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Alana Pierson grew up in the Sacramento area and recently traveled to Poland to help orphans escaping the war in Ukraine.


She is in the middle of adopting two of the teen orphans who fled the war-torn country. During her time volunteering in Poland, she spoke with FOX40’s Mae Fesai about what the adoption process has been like.


“I want more than anything to just get them and bring them home,” Pierson said.


Two years ago, Pierson hosted a teen boy named Denys, now 17 years old, through Host Orphans Worldwide, an organization that aims to help connect orphans from around the globe with people they can one day call family. Later, Pierson hosted a teen girl named Anastasiia, who is now 16 years old.


After meeting both children, Pierson and her family decided they wanted to move forward with the adoption process.


“The adoption took a very long time and we were actually just getting ready to finish,” said Pierson. “I can’t even begin to describe how excited, that just a month ago, thinking in just a couple months this is all going to be done and my kids are going to be home.”


The adoption was set to be finalized in May. But all that changed when Russia troops invaded Ukraine on February 24.  Since then, Pierson has endured many sleepless nights. “I was crying a lot. It was really hard,” said Pierson.


Despite, the uncertainty the Russia-Ukraine conflict caused, Pierson decided to volunteer with Host Orphans Worldwide who sent a team to Poland as Ukrainian orphanages were evacuated.


“I knew I had to go,” said Pierson.


Pierson devoted most of her time helping dozens of orphans and other refugees who narrowly escaped Ukraine.


“You see the kids in the orphanages and they’ll explain what it was like when they were on the bus or the train and they explain how scared they were.” said Pierson. “All of them were prepared in their hearts that this might be it. That they might not make it out.”


Pierson also prayed that her two host children were among the 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees who made it safely to Poland.


Her prayers were answered.


“When I saw him and he was like mama and I could just go and hug him there was no better feeling,” said Pierson.


Denys escaped on a train as explosions were going off on both sides. Meanwhile, Anastasiia got out a week later after she was held up in a dangerous area under heavy fire near Kiev.


Jenn Mitchell, co-founder of Host Orphans Worldwide, says that there are nearly 90 orphans they work with who evacuated, but many do not have an adopting family waiting for them and could be in danger.


“The Ukrainian government and the Polish government are working together to provide housing and basic needs. We’re coming along and supporting in any way that we can. We provide medicine, and clothes ,and food.” said Mitchell. “Human trafficking is happening along the Polish borders so they have to protect the children now so more than ever.”


Pierson will soon have to leave Poland and get on a plane to Texas, where she now calls home, without her two host children, and without knowing when she will be able to see them again.


“We’re reaching out to our Congressman,” said Pierson. “We’re asking for help that when things can go again with the Ukrainian government, that things can be expedited.”


 Besides that, Pierson said that all she can do is wait.


“We love them both so much. So, so much,” said Pierson.


Pierson is one of many host families waiting to adopt. If you would like to find out how you can help, click here.