A Thompson Station family is going to need a few more chairs at the dinner table.
Cheers and applause greeted the Jones family at the Nashville International Airport Tuesday night as their family suddenly grew by eight. For three years, Mike and Hayley Jones, alongside sons Tyler and Tucker, have been trying to adopt eight children from Sierra Leone.
"When I saw them coming down the hallway, my heart just stopped," said the children's new grandmother, Susan Drake. "I can't imagine Christmas. Christmas with that many children around one tree? Mike and Hayley never lost their faith or their goal. They stayed focused. It finally happened."
With their family and community raising a staggering $15,770 to bring the children home through gofundme.com, the work paid off.
"It's just a relief," said Hayley Jones. "It's just a big sense of relief."
"I don't know if you can ever be completely prepared," added Mike Jones. "We've worked on the house and just every little aspect we can. We've tried to prepare and be ready for this point."
Standing all together in the airport, the family created a new portrait of smiling faces that just tripled in size. Ready to head home, each child took two flags, one in honor of their former home and one welcoming them to their new one.
"We have prayed for this moment for so long," said Drake. "I can't believe it's really here."
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