PRIOR LAKE, Minn. -- A Minnesota family celebrated a moment years in the making, with the release of their loved one from an Iranian prison.
On Wednesday, Minnesota native Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal arrived in the Gulf state of Oman -- free men after two years in Iranian custody. The release of the two Americans, who had been convicted as spies, came under a $1 million bail-for-freedom-deal.
But however it developed, their freedom was celebrated by their immediate family in Oman, and those watching from Minnesota.
"That is just so beautiful. Oh, look at Al crying. Oh, he's such a teddy bear," said Cathy Theis, Shane's aunt, while watching video of Shane's reunion with his parents and fiance, Sarah Shourd, who was arrested with Bauer and Fattal but released one year ago.
From her home in Prior Lake, Cathy joined other aunts -- Kelly Bauer and Diane Hentges -- an uncle and several cousins in watching clip after clip of video of Shane's reunion with family.
The family said they never gave up hope this moment would happen.
"You knew it was going to come. It's just some days got longer than others," said Diane Hentges, also an aunt, adding, "Mom prayed the rosary every day... because that's all we could do on this end. It was out of our hands."
Shane and Josh will reportedly remain in Oman for a couple days before heading back home. Shane's family isn't sure yet when he'll return to his Minnesota home -- but they know they'll be ready and waiting for him.
"I'm going to squeeze him uncontrollably and just tell him how much I miss him and that I love him," Hentges said.
"I'm going to hug him and say 'I love you,'" Theis said, adding, "We can't wait for a wedding. But first of all, we can't wait to celebrate with him that he's out."
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