed being the centre of attention as he practiced his tummy time on the studio bed posing like a super star for the camera. Both boys did great and were so good through the costume changes and all the maneuvering of their little bodies this way and that until they both fell asleep in our arms exhausted!

As it’s not even December yet, we don’t want to share all the pics from the shoot, but here’s a few to make you smile and ‘ahhhhhhh’.

More of the photos will be revealed in December! 🙂

Speak soon!

B xxx

p.s. keep crossing fingers and toes that we will get our passports any day now!!



Blog, Home, Information, Surrogacy

Our Final UK Passport Interview in Kiev is DoneFeatured

Hey Friends!

Loads of you have been asking how much longer we will be in Kiev, when we will be home and when they can meet our precious boys! So, here is just a very quick update on how that is going…

We have now been in Kiev for 16 weeks, our boys are 14 weeks old and Monday will be 8 weeks since our boys’ initial passport application (unfortunately due to delays on the part of our agency with obtaining the birth certificates, translations and apostilles, a good 6 weeks have been wasted). The good news is that Vinny attended our final passport application yesterday and we could be leaving here one of these days – finally!Continue reading

Home, Information, Surrogacy

For the Brits doing Overseas Surrogacy – First Step in Our Parental Order Application

Hi Guys,

This is just a quick update on where we are at with our legal proceedings and paperwork – specifically for British Nationals doing Surrogacy in Ukraine (or overseas in general):

  1. Complete and sign the C51 Court Form and have it translated for the surrogate and notarised
  2. Section 54 of the A101 Form – which is the Agreement to the Making of a Parental Order – which cannot be signed by the surrogate less than 6 weeks before the birth of your baby – this must also be translated and notarised
  3. Copy of each child’s birth certificate and translation
  4. Copy of our marriage certificate
  • This took about a few weeks for Biotexcom to obtain for us and then they kindly assisted in sending the document pack by express mail to the Central Family Court in London at the following address:

First Avenue House

42-49 High Holburn

London

WC1V 6NP

  • 5 days later, the hubby called the High Court to confirm that they had received our application pack and to give card payment over the phone – which was £235 in total.




Now we wait for the court to get back to us and official serve our surrogate. Will update as we know more…

For further info on the parental order process visit this page

 

That’s it for now folks

B xxx

Blog, Home, Information, Surrogacy

Our Boys’ British Passport Applications are in! Countdown to leaving Kiev…

Hi Friends!

Can you believe our twin boys are 7 weeks old already on Thursday?!

We are loving them more than ever! Every day is a new adventure which brings new laughs, smiles and total wonder. It’s crazy how much they change and grow daily! They now weigh over four and a half kilos, cry real tears, are trying to play with some of their toys and growing out most of their clothes!

We are still in a state of exhaustion but it’s improving now that the boys are on a 4-hour feeding schedule rather than 3 hours.

So yesterday we made application for our boys’ British passports. Many of you have been asking whether they will get Ukranian citizenship as they were born in Ukraine. There aren’t that many countries in which people get citizenship simply by virtue of being born in that country – citizenship is usually passed down by the parents and Ukraine is the same. Our boys are British citizens and therefore need to await their British passports before being able to exit Ukraine. Unfortunately for us, this process takes around 10 weeks for a first time British passport and 16 weeks for a first British passport issued to children born via surrogacy. This is a UK (NOT Ukraine) law. After checking the calendar yesterday, I discovered that 16 weeks exactly takes us to Christmas Day!!!Continue reading

Blog, Information, Surrogacy

One Week Down in Kiev, Ukraine (about 16 weeks to go) – with new updates

UPDATE TUES 18 JULY 2017

This is what has happened since writing the original post:

Biotexcom sent another cleaner around late Monday afternoon. When we got back home she had done an excellent job with the kitchen – it was sparkling clean! Unfortunately the state of this place requires either a full day with one person cleaning or a cleaning crew, so she did not manage to get to the other rooms in the apartment due to time restrictions. She was a really nice lady and her English was good. I would be happy to have her around again. Vinny and I have cleaned ours and the babies room but there are no cleaning products for the bathroom. We have let Biotexcom know this and waiting for a definite response as to when they will arrange further cleaning services.

They have sent us a WhatsApp and email apology – no phone call.

My husband has sent them an email with his concerns as well as suggestions on how to improve things and a request to meet with them in person to discuss further. They have noted these and will consider taking most of them on board.

Here are some clips from his email and their answers:Continue reading

Blog, Information, Surrogacy

Day 2 in Kiev, Ukraine – Prepping for our Surrogate Twin Boys

Sunday 9 July 2017

 

Today started with a healthy breakfast of fruit and yogurt. It could easily be 3 cooked meals a day prepared by our housekeeper, but that would be dangerous! So instead we went for the light fare and then mapped out our route to find all the baby shops in the area. Soon armed with the phone’s GPS for comfort, we set off full of adventurous spirits.

It was a beautiful, sunny day with just the right temperature for shorts and a summery T. Not far from our apartment, we walked through a gorgeously green park with pathways, children’s play area and a little skyway obstacle course of zip lines and rope bridges. There are a number of parks connected via pedestrian tunnels and this is where we saw something that neither of us had seen before – a young (little) lady pushed a baby stroller down these sleeper type contraptions with the wheels balancing on either side. Once through the tunnel, she reversed herself and her stroller up the sleepers again! After this we noticed these everywhere around the city. Quite an ingenious idea, but I’m not so sure if I would trust myself not to go tumbling and crumbling into a heap at the bottom, babies and all! Hubby says I’m just going to have to practice – good to know he has so much faith in my balancing abilities!Continue reading

Blog, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, Surrogacy

An honest chat with USA Surrogate, Cheryl Ketron (Part 1)

Hi Friends!

If you’ve been curious to know what goes on in surrogacy from the SURROGATE’S point of view, then click on my new (very amateur) You Tube video, which is an interview with the gorgeous and very pregnant, Cheryl Ketron.

This is my first interview I have done on camera and I know there are a lot of hiccups for me to work on, but these things come with practice, don’t they?! I am extremely camera shy and so I noticed afterwards that I pull funny faces, wave my arms about, forget my English grammar and seem to be married to the word “fantastic”. I will work to improve these next time 🙂

Cheryl herself was simply perfect though!

This is part 1 and I hope to bring you part 2 with additional questions soon. If there is anything you are screaming to know, then please leave a comment or email me :).

Lots of love,

B

Blog, Information, Inspiration, Mind-Body-Spirit

Music Therapy – Afia Walking Tree – Mama Souljourn

Afia Walking Tree is one for the feminine soul.

Raw, powerful and back to the roots of mother earth.

It is drumming therapy at its best.

 

What is Drumming Therapy?

In a nutshell, we are made up of energy fields which are in and all around us. These energy fields vibrate on varying frequencies. High frequencies create a natural state of bliss, and we should ideally be engaged in activities that constantly keep our vibrations high. If you vibrate at a high frequency in one area, then you create a positive charge, that will effect other areas – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.Continue reading

Blog, Information, Mind-Body-Spirit, Natural Living

Intro to Essential Oils

 

With so much hype surrounding essential oils and practically every retailer selling bottles of the sweet smelling nectar, where do we start? Which oils do we start with? Which oils can be consumed and which would be toxic, and for whom?

It is a subject that is gaining in popularity everywhere we turn, and for good reason. These plant extracts have been used by cultures for over 5000 years to heal all parts of not only the human body as a whole, but our animal friends too.

So what are they?

Essential oils are oil extracts from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of plants. They contain potent aromatic compounds ‘essential’ oil contains the ‘essence’ of a plant’s fragrance, as well as complete holistic properties to treat an almost unlimited array of ailments. They are so highly concentrated that just one drop can have powerful healing effects on body, mind, emotions and spirit. The oils are composed of molecules so tiny that they can penetrate your skin and sometimes your blood – which is the reason why pregnant women are advised against handling essential oils.

Brief History of Essential Oils

Continue reading

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