Eight children from Sierra Leone walked off an airplane at the Nashville International Airport Tuesday night into the arms of love.

They arrived with Hayley Jones of Williamson County who traveled to Africa to escort the seven boys and one girl to the United States to begin a new life with her and husband, Mike, and the couple’s sons Tyler, 8, and Tucker, 4.

But they had to wait a little longer before making their way to their Thompson’s Station home.

First, there were hugs from people who spent the past three years praying them home. And there was applause from about 150 well-wishers, waving signs and welcoming them to the United States.