DAVIE, Fla. — A week after waiting to hear if the boy they hope to adopt would make it onto a plane out of Afghanistan, a Florida couple has learned he was on his way to the U.S. as of Thursday afternoon.
What You Need To Know
- Fort Lauderdale-area couple has been trying to adopt Noman, a ten-year-old Afghan boy, for five years
- Noman got a flight out of Afghanistan late last week
- After traveling through Qatar and Germany, Noman was en route to the U.S. Thursday
- Previous Coverage: Florida couple awaits word boy they're adopting has made it out of Afghanistan
"I don't think it's necessarily easy to describe the feeling, but yeah — I'm very excited and getting more and more anxious," said Dr. Bahaudin Mujtaba.
Mujtaba, a professor with Nova Southeastern University, and his wife have been trying to adopt Noman, 10, for five years.
According to Mujtaba, Noman was able to board a military flight late last week out of the airport in Kabul to Qatar. From there, he and the people he's traveling with were transported to Germany. While he knew Noman was out of harm's way, Mujtaba said he sometimes wouldn't be able to get in touch with the boy for more than a day at a time. Phones would die with no way of recharging, and Noman and his party were left without WiFi for three days while staying at a base in Germany.
"Oftentimes, I would be looking at the television, and the reporting of newspapers and journalists providing some visuals, hoping to see a glimpse of him being okay. So, these worries do go through your mind, and it, unfortunately, is challenging to deal with," Mujtaba said.
Mujtaba has been able to visit Noman in #Afghanistan through the years, but the adoption process has been plagued by delays. Now, he could see him again in the next day or so. He hopes to be able to bring him home to #Davie immediately. @BN9 📸: Bahaudin Mujtaba pic.twitter.com/2aALWAZapQ— Sarah Blazonis (@SarahBlazonis) August 26, 2021
Mujtaba was in Washington, D.C., Thursday awaiting Noman's arrival on U.S. soil. He said he's learned that it may take several hours for Noman to go through immigration and COVID testing once he lands.
"I'm hoping that he will go home with me, but I'm not certain. I'm not sure yet, because many of the Afghans coming in, evacuees are being sent to various camps here in Washington or in Texas or in Pennsylvania," Mujtaba said.
Originally from Afghanistan, Mujtaba said he's disheartened by the chaos that's erupted there since the Taliban takeover. He told Spectrum Bay News 9 he still has family there and is concerned for their safety, as well as saddened by the deaths of American service members following attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen near the Kabul airport Thursday.
"I just want to thank all the service members that are actually risking their own lives to save all of the Americans and SIV applicants and all the other Afghans who were able to get out of Afghanistan," Mujtaba said. "I want to thank all of them and their family members for making the sacrifices."