The Medl in News
(though perhaps less exciting) trip getting to know the capital city and the surrounding countryside. If it had not been for this second trip, I may have never met the woman who became my wife. On the night before I flew back to the states, I ate dinner at the restaurant across the street frommy hotel and really hit it off with another patron, a young and prettywoman who had stopped in for a cup of tea before going to work. She had degrees in Biology and Education, and between her grasp of English and my smattering of Ukrainian and Russian, we had a great conversation. We ended up exchanging phone numbers that night — her name was Yuliya. Plenty of skype dates and more visits to Kiev followed. Then, one year, I bought a ring through customs and got down on one knee in a Japanese food restaurant. Not realizing the bench we’d been sitting on was nailed to the floor, “popping the question” left me wedged between our seat and the wall. We both had a good laugh, and then she made me the happiest man on earth by saying yes. While there are cultural differences between this Fort Worth boy and a girl raised in the Soviet Union, we’ve always had more in common than these surface level distinctions. We share a deep passion for learning and adventure, and we were both raised to understand the value of family. Upon coming to the U.S., Yuliya enrolled in an accounting program and added another degree to her belt, graduating top of her class. Now she works with us here at the firm and has even acted as a translator for one of our Russian- speaking clients. Together we’ve shared the joy of raising our daughter, Nadia, whose name means “hope” in Ukrainian. When I left for my second trip to Ukraine all those years
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I hope you get a chance to spend some time with that special someone in your life. Whether you like to go out for a fancy meal or just have a low-key evening together, it’s nice to have a day to simply appreciate each other’s company. If you don’t have a valentine this year, don’t despair. If I’ve learned one thing from meeting my wife, Yuliya, it’s that you find love when you least expect it. To understand how my wife and I met, I first have to explain how I wound up in a Ukrainian detention cell. It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds, I promise. I’ve always loved to travel, and I used to tour Europe whenever I could. One year I picked up a book written by the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and became fascinated by the country. Not only does it have a rich history, but at the time, it had just emerged from the Orange Revolution and was trending more toward the West. I wanted to see this nation in transition for myself. This book claimed that the country had become so pro-American you could show up with a U.S. passport and get your travel visa right there at the customs office. This turned out to not be the case. I flew into Kiev the following summer, only to stun the officer looking over my paperwork. She said “neit” a lot, and before I knew it, I was spending the night in an airport holding room. They had me on a plane back stateside the very next morning — ironically, the country stopped requiring travel visas from U.S. citizens shortly after. Normally I don’t like to travel to the same place twice in a short time period, but my night spent “locked up abroad” made me that much more determined to see Ukraine. The following year, I arrived with all my paperwork in order and had a wonderful How a Chance Trip Introduced Me to My Wife
ago, I never imagined I’d be starting such a happy chapter of my life. It just goes to show that you can find love in the most unexpected places.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.
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