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Ukrainian family gets to WNY after 6-year wait

The Goryana family started the process of coming to the United States six years ago.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — A family from Ukraine arrived on a flight at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Thursday morning after years of planning.

The Goryana family started planning this move six years ago. They had a sponsor family all lined up long before the war started. After it started, they went to Poland, where they stayed with another family while they waited the four months it then took them to get to the United States. 

Mom and dad have six adopted children, two foster children, and four biological children. Six will be with them here.

The sponsor family who helped to make this happen met the family from Ukraine through the adoption community. 

The family from Ukraine told us they were nervous the whole time, but they are glad to finally be here.

"Half of our family is still in Ukraine. My brother is on the front line right now and has to fight. And my sister and her husband are in Odessa. They're serving,"  Zhenya Goryana said.

"They have ministry, and they help the refugees with supplies and everything, so very nervous, like, really worried about them. It was really hard to leave as well, knowing that they have to stay there. For some of them it was their decision to stay there and help people, but it was hard to leave them behind."

Goryana says they have big plans for what's next.

"We hope to find a place here and become a part of the community, hopefully maybe find a church and be able to kind of participate in some ministry, hopefully maybe even help refugees that, you know, are coming here. So we're excited to help others," Goryana said.

They wouldn't have been able to do this without all of the volunteers who made sure the family has everything they need here.

"We have several people who donated furniture, home goods, food, advice, everything that you can think right and I like anything that you think of that you need for resettlement, we got through the community," sponsor Nataliia Vasylchuk said.

If you are on the Nextdoor app, this is the family you've seen the posts since earlier this year. Vasylchuk says this would not have happened without all of the help from the community.

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