After an overnight stay in Rivna, Prokhorenka took a bus filled with families to the border. Long lines of cars and people waited to cross. When she finally did, she was overcome by emotion.
“We [were] just in tears because these people, officer, volunteers, teenagers, kids, they welcome us,” she said. “They hug us.”
Volunteers handed them hot tea, chocolates and other candies. Prokhorenko stayed with a host family about 120 miles from the Polish-Ukrainian border.
Now, she’s in Germany with another host family but doesn’t know how long she’ll have to stay in the country. Her daughter, Olena Ogiozee, said before the war, her mom had applied for U.S. permanent residency and is now waiting for an appointment with the U.S. embassy in Frankfurt.
Ogiozee said she wants to bring her mom to the U.S. Prokhorenko would like that too, but ultimately wants to return to Ukraine. For now, she prays. And she hopes.