This Is Iowa: Sadiya’s Seven

This Is Iowa: Sadiya’s Seven

By Eric Hanson, NewsChannel 8 Reporter
Published On: Mar 03 2014 05:06:57 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 03 2014 05:41:31 PM CST
DES MOINES, Iowa -Like any mother, Sadiya Omer, would have loved to hug her kids every day, but the last eight years that wasn’t possible.Watch video of this story

“You can’t even imagine — killing and war, fighting,” said Omer.

Somalia was too dangerous to even walk through.

“You don’t even go outside and see,” said Omer.

Back then her husband had just died and she was fleeing Somalia with her unborn child, but in doing so she left behind seven more children.

“That day when I left Mogadishu, they was crying and they was all young and I said ‘Look, maybe I’m a bad mom.’ And they said, ‘Do never say that, mom. You are most wonderful and beautiful mom in the world,'” said Omer.

When she left, her children were all under the age of 15.

After eight long years, the last hour before seeing them again at the Des Moines Airport was the longest. Her thoughts bounced back to how she had settled in Des Moines, learned English, the fights she’s had to get them here and the long hours she’d worked to support them back in Africa.

“Sometimes we don’t even have food. I pay my bills here and I have to pay their bills too,” said Omer.

She had been waiting for this day when her youngest could finally meet his siblings for the first time.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” said Omer. “My brain is like thinking and thinking. I want to cry.”

“Even she told me, ‘I want to smell them. I want to hug them and smell them. I want to feel my kids again,'” said Al Mardi, a case worker.

When the airport monitor showed the flight had landed, the seconds drug on until the cheering began.

When Omer first spotted them, she collapsed to the airport floor.

That first night, Sadiya said she fell asleep surrounded by her kids. She’s in the process of moving into a new place big enough for her family of now — nine.