Tuscaloosa Family Scrambling to Find Ukrainian Girl They Intend to Adopt
A family in Tuscaloosa is urgently scrambling to find and save a 9-year-old Ukrainian girl they intend to adopt as war continues to ravage the eastern European nation.
The man at the center of the search is Tuscaloosa's Trent Hartsfield, who told Fox News and TMZ that through a nonprofit organization called Bridges of Faith, his family hosted a 9-year-old girl named Angelina last Christmas here in Alabama.
Hartsfield told Fox News that Angelina returned to her home country in January, but that Trent, his wife Muff and his son Sim immediately began the process of permanently adopting her.
All that came to an abrupt end in late February, when more than 100,000 Russian troops invaded Ukraine in what President Vladimir Putin called a "special military operation."
In the days since, Russian forces have reportedly hit countless civilian targets with rockets, artillery, heavy armor and small arms fire.
Unwilling to stay in Alabama and simply hope that the violence did not affect Angelina, the Hartsfields have flown to Romania and intend to travel to Ukraine, get the young girl out of the country and bring her back to the US.
"We're praying, we're trying for a rescue mission to get her out," Trent Hartsfield told Fox News last week. "My goal is that mountains will be moved and we'll be able to see her come across the border."
In an interview with TMZ that Trent Hartsfield conducted from Bucharest in Romania, he said the search continues to find Angelina and get her out of the war-torn country.
"We don't where she is, we don't know what to do, we're devastated, we're scared," he said. "We're trying to do everything that we can possibly do to find her and just get her to safety. That's my goal right now, just get her to safety."
Hartsfield said he was planning a trip to one of Ukraine's borders to coordinate with missionaries and other noncombatants to seek more information on Angelina.
"I'm very optimistic, I have faith and you know, I feel like God is going to deliver and I would like to call you guys live from Romania and say, 'I've found her," Hartsfield told TMZ.
The last update the Thread could find from Hartsfield came on Monday afternoon through Tuscaloosa's Two Feet In Ministries, where Hartsfield and others were handing out supplies to Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country into Romania.
Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates on this harrowing story as they develop.