More than 100 Tongans stranded in Hawaii for up to two years due to Covid-19

Lusinita Nehoa's baby was just a couple months old when she left Tonga to accompany her older son to Honolulu for medical care.

 Now, the baby's about two years old.

The mother of seven's been stranded in Hawaii -- and away from six of her children -- since her homeland sealed its borders to keep out Covid-19.

"This is the first time that we have been apart," she said. "I cannot put into words how much I miss them a lot. And how much I yearn just see them. They're not old enough to take care of themselves."

Tonga was recently preparing to open its borders to people from other countries, according to the Tonga consular agency. But before they could loosen restrictions, everything was put on hold again due to the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami.

Nehoa's been living with a host family in a two bedroom apartment with six people, including Lesieli Latu, who's also been away from six of her seven children since 2019.

"I cannot put into words how my heart breaks for my family. How I miss my children back home and my family back home. And especially during this hard, hard time," Latu said. "There's not a day that goes by that they're not in my thoughts and my prayers."

With no end in sight as to when Tongan families might be able to return home, they're hoping and praying for a miracle.

"That is my wish and hope that there'll be a time and soon that we'll be able to go back and be reunited with our family," Nehoa said. "But the truth of the matter is, it's not up to us. All we do is wait and pray that we hear good news."