By Drew Marine
PORTLAND Oregon (KPTV) — As attacks in Ukraine flash across the Yakimchuk’s TVs, they can’t help but watch in horror.
“It’s really devastating it’s like brother against brother,” Julie Yakimchuk said.
Not only because Julie is Russian and knows people in Ukraine, but especially because she and her husband Denis are hoping to adopt two brothers, 10-year-old Bohdan and 6-year-old Maksym, from Eastern Ukraine.
“It was a god thing. I just felt called to host. I just wanted to host, to dip my toes in the water. I just got inspired and I went for it,” she said.
The boys were in separate orphanages when the invasion started but luckily, both orphanages fled to two different countries. Bohdan is in Poland and Maksym is in Italy.
“It’s tragic, it’s devastating, it’s heartbreaking,” she said. “Every time we talk to him (Bohdan) he’s like ‘I still haven’t talked to max, I still haven’t talked to max,’ so it’s really sad.”
The Yakimchuks already hosted Bohdan in Vancouver in Summer 2021 and again for Christmas break. At the time, Maksym was too young to visit.
She said they instantly fell in love with Bohdan.
“He was just such a sweet kid and anybody that got the privilege of knowing him just loved him. He’s very lovable,” Yakimchuk said. “He was so sweet with Esther even with the age difference. My daughter is two and he was nine at the time. He just blended right in with our family, and we couldn’t leave him. We couldn’t leave him in the system.”
They started the adoption process after Bohdan’s first visit but right as they were finalizing paperwork, Russia invaded Ukraine, all but halting their plans to expand their family.
Now they just have to wait until they get the all-clear from Ukraine to bring the boys home.
“He goes ‘Mom, yesterday I broke down crying, and I couldn’t stop crying.’ I asked him why did you cry? And he said because I miss you guys. As a parent it’s just devastating because your hands are tied,” she said.
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