Annie Johnson, Maryan Osman, and Fatuma Abdullahi
Annie Johnson (AJ): Not a lot of people become a mom at 28 to teenage daughters. So, the learning curve has been steep.
Maryan Osman (MO): Yeah. (laughs) What do you remember most about meeting me?
AJ: You just walked up to me with all of the confidence in the world, stuck your hand out there and you’re like ’Hi, I’m Maryan.’
AJ: ’How old are you? Are you old enough to be a mom?’ You kind of, like, looked me up and down and sized me up a little bit.
And I remember, Fatuma, when you just so shy, and quiet. Which was okay, because we were so nervous.
Fatuma Abdullahi (FA): Yeah.
AJ: What’s it like to live in a family that has such a different culture?
MO: Here the neighbors, so quiet, you feel like you’re living by yourself.
MO: Even in the jungle … (laughs) … animals made sounds, but here the sounds you heard is only the cars.
AJ: The funniest thing is teaching you guys weird American sayings. Like, ’beating a dead horse.’…
MO: Yeah (laughs)
AJ: That’s a fun one.
MO: Why would you beat a dead horse?
MO: It’s already dead!
AJ: That’s the whole point.
MO: Also, it’s funny when you’re learning Somali.
AJ: I can say I love you, which is … Waan ku jeclahay.
MO: I love how when you say, “What’s your name?”
AJ: Magacaa (laughs)
MO: It reminds me of when I was learning English, when I would speak in funny ways.
MO: Hey mom, have you ever got scared for me?
AJ: Uh, yeah. Last year around your birthday, when you had some panic attacks. I went to the school and there were firemen there, and all the teachers were surrounding you. I was scared for you, because you were really struggling at that time.
MO: I kind of got overwhelmed about my past. And, uh, I remember, that you told me that, ’I am always there to talk to you.’ And you hugged me a lot. That was awesome.
AJ: Yeah, you like to be hugged.
MO: Yeah. The best thing I love about you guys is no matter what I do, you still forgive me and give me chance to move on.
AJ: It’s hard being a mom, you doubt yourself a lot. You don’t know if you’re doing things right. I’ve learned a lot about patience. And I’ve learned a lot about love. You guys have just given so much joy and meaning to my life.
FA: Thank you.
AJ: I love you so much. So happy that you are my daughters.