OLATHE, Kan. — The war in Ukraine is causing challenges for American families in the process of adopting Ukrainian children.
On Wednesday, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt and other lawmakers announced a bipartisan effort to call on the Biden Administration to help unite Ukrainian children with their adoptive families in the U.S.
While the news release mentions several times families "going through the adoption process," a spokesperson for Blunt's office told KSHB 41 News the effort only affects families in the final stages of the adoption process, which have been approved by the Ukrainian Court.
Olathe resident Jessica Pflumm said the news release gave her encouragement at first as it said:
"Regardless of where children are within the adoption process, protecting vulnerable children should remain a top priority for Ukraine and the United States."
However, Pflumm said when she called Blunt's office she was told her family's situation does not apply because it has not yet been finalized by the Ukrainian court.
"It was disappointing to say the least, but we are not giving up, we are going to keep trying each day to find new ways and just praying through the waiting process," Pflumm said.
Pflumm and her husband, Matt, have been working tirelessly to bring their adopted son Max home to the U.S.
The family knew immediately they wanted to adopt him after hosting him around Christmas. They said he has no other family in Ukraine.
"Adoption is a dream come true for him, he has wanted a family for years," Jessica Pflumm said.
They are about 70% of the way through the adoption process and are continuing the work in the U.S., but cannot move into the final stages with the Ukraine court because no one is working in the office due to the war.
"We've been told it could take years, we've also been told it also could take months, it just kind of depends on what ends up happening with the war," Jessica Pflumm said.
The couple hope lawmakers will put more pressure on the U.S. Government to help families like theirs and Ukrainian children like Max.
"This is just kind of another disappointment for him, but we are just encouraging him everyday to not give up and to keep praying that God can make a way for us to get to him, and that's our hope that we are going to cling onto," Jessica Pflumm said.
Through fund raising, Matt was able to travel to Ukraine where he was able to see Max for several hours and tour his orphanage facility.
Jessica said he reassured Max that his parents are working hard to fight for him and will not give up on him.
The couple is grateful to their community for the constant love, support and encouragement as they try to bring their son home.
"We're just super hopeful and we're not going to give up fighting for him," Jessica Pflumm said.