«He Himself Wrote a Letter to Boris Johnson»: Incredible Story of Illia from Mariupol, Who Lost His Parents and Found New Family

The attack of Russian occupants on Ukraine caught little Illia in Mariupol, where he lived with his mother and stepfather. From the first day of the war, a six-year-old child heard all the explosions, screams of terror, and despair of the people who lived nearby. Unfortunately, one of the war days took the life of the closest and most beloved person — his mom. And then — and his stepfather, who was like a dad to him. Despite the pain and suffering experienced, a few months later Ilya became a son again — already for the Bezpalyi family of Mariia and Volodymyr. The young couple was not afraid to become parents to a child who already knows how painful it is to lose loved ones.

He lost his entire family in two days: how Illia became an orphan in front-line Mariupol

Six months before the war, a young couple from Slovyansk (Donetsk oblast of Ukraine) bought the house of their dreams. According to Mariia Bezpala, they worked for 5 years to have it, collecting every earned hryvnia. And such an ideal house was found. The couple began to make repairs, occasionally shooting memorable videos. Now the woman admits: it is very difficult and sad to understand that the video is really the only memory left of their dream home.

«We bought our dream house 6 months before the war. We started making repairs in it, changing the windows and the fence. We dreamed of giving birth and adopting a child, living happily in the house. But now we don't know if we will ever see it again… How much work has been put into this place,» Mariia says to «Vchasno» journalist.

At the same time, almost a year ago, Illia lived in Mariupol with his mother and stepfather. He loved to spend the night with tents on the seashore and swim in the sea with his parents. Now, when the boy sees bodies of water, he often calls them the sea — even sitting on the river bank. He explains: «I used to have the sea nearby, because I lived in Mariupol»… And his whole life was taken screwed up by the first explosions that rang out in the city on the morning of February 24.

The war took his mother first. She left home and, as it turned out later, died in the explosion on the bridge. This happened at the beginning of the war. Illia's stepfather went to look for a wife — and did not return. So the six-year-old child was left alone in the whole world. In a world of war, in which murderous Russian shells fly nearby every minute.

«Two days after we found out about Illia, we went to take him to our family»

The couple agreed on the adoption even before the start of the war — both Mariia and Volodymyr wanted to give love to the child, and biology did not play a big role for them.

«I will still have time to give birth to my child, there is no such thing as other people's children,» Mariia explains.

Mariia and Illia Mariia and Illia For the first time, the Bezpalyis family saw Illia on photos posted by volunteers on social networks. At the same time, they decided that they had to give this boy a family. «On March 2, I posted on my page that my husband and I are ready to adopt a newborn child. At that time, we knew that according to the documents, we could not do this during the war, so we were ready to adopt a child without any documentation. And almost two months later, familiar volunteers told us about Illia. And two days later we went to Dnipro to take him home,» Mariia says.

Illia quickly got used to his new family, but he did not forget his mother. Mariia adds even the fact that he calls her mom, and Volodymyr — dad, does not mean that he does not miss his deceased relatives.

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