Family reunites with Ukrainian adoptive son in Poland

By Kandra Kent

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    RIDGEFIELD, Washington (KPTV) -- A cell phone video captured an amazing reunification between an adoptive mother from Ridgefield and the Ukrainian teen who will soon become her son.

Julia Lupekha shared the video with FOX 12 Thursday, exactly a week after she first shared the family’s story of the search for 13-year-old Andrii, who they hadn’t heard from since the first night of the Russian invasion.

“It turned out like a movie scene. It was just so emotional. It was so beautiful, and it was so good to see him,” Lupekha said in a Zoom interview from Poland.

She and her husband flew to Poland Sunday once they heard that Andrii had made it to the border of Lviv.

Andrii then was able to cross into Poland by foot, with the family of one of Lupekha’s friends.

“For me it was such a relief that he is not in a country at war,” Lupekha said.

“Today he took my cellphone, and he pinpointed his orphanage home, and then he zoomed out and less than a block away, he pointed to this building, and he said, ‘You know what happened to this building? It was completely blown up.’”

With the most dangerous leg of his journey now over, Lupekha said there are many more hurdles to come before they can take Andrii home to Washington.

“As of right now, adoptions are not available for Ukraine and it’s something that breaks my heart,” Lupekha said. “(The orphans) have been through so much. I know Congress can do more to help these families.

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