American Couple Flees Ukraine With 2-Day-Old Baby

( – Jessie and Jacob Boeckmann wanted another child, and their journey took them to Ukraine. Little did they know that returning home with their new daughter would be a harrowing experience. Now, they’re sharing their story.

The Boeckmanns hired a Ukrainian surrogate, who had carried their previous child. When the due date approached, the couple left their home in California to be present for the birth. What should have been a joyous occasion quickly turned terrifying when the couple awoke on February 17 to explosions filling the air, and they knew they needed to leave.

The couple and their newborn had to trek to the Polish border. They spent four hours just leaving the city of Kyiv to begin their trip. After that, they inched through traffic jams and spent the night in their vehicle. About eight miles from the border, they could no longer continue by car. The new parents had to bundle up their 4-day-old daughter and walk in freezing temperatures for the remainder of their journey.

The Boeckmanns said the experience was scary, and they feared for their newborn’s safety due to the cold. Once they reached Poland, they waited almost three more hours before guards let the mother and the baby through, but the father had to wait longer before eventually reuniting with his family. After their 27-hour ordeal fleeing Ukraine, the couple finally caught a flight out of Poland to return home to California.

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