Their surrogate went into labor while in a bomb shelter.
Ami and Michael Kowalski were in Ukraine to welcome their baby who was born on February 26, 2022.
They traveled from their home in Florida to the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv days before Russia launched its invasion. Their surrogate went into labor while in a bomb shelter. However, not once did they think of abandoning the baby—they decided to leave only with their child and nothing else was even an option for them. “No, that was never an option,” Ami said.
But thankfully, the Kowalski's were able to leave the war-torn country and make it to Slovakia with their 5-day-old daughter. “I don’t think we’ll be fully relieved until we’re home to be honest,” Ami told TODAY in an interview. “But we’re safe now. And that’s the biggest thing.”
The family tried to make plans to leave an hour after their daughter Charlotte was born and Ami said they were guided by people who looked after them. “Every turn of this story is just angels that were there and supported us, like I would never have imagined,” she said.
One of the several people who stepped up to help them get to a safe place was a Ukrainian woman named Marina. She is the namesake for the Kowalski’s daughter, who they named Charlotte Marina. “She wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her,” Ami said.
While the Kowalskis may have made it out of the country with their daughter safely, there are many other children in Ukraine's orphanages and hospitals who continue to be in danger.
Abundance International, an organization that is doing their best to get supplies and medicine to orphanages in the country, says it’s a complex issue. “In an orphanage with infants to four years old and a third of those are disabled, Down syndrome, have special medical needs, it makes it very difficult to try to move them,” Abundance International Founding Director Mark Davis said.
In fact, another couple, just like the Kowalskis, are trying their best to get their newborn babies to safety. Georgia's Lenny and Moishe Spektor have been hard at work trying to get their premature twins out of the place, but in vain so far. “It’s unimaginable, what can I say? It’s impossible to wrap your mind around,” Spektor said.
Having said that, there is a ray of hope amid all the darkeness. A Pittsburgh man named Allen Sherwood worked with a priest to rescue 22 orphans, along with other children and a few adults. “The end game would really be get the kids to America where they can have a life and they have the freedoms and they have the safety and would grow up in a great country,” he told local news channel WPXI.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | TODAY (American Couple Escapes Ukraine With Baby Born Via Surrogacy)