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Ukrainian family thankful to celebrate Thanksgiving in America

Iryna Dalakova, her husband, mother, father and two children escaped war-torn Ukraine and have settled in Obetz.

OBETZ, Ohio — Inside the Obetz home of Sophia Spencer there is a marinated turkey, cranberry, pie crusts and stuffing to be made.

All of it foreign to her sister's family who arrived from war-torn Ukraine in April.

“As soon as they announced the war, they only had two hours to escape,” Spencer said.

The family left their meat smoking business and quail farm and only had backpacks and a suitcase when they arrived in Columbus.

It was a journey that took them to the city of Izmail to Romania, Bulgaria, Paris, Tijuana, Mexico, Detroit and finally to Columbus.

They left in February.

Spencer rented two homes next to hers to accommodate her family.

Her sister, Iryna Dalakova, speaks little English and so do her two children who are now enrolled in Hamilton Schools.

10TV asked whether she would go back to Ukraine one day.

“I miss Ukraine I want it to be safe, even if the war was over I would still want to be here because I will be with family,” she said in Ukrainian and was translated by her sister.

As grateful as this family is to be together for Thanksgiving it’s also very hard.

“It's bittersweet because I have cousins, I have classmates, I have friends, coworkers still there,” Spencer said.

Outside the home, they proudly fly the United States and Ukraine flags. This represents two cultures coming together with the hope that others, who fear for their lives in Ukraine, can escape the horrors of war.

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