California Couple Walks 8 Miles to Flee Ukraine With Baby Born via Surrogate Days Before Russian Invasion
“It was a nightmare for us, but it's so much worse for so many other people. We're lucky enough that we get to go home,” the new mom tells Inside Edition.
With the cost less than half that of the United States, Ukraine has become popular with couples looking for a surrogate to have a baby.
One California couple's baby was born less than a week ago, and they've had a very stressful time trying to get to safety amid the Russian invasion.
Jacob and Jesse Boeckman of Costa Mesa found themselves in a harrowing experience after their Ukrainian surrogate gave birth to their baby girl, Vivian, in Kyiv last Tuesday.
Two days later, they had to evacuate.
“My biggest fear is that we were going to be stuck,” Jesse told Inside Edition.
The couple hired a driver to take them to the city of Lviv, which is the pathway into Poland. Due to the mass exodus, what would normally be a six-hour journey took them 27 hours.
When they got close to Poland, traffic came to a standstill.
“We felt like because she was only four days old at the time, and we had limited food and water, that we needed to get across the border as soon as possible,” Jacob said.
“We decided to get out of the car and proceed the rest of the way on foot, hoping to get across the border by sundown,” Jacob said.
Jesse carried the baby as her husband wheeled their suitcases for eight miles in the freezing cold.
Four hours later, they finally reached the border, where they found complete chaos.
“Fortunately for Jesse, the crowd noticed that she was carrying a 4-day-old and pushed her to the front,” Jacob said.
But only women and children were allowed through.
“I didn't have the baby's food or my passport, because Jacob was carrying all that. What they had to do was pass it over the top of the crowd, and then throw it over the barbed wire fence and give it to me,” Jesse said.
“Every time I thought that something was gonna get better, it actually — and I’m not a pessimistic person — but it actually got worse,” the new mom continued.
The Boeckmans spoke to Inside Edition from their hotel room in Warsaw. They are scheduled to fly back to California tomorrow.
“It was a nightmare for us, but it's so much worse for so many other people. We're lucky enough that we get to go home,” Jesse said.
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