Couple Who Escaped Ukraine With Newborn Daughter Reunites With Family
When Ami and Michael Kowalski decided to have a baby via a surrogate mother, it’s safe to say that they did not expect their daughter’s experience as a newborn to go the way it did.
The Kowlaskis’ baby’s surrogate was in a Ukrainian bomb shelter when she went into labor. Meanwhile, the Kowlaskis had traveled from Florida to try to meet their newborn baby. According to Ami, nobody in Florida seemed concerned that they were going to Ukraine. Then war broke out.
Charlotte Marina was born in a hospital in Kyiv. She was a healthy 7 pounds 2 ounces. She was perfect. The only problem was getting her out of Ukraine and back to her parents’ home in Florida. Ami told TODAY, “We literally pretty much took her from the womb to war zones.”
The Kowlaskis left the hospital with their baby about an hour after she was born, but they ended up leaving the hospital with two babies, their newborn baby and another newborn baby who was born via a surrogate but whose family was unable to make it into Ukraine to meet her.
Ami explained that they left the hospital with formula, but it wasn’t enough for two babies for multiple days. They had to rely on the kindness of strangers to feed both babies and get them safely home. She said, “At every turn of this story, it’s just angels that were there and supported us. I would never have imagined.”
One of these kind strangers was a Ukrainian woman named Marina. Ami and Michael decided to honor her by giving their newborn daughter the name Marina as her middle name.
Eventually, after spending several nights in train stations with the newborns, Ami and Michael were able to make it across the boarder into Slovakia where the other newborn in their care was able to meet her parents for the first time.
Watch the video below to hear Ami and Michael tell their story and to see the big surprise waiting for them when they talked to TODAY’s Koda Hotb and Savannah Guthrie.
Does it surprise you that none of Ami and Michael’s friends worried about them traveling to Ukraine? Have you ever had to rely on the kindness of strangers?