Tania was all smiles as she hugged her new brother.
The family left the airport together for the first time.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Shelby County couple welcomes home their newly adopted child, a 16-year-old girl from the Ukraine. This is a unique story because now their new daughter is reunited with her childhood best friend.
Excited and anxious, Becky Williams waited for her husband and daughter Tania's plane to land in Louisville.
"It may be kind of overwhelming, meeting all of us for the first time, but were just very, very excited," said Mrs. Williams.
Becky and Roger Williams already have eight children of their own and this is their first time adopting.
"When we heard her story, we just wanted to help out and see what we can do and the more we learned her and we are just happy to have her," said Mrs. Williams.
They first learned about Tania when she was visiting her best friend, Madison Dziedzic, last year in Louisville.
Madison, who is also from the Ukraine, was adopted three years ago. The girls grew up together in the same orphanage.
"It's awesome," said Dziedzic. "I'm so happy for her and she's so excited and nervous, but she's glad that I'm here."
While Tania was a little shy at first, her nerves were calmed when she saw Madison and her new large family waiting for her.
The Williams decided they wanted to adopt a teenager because in the Ukraine, when orphans turn 16 they are basically left on their own.
"Statistically she had, like a 10% chance of immediately committing suicide, a 70% chance of becoming involved in drugs and prostitution, so the odds were just so much stacked against her," said Mr. Williams.
The Williams' adoption comes at a time when dozens of approved adoptions have been halted in Russia.
"It's been almost a year that we have been working on the process with Tania that I couldn't imagine at some point in the midst of that being told, well it's just not going to work out," said Mr. Williams.
Russia's president enacted a law that bans adoptions by Americans. A political retaliation because of a new United States law which imposes sanctions on Russians deemed to be human rights violators.
"The leaders in the Ukraine are very much opposed to Russia's decisions, so now is really the time that we can make a great impact," said Mr. Williams.
After living in the United States, Madison says she can't help but feel for the orphans in Russia.
"Everybody wants to have a family and I just don't like it at all," said Dziedzic.
The Williams say they are already in the process of adopting another teenager from the same orphanage in the Ukraine. They hope to have her home by this summer.
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