While on a trip to Ukraine in the summer of 2013, Lisa and David Bundy met four orphans that they later decided to adopt. But when they returned to complete the adoption process last November, the violent protests in Kiev complicated matters.
Last month, David returned home with three of their children: Karina, 14, Max, 11, and Alla, 9. Lisa had remained in Ukraine to finish the adoption process for 16-year-old Nastia, and the two returned home to Montgomery, Ala. on Friday. The Bundys joined HuffPost Live to talk about their adoption ordeal and family reunion.
The new family was already making up for lost time. "Everybody's been doing real well," Lisa Bundy told host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin. "We had a belated Christmas on Saturday with my father and brother, who came in to see the kids, because we didn't get to do really any of that back in December, so they really enjoyed it."
The Bundys did not try to shield their children from the unrest in their home country. "The three younger children are not too politically minded," David said, "[but] the oldest one knows what's going on, and she keeps up with it on the Internet and through her friends that are still in Ukraine. Before we left Ukraine with the siblings, we took them around and showed them areas of Independent Square, where the fighting had taken place. She was very interested in it, taking her own photos. She sort of views the protestors as heroes to her country."
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Though the adoption process in Ukraine is challenging, especially given the political climate, Lisa said that statistics on orphans in Ukraine were too shocking to ignore. "We of course knew that bringing them to America was going to give them so many more opportunities than they would have had there. The statistics for children who graduate from orphanages are pretty astounding -- 60 percent of the girls end up in prostitution and sex trafficking. 10 percent commit suicide within five years of graduation of an orphanage. When we learned about that, those kinds of statistics make us certainly concerned for the children that are left there."
She added that she's now helping her children assimilate into American culture. "They're very excited to be here and we're doing lessons in English and American History, so trying to teach them the importance of being an American citizen."