Former US interpreter in Afghanistan reunites with son in Frisco – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
In the baggage claim area of DFW Airport Terminal A, Atefa Sharifi watches travelers come and go, feeling the minutes drag on.
For most of the past decade, the mother-of-two has worked to welcome her 15-year-old son, Saeed, to North Texas.
“I had high expectations for this moment,” Sharifi said.
Eight years ago, the former American interpreter left Saeed with his family in Afghanistan to come to the United States on a special immigrant visa.
She said U.S. immigration law does not recognize Saeed’s Afghan adoption, but she never stopped working to find another way.
Due to his past service at the US Embassy, his mission became critical when Kabul fell to the Taliban.
Following dozens of calls and emails, the US State Department helped facilitate an extraction.
Today, 41 days and two refugee camps later, with the arrival of flight 2385 from El Paso, mother and son are together again.
“Oh, my God,” Sharifi shouted, hugging Saeed. “You’re a big man, aren’t you? I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” Saeed said.
Tuesday’s reunion was just the start of Saeed’s life in the United States. Then they will work to try to formalize its adoption in the United States.
But for now, Sharifi said having him here is enough.
“Because I went through so many struggles, so many hardships, I almost gave up hope that he was here. But today he is here, and that represents the world to me, “she said.” I have no other desire. I have no other wish as long as he is with me here. “
Yet it is not lost on the mother or the son that others, like Sharifi’s sister and her children, are still trying to escape.
“There were so many people. It was so difficult for us to be there. But for today we are together, ”Saeed said.
And with his stepfather, his little sister and his mother, he finally returns home.