Ukrainian-born Barron County woman worries for her family

Ukrainian-born Barron County woman worries for her family
Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2022 at 11:24 PM CDT
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RICE LAKE, WI. (KBJR 6) - A woman born in Ukraine, now living in northwest Wisconsin, fears for her family’s safety as the war there continues.

Maya Kamrath was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. But at six and a half years old, she was adopted and found her new home in Rice Lake, WI.

“As soon as I touched the ground, and actually touched the Minnesota airport,” Kamrath said. “I was now officially a United States citizen.”

Although she’s always wanted to return to her home country, she’s never had the chance.

Recently, she virtually connected with her birth mother, Svetlana, half brother, Anton and other relatives in Kyiv.

“I have her husband, Anton, herself,” Kamrath said. “I have two other sisters and one of the sisters has a daughter, so I also talk to the daughter.”

With war continuing to plague Ukraine, Kamrath worries about the safety of her family, especially since she hasn’t yet been able to reunite with them.

She said they live in a danger zone near the country’s capitol.

“I mean they’ve had several missiles hit in that hometown area,” Kamrath said.

Her birth mother sometimes worries the worst could happen.

“She did say if anything should happen to her, she said ‘Could you take care of Anton?” said Kamrath.

Her family hears air strikes and bombings often.

“They’re more at the point where they’re getting used to hearing the bombs off in the distance,” she said.

It’s a heavy burden to carry, being so far from home and unable to be present with her family there, but Kamrath said she tries to help in other ways.

“Each night for them and each morning, I actually send out a little prayer message.”

But waiting for a response keeps Kamrath uneasy.

“There are times when I would stay up until early in the morning, knowing that I have to work in the morning as well,” she said. “But my family is my priority, so I would wait until they wake up.”

Kamrath hopes she will be able to visit safely soon and that the parts of the country she’s been most excited to visit won’t be destroyed.

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