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American Siblings Meet Their Big Belarusian Family For The First Time

Zygmund Henrych and Eileen Hunter have waited for that moment for so long and it finally happened. They met their family in Belarus for the first time, Longmont Times-Call reports.

A big family they’d always dreamed of.

Parents of Zygmund and Eileen came to the United States as displaced persons after World War II.

Their mother was German and their father came from Poland, an area that is now in Belarus.

The siblings have never been to the dad’s motherland or seen their relatives until this July.

Read also: Humans of Minsk. Bold lawyer, stubborn graduate and button accordion player

When in Minsk they were surprised to see smiling 12 people who drove for hour-and-a-half to greet them at the airport.

“They were about 20 feet from us and this door kept opening automatically and they saw us and we saw them but we couldn’t go there yet.

So we’re just standing there, steps away from them and then finally we finished the form and were able to hug them and meet them,” Hunter said.

A brother and sister stayed at their cousin’s place for two weeks and were so glad that the language gap didn’t affect their family reunion.

“Eileen and I have wondered and dreamed about or family that we’ve never met ever since we can remember.

They were as glad to see us as we were them … the whole trip was pretty emotional.”

The Americnas also discovered that their father had sent his Belarusian family photos of them over the years.

“And those were the only pictures one the wall,” Hunter said.

Zygmund and Eilee were overwhelmed to meet their family after so many years of waiting.

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“Now our conversations are more, ‘This is what we did today’ and we know each other better so we can joke back and forth.

We can start making fun, how families who get together and teach each other do,” Hunter said. “It’s such a good feeling.”

The siblings keep up with their Belarusian family via Skype and other methods.

They hope that some of the younger members of their extended family can visit the United States soon on student visas.

Read also: Minsk is the best city you’ve never been to, review by experienced travelers

“It’s family,” Henrych said. “It’s exciting now because we know the questions to ask. ‘How is so-and-so’ and ‘How is such-and-such’.

It’s amazing. Now that they know us and we know them, there’s no way we can lose contact now.”

The trip to Belarus had been granted to Zygmund and Eileen by the nonprofit organization Wish of A Lifetime.

Wish of A Lifetime aims to fulfill the dreams of senior citizens and share their amazing stories.