Cypress family hosting Ukrainian refugees at home

A Cypress family is now hosting three Ukrainian refugees who fled their country in February when the Russian invasion began. 

The Ukrainians arrived in Houston this weekend after a long week of travel.

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Adel Kuchyk and her host mom, Melanie Vitovsky, spent Monday grabbing some essentials from the store. Less than 48 hours ago, Adel, her fiancé Michael, and her 14-year-old brother Maxim, arrived in Houston as Ukrainian refugees.

The three left the country with virtually nothing on February 24 to escape Russian invaders. 

"When they left Ukraine, they had minutes to get what they could and get out the country," Melanie said. 

"We drove to Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Lithuania," Adel said. 

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For the last month and a half, the 20-year-old has been jumping from place to place, uncertain of where to go next; her father and grandparents remain in Ukraine. 

Adel's journey to Houston wasn't exactly easy either. 

"It was seven flights in five days. It's kind of crazy," Adel said. 

From Lithuania, Adel flew through Istanbul to Mexico City, then to Guadalajara and eventually Tijuana, to drive across the U.S. border. 

"She came into Calexico, California, and then we had to get her to the San Diego airport and get her to fly here," Melanie said. 

"It’s kind of surreal and crazy. I’m happy to be with family, happy to be with people that I love," said Adel. 


While happy to be safe and reunited with a place she once called home as a foreign exchange student five years ago, Adel’s life has turned upside down. 

Her responsibilities as a college student instead now transformed into becoming a mom to her little brother. 

"We had everything planned. I had my dream job. My fiancé just got his and we had everything planned, like we were thinking about the wedding. We had our friends there and a place to live," said Adel. 

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Adel plans to stay in the U.S. for at least a year under humanitarian parole. She and her fiancé are currently applying for work visas. Her brother is learning English and hopes to return to high school in the fall.

If you'd like to help these refugees out, click here