Family adopts girl from the Ukraine, arrives home after turmoil - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Calera family adopts girl from the Ukraine, arrives home after turmoil

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

The current trouble in Ukraine follows violent clashes between government protestors and police. An Alabama family was there when the deadly violence gripped Kiev. They had trouble getting out of the country, but after a month and a half, they finally made it  home.  

The Mayhew family left in mid November for the Ukraine to adopt a 13 year old daughter. The violence there - made getting home hard, but Friday night they finally arrived at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth Airport and an entire community was waiting.

"When I first met Elianna the first day, I told my wife she would be our daughter. I just knew," Ronnie Mayhew, who adopted a daughter from Ukraine said.

The Mayhew family didn't know a revolution was coming when they boarded the plane. They found themselves in the center of the turmoil. As the violence erupted, the adoption process - set to take 8 weeks - turned into 13.

"I had to come back for work and my wife had to stay for court and then it got emotional because of the civil unrest in Ukraine and the political situation began to deteriorate rapidly," Mayhew said.

"You watch the news because you want to know what's going on you don't want to ignore it," Hal Warren, the grandfather said. "You want to know what's going on where it's happening, how close it is to her." 

As the days ticked by, Julia's visa was almost up.

"We had to rely on the Ukrainian government which was in a state of uproar. Senator Ted Cruz out of Texas his office contacted us out of Texas and offered their assistance and they coordinated Congressman Bacchus' office," Mayhew said.

And then, with welcome home signs, flowers, and shouts of joy...

"I am just so excited! This has been a long journey!" DeeDee Warren, Elianna's Grandmother said.

With Elianna in her hand and surrounded by family, the Mayhew family says, they're thankful.

"One less orphan," Warren said. "One more child has a home. One more child has a family who loves them." 

 

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