The news can be shocking these days. Each week, headlines surface that could be described as "unbelievable."
So imagine how Joshua Boyle felt, after being rescued from five years of isolated captivity in Afghanistan, when he found out that the man he knew as a reality television star was president.
Boyle said he first heard the news from his captor before making a "proof of life" video, and he brushed it off as some sort of joke.
"It didn't enter my mind that [my captor] was being serious," Boyle told the Toronto Star.
Family built in captivity
Joshua Boyle and his wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped by the Taliban during a hiking trip in Afghanistan, which Boyle said was part of a pilgrimage to help people in the Taliban-controlled region. Coleman, was five months pregnant at the time.
Over the next five years, Coleman would give birth to three children in captivity, and Boyle said the family suffered terribly at the hands of their captors. They were totally closed off from the world. They were rescued by Pakistani troops just last week on a tip from U.S. intelligence.
Putting their lives back together
The family is now back in Canada (Boyle is Canadian, and his wife is American), and tasked with assimilating back into normal life with three children who have known nothing but captivity.
4-year-old Jonah is so excited about his new freedom and collection of toys that he hardly wants to go to sleep at night. The youngest, Grace, is less than a year old. Boyle said the middle child, 2-year-old Noah, is having the most difficult time adjusting.
“He’s not having a temper tantrum; it’s that he saw the color of orange and orange scares him, or that he saw a screwdriver and screwdrivers scare him. Boots scare him,” Boyle said.
Now, Boyle is seeking justice after his family's years of suffering, calling for his captors to be sought out and punished. But for now, he and Coleman have their hands full just showing their children a world they've never known.
"These are children who three days ago they did know what a toilet looks like. They used a bucket. Three days ago, they did not know what a light is or what a door is except that it is a metal thing that is locked in their face to make them a prisoner."