Houston-area family trying to adopt orphan teens in Ukraine

A Houston-area family has spent the last several weeks trying to adopt two orphan teenagers from Ukraine.

"We still talk to them every day," said Alana Pierson.

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Since 2020, the Pierson family has been going through the process of adopting a Ukrainian boy named Denys. Then, in the winter, they also started the process of adopting a Ukrainian girl named Anastasia. However, because of the current war in Ukraine, the adoption process has slowed to a crawl.

"We were expecting it to be complete by May," said Pierson. "Now, since the war started, we are at a complete stand still."

Prior to the war, both Denys and Anastasia visited the Pierson family in Texas. The Pierson family says they’ve all grown very close.

"Hopefully sometime soon they’ll be able to come back and I’ll be able to see them," said Micah Pierson, Alana’s son.

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"Since the war started and Russia invaded, it’s felt like the longest roughly month-and-a-half or so," said Luke Pierson, Alana’s husband. "Time has gone by real slow."

Denys and Anastasia both escaped from Ukraine during the war with their orphanages.

"Our girl, she had the hardest time escaping [Ukraine]," said Alana. "They were actually under fire and had explosions going off on either side of their buses as they were escaping."

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For now, the Pierson family is trying to remain patient. They say there are hundreds of other American families also linked-up with Ukrainian orphans waiting for the paperwork to clear.

"We do hope things can move forward," said Alana. "They have families they’re connected with. They’re waiting for the adoption process to start up again. We just want to see the process continue as soon as possible."