Amid Kiev chaos, American couple make a family

The Bundy family on a walk in Kiev on Feb. 21, 2013. David Bundy

An American couple who have been living in Kiev since November 2013 to complete the adoption of four Ukrainian children spoke Friday of how life is slowly returning to normal, after a week of mass chaos and violence in the country's capital.

"Things are better but it's still a tentative situation so we're just trying to get out of here before anything else happens – hopefully nothing does - hopefully things continue to get better," said Lisa Bundy, in a telephone interview with CBS News from Kiev.

 

 Bundy, from Montgomery, Ala., and her husband, David, a photographer, have been staying in an apartment approximately half-a-mile from Independence Square, the location in Kiev where most of the protests and violence have unfolded.

When they arrived in November, Bundy said they were not overly concerned by the political situation in the country, and that the protests were similar to those in the U.S.

"It was basically like 20 people down on the square with signs. It wasn't really that big of a deal, it was just like how everybody is always in front of the White House every day," said Bundy.

"But then it slowly got bigger, and slowly got bigger, but we walked through it all the time, and most people there were pretty friendly, you didn't bother them and they didn't bother you," she said.

anti-gov-protesters3.jpg
Anti-government protesters face off with police in Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 20, 2014.
David Bundy
 "If you talked to them and asked to take their pictures, they were like, 'OK sure.' If they found out you were American, they were always very welcoming: 'America good, freedom.' They had a very good opinion of America in general," said Bundy.

The apartment the family is staying in is not on a main street, shielding them from witnessing most of the violence, although they heard gunshots from their windows.

anti-gov-protesters1.jpg
Anti-government protesters face off with police in Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 20, 2014.
David Bundy
 "We mostly have been staying in the apartment, except today [Friday]. We only went out for about 20 minutes yesterday; the kids didn't go out at all except for today. We tried to mostly play games, and watch movies, and keep their minds off of it," said Bundy.

Lisa and David have been in the process of adopting their four children since June 2013. The adoption process for the youngest three, who are biological siblings, is complete, but they are waiting for papers for their fourth child, a 16-year-old girl.

"My youngest three are done; they have the visas and are legally ours. My oldest daughter- we're just in the waiting period for her- the concern here is the passport," said Bundy.

"They need a Ukrainian passport [to leave the country] so you need the Ukrainian government to function so we can do that," she added.

Her husband and the three youngest children are scheduled to fly back to the U.S. early next week. Bundy is hopeful she will receive the paperwork for her eldest by the end of the month, and fly back with her soon after.

In the meantime, as the situation in Kiev calmed Friday, the Bundys took a walk with their children to Independence Square.

"A lot of people were out, with their kids. Old people, it wasn't bad," said Bundy.

"It was pretty interesting to walk on history; my husband looked at me and said, 'I'm really glad we did this.' We definitely stayed all together but they [the children] needed to know what happened in their country, so they can understand what the fight for freedom was about," Bundy said. 

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    Jessica Hartogs is a news editor for CBSNews.com. You can find her on Twitter: @jessicahartogs

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