BEE CAVE, Texas (KXAN) — It’s been 12 years since Bee Cave residents Alice and David Glass met Iryna Petrus, a Ukrainian woman who was working as a waitress at the time while going to school in New Hampshire. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the three reconnected, with the Glasses opening their home to Petrus and her young daughter.
It’s been nearly two weeks since Petrus and her daughter, Polina Domanskyy, arrived in the United States on March 28. It’s a decision Petrus said she is still processing, as her family and husband remain in Ukraine.
“He says Iryna, in case if I go to fight, it’s much easier for you to know you’re in a safe place so I don’t worry about you and Polina being under the ground somewhere,” Petrus said. “So that was something that made me think that it might happen, if he’s called to fight and he is the one to go, it might be easier for him not to worry about us. So we just started to pack the needed things, documents and escape.”
Residing along the Polish border, she said she originally stayed with friends in the neighboring country for a bit before making her way to Mexico to visit a friend there, who encouraged her to call the U.S. embassy process and begin her relocation to the U.S.
Following President Joe Biden’s announcement that the country would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, she and her daughter made the journey to the U.S., where the Glasses welcomed them into their home.
Alice said that since first meeting Petrus, she remains struck by her wisdom, charm and kindness. Petrus added she and the Glasses have maintained contact over the years and was touched by their generosity and openness to her and her daughter.
While Petrus maintains daily contact with her husband, family and friends via phone or FaceTime, she said she’s found an extended network in the Glasses.
“Since she and Polina have joined us here in our home, it’s like she’s blessing us much more,” Alice said.