A Lurgan man who was one of 100 children evacuated to the UK from war-ravaged Vietnam 45 years ago has blamed the coronavirus crisis and red tape for stopping him from meeting his baby daughter for the first time and bringing her to Northern Ireland.
Vance McElhinney (46) is desperately trying to find a way of getting eight-month-old Liz and her mother to live with him here.
But he has reluctantly conceded it could be next year before he overcomes all the obstacles arising from Covid-19 and immigration regulations.
"I Skype every day and it's great to see Liz and her mum," said Vance.
"But it's not the same as seeing them in the flesh. However, I am determined to keep pressing ahead with my efforts to get Liz and her mum over here.
"Liz was born in Vietnam in November last year and I set about planning to bring her and her mum here."
However, the global pandemic is playing havoc with his dream.
He added: "Not only were there the health concerns about coronavirus and travelling, but there's now also a backlog everywhere you turn, whether it be for visas or passports.
"There's a lot of red tape but the authorities in Dublin have assured me they are going to do everything they can.
"I was hoping my partner and my daughter could be here by Christmas.
"But, realistically, I don't think it's going to happen before 2021.
"It's really frustrating. I am watching Liz grow up on Skype but I know I'm missing out on seeing her getting bigger every day. "
It was in April 1975 that Vance was evacuated as part of Operation Babylift from Saigon and he came to live in Northern Ireland, where he was adopted by Cyril and Liz McElhinney, who raised him along with their two other sons David and Stephen.
In 2015 they supported his return to the country of his birth in a bid to find his biological parents and a BBC NI documentary team followed him. Although he discovered the orphanage where he had lived, he was unable to trace his family.
However, after he came back he started to receive messages on social media from people who claimed they were his relations and knew his widowed mother.
"I was worried that it might all be a hoax," said Vance.
But when he went back to Vietnam on a scheduled trip he was introduced to a woman called Le Thi Anh, who insisted she was his mother.
"I was gobsmacked, and DNA testing later established that I was indeed her son," he added.
Around the same time he met and fell in love with a woman called Le Hang.
He said: "I met Le through a charity that I set up to help disabled and orphaned children in Vietnam. She came on a visit to see the work that we were doing for the youngsters and we hit it off quickly.
"Though I couldn't speak Vietnamese we communicated through French and we also used a translation site on the internet.
"I've been back to Vietnam and we realised we wanted to be together.
"We got engaged in 2018 and in November last year Le had our baby. We're now planning to get married in Northern Ireland as soon as possible."
Vance and his partner called the baby Liz after his adoptive mother, who was a well-known cleric in Lurgan and who died nearly three years ago from motor neurone disease.
Vance is still coming to terms with another familial shock after he found out he has a half-sister in Australia who he knew nothing about.
"A few months ago I got a call from a woman Down Under who said she was my half-sister and DNA tests have borne out her claims. But it's been a real surprise to cope with, though we've been in contact a few times," said resourceful Vance, who has recently been celebrating the success of an invention aimed at dog lovers.
His dog dock, which allows pet owners to secure their animals safely outside shops, has been bought by around 20 businesses, particularly around Lurgan, where it can be found attached to exterior walls at service stations and cafes.
He explained: "I've been working on the dog dock for four years now.
"I always thought it was a hassle that I couldn't find somewhere to tie up my late Staffordshire bull terrier Keltic when I went into shops and my brother David suggested that I should come up with a device to get round the problem.
"I drew up plans for a fairly crude first prototype and got it made up in a factory in Vietnam."
Invest NI gave him a development grant of £5,000 and a design engineer at a college in Portadown came up with a more sophisticated model for the dog dock, which was then manufactured in a local engineering factory.
The first dog dock, which costs £45, went up outside a supermarket in Waringstown. Although he's happy that the feedback from businesses and even caravan owners has been positive, he says the pandemic has restricted his ability to market his invention properly.
"I've now applied to the TV show Dragons' Den to see if I can get a slot on the programme and find an investor there," Vance added.