MASON, Ohio -- After two years of planning and one week of near-panic, Nakisa Azari was reunited with her parents Wednesday night.
"It’s awesome," she said. "Actually, it was my birthday, too, so this was the best birthday ever."
Azari, who immigrated to the United States from Iran, fought hard to secure the same privilege for her mother and father after President Donald Trump’s travel ban jeopardized their chance at joining her. Although the ban was only 90 days, Azari’s parents’ travel visas were scheduled to expire Feb. 19.
If they had not been able to join Azari, her husband and their children in Mason, Azari would have been forced to postpone her plans to continue her education -- perhaps indefinitely.
The concerns of thousands like her led to a federal judge placing a temporary stay on the ban. As soon as she heard the news, Azari was racing to figure out the next step. She, her parents and her children sat together in her living room Wednesday night, finally under one roof.
"I’m happy," her mother, Nahid Azari, said. "Very happy."
While her children played with the toys their grandmother brought from Iran, Nakisa Azari smilled. She was holding a letter she had received from a complete stranger after she first went public with her story -- a letter of encouragement and sympathy at a time when it seemed that her future had turned upside down.
"I want you to know that there are millions of Americans out there who are on your side and are willing to do whatever it takes to protect your parents right to enter this country," it read.
Azari said that her family still had some concerns about the future of the ban, but for now, she plans to enjoy the precious time she has with her family.
"I just want to say thanks for all my friends and family and all Americans for their support," she said.