PAINESVILLE, Ohio — It took a lot of work and time for Trevor Littleton to finally see the young lady that he looks at as his daughter again in person.
“It was a very emotional moment seeing her and just knowing that she was safe,” said Littleton.
Dasha and Nastya, who are Ukrainian, are both Littleton’s surrogate daughters.
“I just call them our daughters,” said Littleton. “But surrogate daughters, host daughters, we don't need a title for what they are; they are family.”
When Russia invaded Ukraine last month, Littleton quickly jumped into action to ensure they were safe.
“They [Dash and Nastya] grew up as orphans, they grew up without families, they grew up without a father fighting for them,” said Littleton. “What greater act of love is there as a father than coming after you and making sure that you are safe?”
Last week, Littleton flew overseas and met Dasha at the Ukrainian-Polish border.
Littleton said Dasha is struggling to get a U.S. visa, so she's staying in a Polish camp with other refugees.
Unfortunately, Littleton’s other daughter, Nastya, hasn’t made it out of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol yet.
“She [Nastya] was thinking that the invasion wasn’t going to be bad and that it was just a drill,” said Littleton. “When we discovered that it was a bit more serious, we lost contact with her. It was two weeks ago today that we lost contact with Nastya.”
Littleton said he and his wife have nine children, four biological children and five adopted children, all of whom are Ukrainian.
He's is also the pastor of the First Church of Christ in Painesville, where he said many of his members are praying for his family and specifically Nastya’s safety right now.
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