They thought they would be home now. Instead, Brad and Lisa Mills of Prosper, and their newly adopted sons from Ukraine say they are stuck in Eastern Europe.
“Every day they ask, ‘When can we go home? When can we fly and go to USA? “said Brad Mills.
Artem, 14, and Max, 13, are brothers who lived in an orphanage in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, before being evacuated to a refugee camp in Poland because of the war, a war that started in the end of the two-year adoption process.
“They’ve been through so much already. Just a few days ago they told us how traumatic the war was,” Lisa Mills said.
The Mills said they picked up the boys from the refugee camp without a problem due to an adoption judgment they recently received declaring them parents.
They said they even got the boy’s US visas and medical clearance, but hours before they were supposed to go home they said they were told they couldn’t leave the country.
“Otherwise we could be arrested and charged with international child abduction,” Lisa Mills said.
Although the boys are already in the Mills’ care, they said Ukrainian law requires them to obtain a “transfer of custody” letter signed by the orphanage director, in person at the orphanage.
“The law says we have to be at the orphanage in person and we have been asked many times to go to Ukraine, but we didn’t think it was in the best interests of our children to take them to an area of war,” said Lisa Mills.
Les Mills said he met with members of the US Embassy in Warsaw, the Ukrainian consulate and was in contact with the State Department.
They said they also contacted lawmakers in the United States
“We’re just stuck in a holding pattern. We just want to bring them home,” Lisa Mills said.
They would be, she says, if there wasn’t a single signature on the way.
Les Mills said they needed Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy to make an exception and help find a way to get the document signed.
NBC 5 contacted the State Department and the offices of Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz for comment. We did not receive an immediate response.