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Texas couple bring home their adopted baby from Ukraine, just in time


Kelci Christine Jagge | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 02/26/22

The Jagges had a dramatic race to leave the country with their new son, who was battling pneumonia.

Amidst all the chaos of the war in Ukraine, a sick little boy was waiting for his new adoptive parents to take him back to their home in San Antonio, Texas. The problem for 4-year-old Ruslan, who has cerebral palsy, was that he was living in an orphanage in Eastern Ukraine, exactly where the Russian army was holding its position. Thankfully, Ruslan’s new parents were very determined.

Kelci and Theron Jagge had fallen in love with their new son straight away. As Kelci shared, “We saw his picture before we even decided to adopt. We were like, ‘The time is now. There’s no better time.'” Little did they know how true those words would prove to be.

Once in Ukraine, the issue Ruslan’s new mom and dad had was that flights were being cancelled and Americans were being told to leave the country as soon as possible. However, the couple was stuck, as little Ruslan was fighting pneumonia and they didn’t have the required visas sorted out, as reported by Fox 13.

“We were racing against time at this point. We were not able to get a visa for him finalized until after hours the Friday before the embassy was evacuated. So, he got the last visa that the embassy issued before the evacuation,” explained Theron.

Obstacle after obstacle, they kept pushing through in faith

Pressure was mounting for the couple, as the embassy was advising them to get out of the country as soon as possible. They thought they had the visa fast-tracked and headed to the airport with hope, and a sick little Ruslan.

But once at the airport the visa was denied and the couple were told they couldn’t leave the country. “I told them, ‘Look at our son. He’s going to die if you make us wait 30 days. He will not survive 30 days.’ And they did not care,” shared the new mom.

So they managed to get an attorney to intervene and thankfully, a few days later, the papers were finalized. And thanks to the family’s nurse and the non-profit she works for, they were able to find a flight and head home.

“It was all the Lord. It was all God. Little things happened along the way that opened up the doors to get us home,” Theron pointed out.

Home at last

Now, as they stay by their son’s beside in the ICU at a Texan hospital, Theron and Kelci are very much aware that the other children from Ruslan’s orphanage have not been so fortunate. Although the orphanage was evacuated, their future is obviously uncertain.

While some may think the Jagges were a little crazy to put their lives on the line, Kelci rightly shares, “Well, if that’s your child and your child was stranded in a war zone you would do anything to get them out.”

We pray that Ruslan makes a speedy recovery from his pneumonia and that he enjoys life with his new parents in Texas. We also pray for those who weren’t able to leave Ukraine in time, and are living with fear and uncertainty.

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