We never dreamed about immigrating to America. We did not plan to immigrate. We did not want to immigrate. In 2009, we came to America for the first time in our lives. We spent two months here, visited more than ten states, saw lots of touristic places & met with many of our dear friends & family.
We loved America! So grand & so diverse & so beautiful! All the States that we visited were unique. The nature, the amusement parks, the roads! Everything was very different from Ukraine. And the people were very nice & friendly! We had already been to quite a few countries, including England, Israel & some of Europe. America stood out without question. But…
When our friends & relatives asked us if we wanted to stay, we smiled: of course not. We loved Ukraine! Our home was in Ukraine! Our close family & friends were in Ukraine! Our business was in Ukraine! Our life was in Ukraine! Of course, we did not want to move anywhere. Why would we? We enjoyed traveling, yes, but moving; no, thank you 🙂 And after an amazing trip, we gladly returned back home.
In five years, everything changed. Due to the economic downturn, we lost our business & had to sell some of our real estate property to pay back our bank loans. I experienced some significant health issues. Many of those who used to come party with us at our backyard pool disappeared. And then, the political situation started to crack down, with 100 civilians shot in downtown Kyiv & Crimea invaded by Russian troops.
At that point, we realized that we must leave. It was an enormously hard decision to make: leaving our home & our close family behind. Our main MOTIVATION was to SURVIVE & then HELP OUR LOVED ONES in any way possible. So, with three suitcases, we left Ukraine, heading into the unknown & hoping that God would show us where to go literally every step of the way.