PEARLAND, Texas — A young woman who was raised in a Ukrainian orphanage has spent the last several weeks advocating to bring her sister to the United States.
The Pearland community raised money to send 21-year-old Nastya Boyd to Poland after Russia invaded Ukraine. She was determined to find her sister and nephew after war broke out.
The sisters reunited at the border in Poland, but Kateryna and her 2-year-old son had nowhere to go and no family outside Ukraine, besides Nastya.
Family and friends helped them navigate the process of obtaining a visa, but they quickly learned getting special permission to come to the U.S. could be difficult.
However, everything changed after KHOU 11 News shared their story and Congressman Randy Weber’s office got involved.
Nastya shared their exciting update from Croatia, where they got an appointment with the United States embassy.
“That’s crazy. It got approved. They told us we can all fly together,” said Boyd via zoom. “I’m definitely relieved.”
Nastya, her sister and her nephew will board a flight to Houston next week.
“Our politicians, as amazing as they are, they’re overwhelmed. They’re getting hundreds of requests a day. We’re really grateful for channel 11 supporting us and helping us get their attention. Once they knew we were talking to you guys, they said ok you can stop. You have our attention,” said Stephanie Burleigh, a family friend.
While Nastya is still worried about her family staying to fight in Ukraine, she has peace knowing there are people in Pearland ready to welcome them with open arms.
“Now we don’t have to worry about where is the next place we’re going to stay in Europe? Where is the next stop going to be? How long will it take? For [my sister], I can see she’s finally breathing,” said Nastya.