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Ukrainian orphans come to North Texas with adoption hopes

August 18, 2008, 11:00 2882 Author: JEFF BRADY / WFAA-TV wfaa.com Trips like this are organized by Family Hope, an international orphan relief group that works primarily with older orphans, who are usually the last to be adopted

They're cute, curious kids - Ukrainian orphans on vacation in America, with the distinct possibility of becoming American.

"There were two little girls, who we were to choose between. Well, we couldn't choose, so we decided to take them both," said adoptive parent, Larry Hansard.

For three weeks, Natasha and Kristina have lived with Larry Hansard and his wife, their soon-to-be adoptive parents.

"Honestly, they're just kids, and the thing they need most is love, they're fantastic."

The girls are part of a larger group of Ukrainian orphans visiting North Texas on a cross-cultural field trip this summer. They've been ice skating.

Trips like this are organized by Family Hope, an international orphan relief group that works primarily with older orphans, who are usually the last to be adopted.

"No one wants the older children, they're just throw-away kids, no one cares, no one's paying attention to them, and we want to give them a chance," said Maria Peterson, Family Hope National Director.

Maria Peterson has adopted five teenage girls from Russia.

"We went to get information, but what we got was transformation, our hearts were transformed," she said.

One of her adoptive daughters - Julianne - is babysitting the two little girls today.

"I am happy, I would never want to go back," she said.

Children almost left behind in orphanages half a world away, meeting new cultures and, in some cases, new families for keeps.

For more information, call 972-731-6293

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