Clermont family in process of adopting 3 brothers from Ukraine fear for boys’ safety

CLERMONT, Fla. — Three soon-to-be members of a Clermont family are being moved from place to place in Ukraine to keep them safe from ongoing attacks from Russia.

The Andrews family is in the middle of adopting three brothers from the East European country.

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Breanna and Aaron Andrews were told all adoptions from the country have been put on hold due to the conflict. Now they’re left worrying not only about the boys’ safety but that their adoption will be delayed.

The couple met 9-year-old Daniil this winter and it didn’t take long for him to fit in.

READ: Russia attacks Ukraine: US will impose sanctions on Putin (live updates)

“He thrived on family events and going out on the weekends,” Aaron said.

Daniil spent a month in their Clermont home as part of a program meant to show orphaned children what it’s like to be part of a family. But the bond between them and their three children was strong.

Photos: Russian forces push toward Kyiv, Ukraine

“Every day that he was here, he asked us if we would please be his family. He wanted to move to America and he wanted to have a mom and dad,” Breanna said.

They fell in love too and decided to adopt Daniil and his two younger brothers, Artem and Timothy, who they’ve never met. They were expecting to bring the boys home early next year.

But the process hasn’t been easy, and with the Russian invasion, it became more difficult.

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“I’m sure he’s scared,” Breanna said. “They were bunkering down in their orphanage.”

The Andrews said at one point, children in their orphanage were taken to a bomb shelter and continue to be moved from place to place.

The said one bright spot is that they recently were able to send a message to Daniil through a friend to tell him, “we’re coming for him and we love him.”

Photos: World monuments lit in solidarity with Ukraine

The couple said that message was a big moment, because they weren’t allowed to tell Daniil that they planned to adopt him while he was here, so he didn’t know.

The family are looking at the possibility to get a humanitarian visa to possibly get the boys out of Ukraine sooner, but they said it’s all still up in the air.

The Andrews are documenting their adoption journey on Facebook. You can click here for updates.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.