PEARLAND, Texas — A restaurant server in Pearland has been fighting to bring her family in Ukraine to the United States.
Nastya Boyd, 21, and her siblings were raised in a Ukrainian orphanage. Boyd and her younger brother were adopted by a family in Pearland several years ago. Her sister was too old for adoption and stayed behind.
Since war broke out in Ukraine, Boyd has been trying to get her sister and 2-year-old nephew to safety.
After an interview with KHOU 11 News two weeks ago, Boyd made it to Poland and reunited with her sister, Kateryna, at the border.
“I just hugged her as tight as I can and said, 'I am here, you are OK,'” said Boyd in a zoom call from Poland.
She’s relieved knowing her sister and nephew are safe, but now they’re in Europe struggling to figure out the next steps.
“Every mother has to find, on her own, a job, a place to stay, how she will provide for her child. Prices here for apartments are crazy. The jobs they’re offering them barely cover the apartment price,” Boyd said.
She feels the solution is bringing them home to Pearland. Her adoptive family is ready to welcome them with open arms.
“If we’re able to bring them here, it’s what we want to do and care for her. She doesn’t have anyone else. She doesn’t have anyone outside of Ukraine she can go to. It’s already terrifying enough as it is,” said Andrea Boyd, Nastya's mother.
Family, friends, and their church community have been working together to help the young women. They’ve been told Nastya Boyd's sister isn’t considered immediate family for immigration purposes.
“The situation is really complicated, so we learned the American government is processing immediate family, which is defined as children, spouse or parent. Nastya’s biological sister qualifies for none of those. We’re asking for exceptions to be made and we’re trying to navigate the system to get around that,” said Stephanie Burleigh, a family friend.
They hope anyone moved by Nastya’s story will call their elected member of Congress to petition for her in Washington.
The offices of Reps. Troy Nehls and Randy Weber have been in contact with the family.
“We’re her only hope. We’re going to fight really, really hard for her,” Burleigh said.