Ukrainian teen escapes war-torn country, reunites with adopted Bucks County family


A slow and treacherous journey ended in happiness last weekend when a Ukrainian boy finally was reunited with his newly-adopted family and brought to the United States.

Maryana and Dmitriy Kravchenko, of Lower Southampton, Bucks County, flew home from Poland on Saturday with their 16-year-old-son, Maksym, who was forced to escape Ukraine amid the nation’s ongoing war with Russia.


MORE: Bucks County couple adopts teen from Ukraine, then was forced to flee war-torn country without him


“It feels unreal and we praise God for making a way where there seemed to be none,” Maryana told the Bucks County Courier Times.

The couple flew to Poland to complete the adoption with the U.S. Embassy and Maksym, who had to travel hundreds of miles from his orphanage in a rural Ukrainian village for safety.

The Kravchenkos finalized the adoption on Feb. 24, the same day Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. When the judge who approved the boy’s adoption declined to lift the standard 30-day waiting period, the Kravchenkos were forced to fly back to the U.S. without Maksym — unsure if they would ever see him again.

Maksym was largely left to fend for himself, journeying from bomb shelter to bomb shelter before eventually making it to Poland in late March. 

The boy had to overcome his original orphanage director’s refusal to approve his departure and a second orphanage operator holding him hostage for money. Both times, war chaplains supported by the Kravchenko’s church — Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia — were able to intercede and rescue him.

“We had a lot of miracles along the way. So many miracles. He was one step ahead of danger the whole time,” Maryana said.

Ukraine adoption Kravchenko

The family credited its prayers for keeping Maksym out of harm’s way as he trekked across Ukraine into Poland. 

“We believe (our prayers) helped to keep him safe,” Maryana said. “God is faithful to complete that which He started.”

The Kravchenkos said Maksym will eventually enroll in English Second Language classes once he’s settled into his new home.



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