Tyrel returned home after “one of the hardest goodbyes” he’s ever had to say. But the two stayed in constant communication via Facebook, and Skyped with each other often before Tyrel returned to the Philippines again in November.
This time, he stayed for a full month, then asked Joana’s father for her hand in marriage.
After another long road of waiting, and some extra convincing from Tyrel’s father, the two became engaged.
On October 5, 2014, Joana and Tyrel tied the knot on the Wolfe family ranch in Idaho.
Because of his ability to earn a living and support Joana (and her family) with his job, the couple decided to live full-time in the U.S.
“It was a big change and adjustment for me,” Joana says. “I was raised in the city and now I’m living in the country with much less people and more space, but it’s a beautiful place.”
Today, they still live in Midvale, Idaho, now with their son, who was born in June.
Since saying “I do,” the couple has been committed to packing a Samaritan’s Purse shoebox every holiday season. Each one includes a note that tells their story.
“We don t want to give them some fantasy, but we do want to show that we care and want to share our love,” Tyrel says. “We both feel so blessed and grateful that Operation Christmas Child brought us together.”