Lost Passport Nearly Stops Family From Adopting Ukraine Teen - New York News

Lost Passport Nearly Stops Family From Adopting Ukraine Teen

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The Mountain family has spent several months trying to adopt a 15-year-old from Ukraine. The Mountain family has spent several months trying to adopt a 15-year-old from Ukraine.
PHILADELPHIA -

In a second floor conference room at Philadelphia's Airport Marriott hotel, they worked the phones: Reagan Mountain, her brother-in-law toby, and FOX 29's Bruce Gordon- all looking for a way to cut through the red tape separating a family from its newest member.

Reagan and her husband, Tom, have spent several months and thousands of dollars trying to adopt a 15-year-old girl from Ukraine- known to the family by her nickname, "Liza.'

But there's a problem.

On Sunday afternoon, the Mountains landed in Philadelphia on their way from Raleigh, North Carolina to Kiev.

Within minutes, Reagan realized her passport, and those for two of her children, had been lost or stolen.

"I lost it," she says. "I was not brave. I was not together. I fell apart."

That passport is needed to get Reagan to Kiev, for a vitally important adoption meeting set for Wednesday morning.

No passport, no meeting, and likely no chance to adopt 15-year-old Liza- just two weeks away from her next birthday.

"In Ukraine," she explains, "when you turn 16- that's 18 here- you're released." Kids are on their own, "and they're not equipped to be on their own because they've been in an institution their whole life."

"Her parents were alcoholics. She was abandoned at age 6. She has memories of wandering the village- naked- searching for food."

"She needs a father to walk her down the aisle. She needs a mother there when she has her first baby. She needs a family for the next 50 years!"

FOX 29's Bruce Gordon put in a call to Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady.

Within minutes, his office had Reagan in contact with the State Department, which agreed to open the Philly passport office early Tuesday morning, so the family can get the documents they need to catch a Tuesday afternoon flight to their Kiev adoption meeting.

As it became clear to Reagan that she might yet be able to make her meeting and adopt Liza, she broke down in tears. One of her three biological daughters quickly comforted her. "You shouldn't be crying," said 14-year-old October. "This is good news!"

Tom Mountain is already in Kiev- he still has his passport. But he is without luggage.

It was stranded in Philadelphia when the family's travel plans changed.

There are still several logistical hurdles to overcome. But the Mountain family is a bit closer to saving the life of a girl half a world away.

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