WAKE FOREST, NC (WNCN) – In less than two weeks, 2 million people have fled to other countries to escape the war in Ukraine. A Wake Forest woman who moved to the United States from Ukraine 12 years ago is desperate to find a way to bring her sister and nephews to North Carolina.
Nataliia Odell and her sister have always been close, but now it feels like they live in different worlds. Odell is in Wake Forest and her sister is in Poland, where she fled after fleeing the war in Ukraine.
She left with her 15-year-old son and two-year-old twins, grateful for the shelters Poland offers but alone in a country where she doesn’t know anyone or speak the language.
“She cries every day that she wants to go back home to Ukraine and I say, ‘I’m so sorry I can’t get you here’ because it’s very hard to get here in the United States.” said Odell. “I have a house. I can offer her anything. I just don’t want her to stress.”
Odell said her sister hopes to get a visa to stay with her temporarily, but has been unable to get one. According to the US Embassy and Consulate in Poland, demand is extremely high, availability is low and waiting times are long.
North Carolina Congresswoman Deborah Ross said she sympathizes with those who are struggling.
“I know my colleagues in Congress are working on it,” she said. “I know the Biden administration is offering more temporary protective status, which of course is a first step.”
This status allows Ukrainians who stayed in the US until March 1 to stay for 18 months. Odell hopes something can also be done to help Ukrainians with families in the US get here as soon as possible.
“I would like to ask the government to help us bring our relatives to our family,” she said.
When the war ends, she hopes her sister can return to Ukraine, a country they both love very much.
https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/wake-county-news/wake-forest-woman-desperately-trying-to-find-way-to-get-her-sister-family-to-nc-from-ukraine/ Wake Forest woman trying to find a way to bring her sister and family to NC from Ukraine