After a month of longing to meet his newborn son, a Kurdish man stuck in northern Iraq due to Trump’s controversial executive order was finally able to enter the United States legally — and hold his baby boy for the very first time.
Hoger Ameen, 29, and his wife, Missouri nurse Rachel Adrian, welcomed son Aland into the world on February 2, but Trump’s entry ban into the U.S. from seven predominately Muslim countries left Ameen stuck overseas.
On February 28, days after Trump’s ban was lifted, Ameen returned home with help from U.S. Representative Sam Graves, who took notice of the couple’s story. In an emotional moment, Hoger reunited with Adrian, whom he hadn’t seen in seven months.
“He is my heart,” Ameen tells PEOPLE of his son. “It was the best thing in the world to meet him.”
Ameen, a telecommunications specialist who is looking for a job in Missouri, spends as much time with Aland as he can.
“He is adorable,” says Ameen. “I just love to hold him and snuggle. He’s the best.”
Adrian, 29, and Ameen met in Iraq three years ago when she moved there to do relief work. The couple married the following year and made plans to move to the U.S. to start a family. They settled down, temporarily, in Iraq and began applying for a spousal visa.
“We wanted to move back to America to be located near my wife’s family in Missouri,” Ameen, a telecommunications specialist, previously told PEOPLE. “Family is very important to us and we want to stay close to them.”