Welcome home: Pierson family spends first full day with adopted son
For the Pierson family, the wait is over.
After nearly three years of anticipation, their adopted son Mardoche has completed the journey from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Rochester.
Mardoche's father, Minnesota State Rep. Nels Pierson, picked him up over the weekend and brought him home. On Monday morning, the family had their first breakfast together. Later, Mardoche got his first opportunity to play in the snow
"Mardoche has been welcomed into our home and our community in a way none of us will ever forget," his mother, Nicole, wrote on Facebook.
The Piersons found out last week that Mardoche, 9, would finally be allowed to leave the DRC, which has been devastated by civil war for the greater part of two decades.
The family first decided to adopt Mardoche in May 2013 after seeing a picture of him smiling. They suffered numerous setbacks after the DRC put in place strict restrictions on international adoptions.
As hundreds of families waited behind red tape to adopt their Congolese children, top U.S. officials — from Senator Amy Klobuchar to President Barack Obama — began putting pressure on the country's government.
“You feel helpless," Nels said at the time. "It feels out of your hands and out of control, and it’s frustrating."
During the waiting process, the Pierson family was able to make regular Skype calls to stay in touch with Mardoche. His adopted family includes two siblings, a brother and sister.
His arrival in Minnesota has been met with an outpouring of support from family and friends. On Monday, Sen. Klobuchar issued a statement congratulating the Pierson family and pledging to help bring together more families experiencing the same situation.
“I’m thrilled that the Pierson family of Rochester was finally able to bring home their adopted son Mardoche from the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Klobuchar said. “With more families in Minnesota and across the country waiting to be united with their adopted children from the DRC, I will continue my efforts to bring these adoptees home.”
Cover photo courtesy Pierson Family