Yesterday was Christmas in Ukraine per the Orthodox calendar. And Dasha’s parents invited Jim and me as well as a few other family members and close friends for a Christmas dinner. On this day, Dasha’s mother had returned home from visiting her son Andriy and his wife and their sweet baby daughter in England. This was Lena’s first time seeing her granddaughter and it was great fun looking at the piles of pictures she had from Christmas and New Year’s.
It was also a special dinner because this was the last night that Jamie and Dasha would be living in Kyiv, Ukraine…for at least several years. We sat at the table for hours telling stories about our children, reminiscing about when the Donskoy and Peipon families first met in 1998 (who’d have guessed that our 13-year-olds at that time would marry 7 years later?!), marveling that God would reunite Jamie with one of his best childhood friends in Boston (John moved there this month — and, in fact, is meeting Jamie and Dasha at the airport.)
We took pictures of three generations of Donskoy women.
And Dasha with her papa Sasha.
I understand that some people stayed at the house until 3 or 4 a.m. but I had gone to bed hours before. Dasha’s best friend Katya just couldn’t say that last good-bye…
The next morning we took two cars to the airport to handle the luggage and family members. We said sad goodbyes with stiff upper lips…each person was permitted one kleenex tissue only. Everyone is so excited that Jamie will be studying at Berklee College of Music and with the personality and talents of Dasha, well, who knows what she might get busy with?! We are sure that they will be active in their new community!
They stepped through the “area” where only ticketed passengers can go…and we watched them head to the check-in counter.
We opted to stick around just in case they had to remove any items from their overweight suitcases, and soon, much to our surprise, they came bounding back without suitcases…a forgiving young gal let them put the bags through without an extra charge…but also now with 3 hours before their flight would be boarding. It seems that their plane had not even landed yet in Kyiv.
First stop: The Delta counter to switch their flights from NYC to Boston. Fortunately, there was a later flight with available seats. Just need to remember to let John know.
We returned to the Donskoy’s home — only 10-15 minutes from the airport — and enjoyed leftovers for lunch. Lena and I were thinking about our children…the youngest in each family…and couldn’t believe that we were sending our married babies off to America.
But that is just what we did. The second attempt was a breeze at the airport. No luggage to contend with! Jamie and Dasha let me snap one more picture with their tickets in hand, and the Ukrainian/English sign overhead. And they were off. This time Dasha was blowing kisses back at the parents as they rode the escalator to passport control. We all felt like we were ready for it all to happen…this second time-around.
And now Jim and I are awaiting the arrival of Jeanne and Kolya who have been in western Ukraine since right after Christmas. They will be with us for the weekend as we thank God for their first year of marriage — their first anniversary will be Monday!
My, how time flies!