A couple fled Ukraine with their newborn by fleeing to safety in a 27-hour ordeal as bombs rained down on the country.
Jessie and Jacob Boeckmann made their way to the Ukraine-Polish border on foot in freezing temperatures after traffic came to a standstill.
The Boeckmanns had traveled to Ukraine from their home in California to meet their daughter Vivian, who had been born via a surrogate two days earlier.
They had been alert to the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine but decided to travel and get their daughter back.
But when they woke to the sound of an explosion Thursday morning, they knew they had to flee.
Her journey began with a man who spoke only Russian and intended to drive her to the US Embassy in Lviv.
But what should have taken six or seven hours turned into a 27-hour nightmare.
It took four hours to get out of Kyiv alone as cars with others fleeing caused massive traffic jams.
When the Boeckmanns finally got close to the border, there was no way out for their car. You slept in the vehicle overnight.
They finally came to a halt about eight miles from the border. So they got out and started walking.
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The temperature was just below freezing when they began their trek.
said Jessie The Los Angeles Times She and Jacob checked on Vivian every few minutes or so to make sure she was alive.
“What have I done to my sweet angel?” Recalling the thought, Jessie spoke to the Los Angeles Times.
“This could be the worst decision I’ve ever made.”
Eventually they reached a very crowded border full of people fleeing but also Ukrainian guards with guns.
Jessie and Vivian were let through after almost three hours of waiting and pushing. But it wasn’t Jacob.
He and Jessie begged the guards on either side of the gates as he was carrying the cases of Vivian’s formula and she needed something to eat.
Eventually, the guards agreed to pass the bag through the gate to Jessie and Vivian. But Jacob was still stuck on the other side.
Jessie and Vivian cleared customs and called their mom in Arkansas.
Meanwhile, Jacob was still on the other side being turned away by guards despite having a valid US passport.
After hours of back-and-forth and pleading, Jacob was sent to a sealed entrance and finally reunited with his family more than 27 hours into their journey.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4818321/i-fled-from-ukraine-with-my-newborn/ I fled Ukraine with my newborn by fleeing to safety in a 27-hour ordeal following her birth while bombs rained down