'Amazing, exhilarating, exciting': Nigerian adoptee finally home in Orlando

Ivy Lord – a young girl from Nigeria – has finally made it home to the U.S. to be with her parents, a journey that has proved to be a years-long process through the adoption system.

Ivy's adoptive parents, Lisa and Ian, were overcome with emotion as Ivy landed at Orlando International Airport, the final leg of their journey from Lagos, Nigeria.

"Three years ago she was adopted, and it's finally here. She's finally home, and I know she's a little overwhelmed right now, but she feels so loved and so supported," said Lisa.

FOX 35 first shared Ivy's, Lisa's, and Ian's stories in June 2021, when the Lisa and Ian officially adopted Ivy, then 6, from a Nigerian orphanage, but struggled to get U.S. officials to grant Ivy a visa to bring her to the United States. 

The Lords reached out to FOX 35 and their U.S. representatives and senators hoping to get help bringing Ivy here. As FOX 35 previously reported, the Lords would spend weeks at a time flying to Nigeria to spent time with Ivy, while they worked desperately with lawyers to finalize the paperwork to bring her to the U.S. 

Three years later, Ivy is home.

"We're thrilled!" Lisa said, "You think, ‘is it ever gonna happen?’ And it is! It did! It's here!"

"Amazing, exhilarating, exciting I'm finally glad that it's behind us," said Ian. "Now we can move on with our lives, she can learn about our culture in the United States. Happy to be a family. It's complete! Yay."

They said Ivy is ready to experience what life is like in the United States.

Lisa has a message for families considering adoptions, now that their own struggles are behind them: "Anybody who's considering it, it's worth it, in the end."