Abshir Abdirahman left his family in 2007 as civil war broke out in Somalia. After traveling across Africa for six years, he was the first to resettle in Columbia as a refugee in November 2013.

By Tessa Weinberg (Missourian) |

COLUMBIA, Mo.—Kaho Barre sat in silence on her couch in her home of two months. As her kids put shoes on and her husband looked for his keys, she anticipated seeing her 16-year-old son, Yasin Abdirahman, who was left alone in Ethiopia after his family came to America.

While Barre has sent her five children to school each day, she imagined the day she could see her missing child join his siblings.

I was expecting one day to see my son,” Barre said through an interpreter. “Also, I was fighting with my new life in America.

That day came last week, when Yasin Abdirahman was reunited with his family. His case had been separated from his mother and siblings — all refugees originally from Somalia — in November, and he did not travel with his family when they arrived in Columbia in February.  The last time he saw them was when he said goodbye at an airport in Ethiopia. The last time he saw his father, Abshir, was nearly a decade ago.

Abshir Abdirahman left his family in 2007 as civil war broke out in Somalia. After traveling across Africa for six years, he was the first to resettle in Columbia as a refugee in November 2013. He worked to support his family an ocean away, waiting for them to join him. They were able to do so after President Donald Trump’s first travel ban was blocked.

While adjusting to a new country takes time, the house that was once bare except for a few essentials is decorated now. Gold table runners spruce up the coffee tables, and a red rug adds a pop of color to the brown carpet. Pairs of shoes line the doorway, and a sign in the shape of a heart hangs on the wall and reads, “Together our love will grow.”

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