A Baby Shower at Rikers

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First Lady Chirlane McCray visiting with Karen Johnson and her 10-month-old granddaughter, British.
Karen Johnson, grandmother to 10-month old twins, Britain and British.

Karen Johnson: I see my grandkids whenever my daughter has a chance. She’s got twins, so it’s not easy for her to come with both of them. When I get home, I plan to enjoy them as much as possible and stay out of places like this. I’m planning on going home on September 29.

Shavon Johnson [not depicted, Karen’s daughter]: My mom has been here since January. She’s coming home in September. It’s a tough time. I miss her. Being that I have twins, it’s hard to travel. I try to come for special occasions and events. Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day. I want her to spend time with them so that she can watch them grow. At this age, they’re growing and learning things every day. We have a very close family. I have a lot of plans for when she’s home — to take her out, take her on adventures with the kids. Keep her focused.

Justine Dorsey (in beige on left) with daughter Tameya. Karen Johnson (in green on right) with granddaughter British, listening to First Lady Chirlane McCray read the book “Love Is.”

Justine Dorsey: This is a beautiful event — the family time, the quality time. My girls visit 2–3 times a month. Being able to visit with them is everything. I’m a mother before everything and family is very important to me. It’s the highlight of my time being here. I wake up looking forward to it. I always have a good day after having a visit.

Justine Dorsey (in beige on left) with daughter Tameya. Karen Johnson (in green on right) with granddaughter British, listening to First Lady Chirlane McCray read the book “Love Is.”

Justine Dorsey: Tameya, when she comes, likes to draw pictures. And she likes books — especially any book with numbers in it. She loves to count. With Damiya [my 9-year-old], we have girl talk and catch up on everything that’s going on in the 3rd grade.

Damiya: Lots of math! A lot a lot of math. I like being able to visit my mom. This is my 10th time seeing her.

Justine: She counts. I found out the other day that she’s keeping track. I’m not sure when I’m going home yet. Hopefully soon. I’ve been making so many different plans. We have to see Disney World. Damiya wants to go to Hershey Park. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Movie time. Eating snacks. A lot of quality time. I’ve been here for 10 months, so there’s a lot of time to make up for.

Tanya Hoisington with sons Anthony, 5, and Darius, 1.

Tanya Hoisington: Being with my kids — being able to play and talk with them — is the best part of today. I’m from out of town — Manchester — so they can only come about once a month. My sister brings them to visit. My youngest one, Darius, stays with his father, and Anthony is with my sister.

Anthony: Momma, let’s go play catch!

Tanya: You want to go play catch? Okay. We’re going to go play catch now.

The event was part of a larger series of NYC baby shower events designed to provide support, information, and resources to new and expectant mothers.

First Lady Chirlane McCray visiting with Karen Johnson and her 10-month-old granddaughter, British.
Karen Johnson, grandmother to 10-month old twins, Britain and British.

Karen Johnson: I see my grandkids whenever my daughter has a chance. She’s got twins, so it’s not easy for her to come with both of them. When I get home, I plan to enjoy them as much as possible and stay out of places like this. I’m planning on going home on September 29.

Shavon Johnson [not depicted, Karen’s daughter]: My mom has been here since January. She’s coming home in September. It’s a tough time. I miss her. Being that I have twins, it’s hard to travel. I try to come for special occasions and events. Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day. I want her to spend time with them so that she can watch them grow. At this age, they’re growing and learning things every day. We have a very close family. I have a lot of plans for when she’s home — to take her out, take her on adventures with the kids. Keep her focused.

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