ABC 7 Exclusive: Last adopted orphan from Crimea arrives in Chicago

April 5, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Ianna, 16, now named Melissa, made the 20-hour journey from Kiev to Chicago alongside her adoptive mom, Kristine Proctor.

This was a homecoming that almost didn't happen.

Until a few weeks ago, Melissa was living in an orphanage in Crimea. The Proctor's met Ianna in December and decided to go ahead with the adoption process. At that time, there was no way of knowing that Crimea would end up seceding from Ukraine and then annexed by Russia.

Russia does not allow Americans to adopt Russian children, which turned the adoption process into a race against time. Once complete, the adoption was still not a done deal, getting Ianna a passport was an ordeal.

Melissa and her adoptive mom crossed the new border from Crimea into Ukraine just hours before Crimea officially became a part of Russia.

Melissa is the second child the Proctors have adopted from Ukraine. Their son, Ryan, was adopted two years ago, so they say they understand the challenges as she adjusts to her new home.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.