February 25

Alabama father returns from Kiev with three adopted kids

His wife stays behind to finalize the adoption of a fourth child.

By Phillip Rawls
The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — David and Lisa Bundy knew adopting four orphans at once from Ukraine would be stressful.

click image to enlarge

David Bundy sits with his newly adopted children, Max, 11, from left, Alla, 9, and Karina, 14. He headed home to Montgomery, Ala., early with the children to escape the violence.

The Associated Press

But it wasn’t until the bullets started flying and homemade bombs exploded outside the apartment where they were staying in the capital of the eastern European country that the Alabama couple discovered just how stressful it could be.

Last week, the Bundys, of Montgomery, stayed in an apartment in Kiev a half-mile from Independence Square, the center of violent protests. They listened to gunfire and explosions, and the children played games and tried to sleep as bullets whizzed by their balcony.

“It was a constant boom, boom, boom,” said David Bundy in an interview at the couple’s Montgomery home Monday, a day after he returned with three of the children. “It was three or four explosions every 10 seconds.”

The couple had planned to return home together after the last of the four adoptions, that of 16-year-old Nastia, was finalized, but decided it would be best if David Bundy headed home early with the others to escape the violence.

He arrived in Montgomery on Sunday night with 14-year-old Karina; 11-year-old Max; and 9-year-old Alla. Lisa Bundy remained behind in Kiev with Nastia.

“The children became afraid of what was going on, and then it became more of a safety issue,” David Bundy said.

Bundy, a 47-year-old freelance photographer, and Lisa Bundy, 40, an emergency room physician, began looking at adoption after not having any children of their own. They first looked at domestic adoptions, but got dismayed by the paperwork and long wait.

In the summer of 2013, the couple volunteered with Bridges of Faith, a program that brings orphans from Ukraine to Alabama for a month of cultural enrichment. Through the program, they met Nastia and made plans to adopt her. Later, they met Karina and her siblings and decided their home could handle four children.

“Something felt very right about them being with us,” Bundy said.

Bundy said adopting from Ukraine costs about the same as a domestic adoption, but can be challenging as it requires working with lawyers and courts outside of the U.S. The couple arrived in Kiev on Nov. 22 and rented an apartment near Independence Square because it is where restaurants, shops and government agencies are located.

Bundy said the protests in the square began about a week before they arrived, but they didn’t think anything about them because they were peaceful.

Gradually, however, the protests turned into violent clashes with police and the police disappeared from Bundy’s neighborhood.

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