Ridgefield family needs help to get adoptive son out of Ukraine

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 6:12 PM PST
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RIDGEFIELD, Wash. (KPTV) - A Ridgefield family is trying to get help from lawmakers to bring their adoptive Ukrainian son into the United States.

Julia and Oleg Lupekha and their four children are anxiously awaiting word as to the whereabouts and safety of 13-year-old Andrii.

Julia Lupekha told FOX 12 on Thursday that Andrii lives in an orphanage in Kyiv.

They last heard from Andrii the first night of the Russian invasion.

“He sent me a video of the sky lit up red and these missiles coming out,” Lupekha said. “He’s like, ‘I’m really afraid, thank you so much for taking me into your family,’ this was like the first time he verbalized this because every time we would tell him we are adopting you, it was like he didn’t believe it.”

A couple weeks ago, the Lupekha family was in the middle of a typical adoption process; they’d already been approved for many of the legal steps and were planning to visit Ukraine in April or May to see Andrii and continue the paperwork needed to bring him back home.

Andrii first came into their lives when he visited the family over the summer as part of a special program that matches Ukrainian children with potential adoptive families.

“We automatically knew that we loved him,” Lupekha said. “He’s part of us.”

Since their last connection with Andrii, the family has been scrambling to get the teen into the United States. They’ve been sharing their story on social media and reaching out to lawmakers.

“We need Congress to act, we need this story to be known,” Julia Lupekha said.

The family hopes a visa will be approved for Andrii so that he can come to the United States immediately.

They want to speed up the adoption process and finish it from the U.S.

More than anything, they hope Andrii is okay.

“This is the position of the unknown where I truly have to rely on God and pray for his safety,” Lupekha said.

The family told FOX 12 they have sent a letter to Sen. Patty Murray for help and are in the process of reaching out to Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, as well.

FOX 12 reached out to Sen. Murray’s office for comment but has not yet heard back.