Refugee Stories: A Thanksgiving Reunion

In November of 2011, Aung Ko Ko, Lily Paw and their four children were resettled in Atlanta by LSG in partnership with the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta. With four young children, a fifth child on the way and father Aung's visual impairment from a land mine explosion, this family had its share of challenges. One member of Redeemer's Resettlement Team who happened to be an R.N., Carol Swisher, became especially close to this Karen Burmese family. Carol accompanied Lily to all her prenatal doctor visits and attended Lily during the labor and delivery of baby Rosemarie! Soon after the baby's birth, the family had the opportunity to move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to live with extended family. Though it was a sad farewell for the family and their Redeemer friends, all promised to keep in touch.

This Thanksgiving, Carol (pictured far left in photo below) visited Lily, Aung, and the children Juspina, Veronica, Samuel, Sunday and baby Rosemarie. It was a reunion full of joy and gratitude for friendships that last! Here’s Carol’s account of the visit: I visited Lily on Wednesday and she was standing outside the house awaiting me. We embraced and took her to Social Security office, but we had no medical records so couldn't accomplish the name change on baby Rosemarie’s Social Security Card (it was listed incorrectly on the card). My son was ill with the flu, so that day I only got to see the 2 youngest children, as the others were in school. On Saturday, my son, daughter-in-law and I returned and took a set of melmac dishes, cups, hats and gloves for all and of course the family favorite - apples and oranges! All the kids were home and we had a wonderful visit.