My name is Samira, and I’m a 42-year-old single mother of four boys. I’m from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Fourteen years ago when I came in U.S, I didn’t like it, because I couldn’t speak any English. I started to watch a show on the kids channel called Sesame Street, so I could learn basic English. When I was in my country, my dream was to come to the U.S, but on the other hand, I was sad, because I missed my parents. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for your kids.
Why did I dream to come to the U.S? I was in my country when war started in March of 1992 and ended in 1995. These four years of war felt like forever. I was twenty years old when the war started. I also got married in 1994, and then my first child was born in 1995. After the war in 1999 my second child was born. Because of not having a job, my husband and I started looking at how to come to the U.S. It was not easy, because you have to have money to do all this, but with my parents help, we did it. My experiences from the war filled me with bitterness, and horrible experiences. In August of 2000, when we got letter that said “Welcome to U.S,” I hugged my two boys with happy tears in my eyes and I told them that we are soon flying to the U.S.
My life changed as I came to the U.S. I started to work a cleaning job at a hotel. I had my third child in 2003, a healthy, beautiful, and handsome boy. Then in 2006 I had my fourth child, who changed my life completely. My youngest had Down Syndrome and asthma. He was a premature baby and he also had open heart surgery when he was just five months old. I couldn’t work anymore because my son had these health issues. I couldn’t go outside with my kids, because of my son’s health issues. It was twenty-four hours home care, plus driving back to the hospital and therapy. I learned so much and I enjoyed taking care of him. He’s a child from God, who changed my life completely. If God didn’t bless me with this child, then I would probably still suffer in an abusive relationship. I ended the relationship to keep this child safe. He’s my child and my angel. Watching him being so strong and going through a lot, that makes me start thinking that I can do better.
Being a single mother of four children, and being a student, is not easy, but it’s worth it. After three years of taking care of my youngest boy, I decided to go back to school. I realized that I can do better, and I wanted to let my kids know that everything is possible. It is not easy but you have to be strong. Having four kids and deciding to go back to school, I had to make little changes around the house. I wake up at four a.m., make my coffee and prepare breakfast, so when all four kids wake up, I have already taken care of myself. I also stay up till eleven at night. I love to read and, now by knowing English, I keep reading more. My two oldest also help me around the house or take care of my youngest child.
Scott Community College for me is like a morning vacation. I spend four hours there each day and I want to stay more, but the sad part is that I have to go back home and prepare lunch for my kids. Most of the time my little boy is sick, or his school calls and asks me to come and drive him back home, or sometimes to drive him from school to hospital. I love my kids and I also love school. Most of the time I spend at home, I am studying. There is a website called Khan Academy that you can study all day, and it’s free! Scott Community College is awesome and we have such nice teachers. Math class I don’t really like, but English class I enjoy, and I’m so happy that I can finally write in English. My dream is one day to have my own restaurant, because I’m a mother who likes to cook. Before all this can happen, I have to get my GED and then go to college. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single mother, or if you’re from another country, we can all do better. My free time is Saturday and Sunday. That is a good time to talk and play with my kids.
Education is a key factor in our life. We have to work very hard to make a positive difference in our life. Also, by stopping to think negatively, you can make your dreams come true.