Thirty-four-year-old Min Naing, a blind refugee from Myanmar, was reunited with his wife, Ma New, and his 7-year-old stepdaughter after a three-year separation. The reunion occurred at Friedman Place in Rogers Park, a home for the visually impaired, where Naing has been living.
"This is a wonderful moment. We've known Min for three years. We have really grown to have loved him and cared for him, and we've all been concerned about his wife and his daughter," said Ann Lagory, Friedman Place.
At the age of 16, Naing was captured and forced into the military. He says that after two years of torture, he fled and joined a group fighting the regime. Naing lost his sight during combat and fled to Thailand.
He met his wife, who he calls the love of his life, when they were teenagers. They lost touch with each other and reconnected in Thailand and got married. He said when he came to Chicago, he was unable to bring his family but never gave of hope of being with them again.
"I thought I would never see this day. I got my wife coming here. Today, my wife arrived here with me. I cannot believe it," said Naing.
"I think he never gave up hope, but there were some dark days there," said Lagory.
World Relief, a Christian organization, is responsible for bringing the family to Chicago. By the end of the month, they will move to an apartment in Rogers Park. Naing calls his wife his first and last love.