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Boise family of adopted Ukrainian daughter fear for orphans amid Russian invasion

"What happens if the caregivers need to go take care of their families and they have to leave, like what happens to these kids?" said Luke Caldwell.

BOISE, Idaho — As thousands flee from Ukraine, among them are the most vulnerable, orphans, the disabled, and the elderly.

Boise couple Luke and Miranda Caldwell say they are grateful for adopting their 18-year-old daughter from Ukraine over two and a half years ago. Promise Caldwell is from Western Ukraine, has Down syndrome, and is nonverbal. She grew up living the majority of her life in a crib, not being able to walk.

"She was left in a hospital by her mother, they said probably because she had down syndrome and was put in a baby orphanage until she was five when three-five she pretty much won't be adopted so she was transferred to the institution,” said mother, Miranda Caldwell.

"We had both been to Romania in the past, so we knew the situation that some of the kids experienced and it's just tough because there's just not as much assistance, not as much help," said father, Luke Caldwell.

While Promise is safe in Boise and surrounded by love, the Caldwells can’t help but think about all of the Ukrainian orphans living in chaos, the ones who they could not bring home.

"It's easy to see a picture and not have anything behind that, but once you meet the kids and see that they are real and know that we are here and safe and they're not it makes it really hard to just go on living here with all that we have,” Miranda said. “You can’t just walk them out of the orphanage, you have to literally pick them up and how do you do all that? How do you help that many?”

According to the Caldwells, there are about 100,000 orphans in Ukraine.

“What happens if the caregivers need to go take care of their families and they have to leave, like what happens to these kids?" Luke said.

The Caldwells said before Russia’s invasion, a man named Serge from America, who had dual citizenship in Ukraine, helped them find Promise and facilitate the adoption. A few days ago, they learned that Serge had passed away protecting his country on the street of Kyiv.

"He had a certain type of respect there that not a lot of people have and he's like the key to some of those kids getting out of there,” Miranda said. "I was just like 'this can't be real, this can’t be happening.'"

As the Caldwells continue to mourn his loss, they’re also keeping their eyes on the escalating tensions in Ukraine, a place they know well after taking several trips there throughout the adoption process.

"They never seemed fearful, but I know that it was always on the forefront of their mind that it could happen again,” Miranda said.

“There was a lot of resilience in the people and you know we love our country, we love our freedom and we want to be able to do what we want to do,” Luke said.

The organization Maya's Hope provides orphanage assistance and support to families of special needs children in Ukraine. Go to the link for information about Maya's Hope and how you can help.

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