In 2012, Jeri Lynn and Ryan Owen, who had three children of their own already, decided to add to their family. Watch now: Perilous Journey
Credit: Owen family
Jeri Lynn and Ryan Owen decided to adopt two young girls from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sisters who they named Ava, left, and Zoey.
Watch now: Perilous Journey
The girls were available for adoption through Celebrate Children International or CCI, a small Florida adoption agency run by Sue Hedberg.
Credit: 48 Hours
When the adoptions inexplicably stalled, Jeri Lynn and Ryan headed to the Congo without CCI to try to complete the process themselves.
Although Jeri Lynn and Ryan were together with their daughters in the Congo, they still faced a major road block -- they were unable to get the exit letters for Ava and Zoey, which they needed to bring the girls home.
Only one day before they were scheduled to fly back to the United States, Ava and Zoey's exit letters were still not ready and emotions were running high.
With just 45 minutes left on the clock before the Owens needed to leave to catch their plane home, the exit letter finally arrived and the family raced to the airport. Video: Coming home from Congo
The Owens barely made it to the airport in time to board their plane.
Video: Coming home from Congo
Ava and Zoey meet their new brothers for the first time.
Ava and Zoey celebrate Christmas with their new family.
The newly-expanded Owen family sits for a family portrait.
Jeri Lynn says, the girls had a lot of loss to overcome. They remember Congo as a place of hurt and don't want to go back. Here in the U.S. for two years now, they are thriving.
Credit: Carla Howe Photography