Jennifer Murrow Grover and her husband, James, started the process to bring home their two adopted sons from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012. But while waiting for the U.S. to approve the boys’ visas, Congolese officials placed a suspension on adoptions, forcing Joseph, 14, and Bronson, 7, to remain in an orphanage with little food and no running water. Both suffered from malaria. But on March 1, after an agonizing three-year wait, they finally came home.
Their tearful homecoming at Salt Lake City International Airport was captured on video by Jennifer’s mother. The footage of Joseph and Bronson running into their parents’ arms has gone viral, with 5 million views since it was uploaded to Facebook on March 3.
“The response has been overwhelming.… I’m usually a very private person,” Jennifer tells Us Weekly. “There are people who are saying, ‘I grew up in foster care and I wish that day had come for me. I just wanted someone to give me a home.'”
The couple are parents of biological children Emily, 19, Brianne, 17, Joshua, 16, and Jeffrey, 12. They adopted Lauren, 14, from Kazakhstan and Michael, 12, from China. Their son Jacob, who was from China, passed away in 2013.
Jennifer tells Us that Joseph and Bronson immediately bonded with their siblings.
“I was expecting things to be difficult because of their age and the stark contrast in conditions,” she says, “but I was very pleasantly surprised. All the kids have attached in every sense of the word. Last night they had leg wrestles and dance parties in the family room!”
Joseph started eighth grade last week. “He came home from school the first day and said, ‘Mom, I have so many friends!’” raves Jennifer. “Him and Bronson are learning to ride bikes together and he was so excited. He kept shouting, ‘I’m learning! I’m learning!’”
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