Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer
09/28/2011 at 05:00 PM EDT
The first time was sweet. The second, even sweeter.
Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd got engaged
while being held captive in Iran, but Bauer proposed again – with a new ring – upon being reunited with Shourd after his release last week.
"The second I saw Shane and Josh, a huge weight was lifted off my chest, and for all of us, our joy knows no bounds," Shourd said Sunday as Bauer and Joshua Fattal, both 29, arrived back in New York.
She added: "I've never felt so free and so ready to begin my life."
Shourd, 33, was reluctant to talk about her engagement or any wedding plans, but Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, confirmed that her son popped the question again with their families looking on in Oman, whose government had helped secure their release.
"He proposed to her in prison. He reproposed to her with a new ring," Hickey said. "Shane picked that out in Oman. It was important to both of them that he got something from Oman because we're very grateful to the country and of course the Sultan."
Hickey added: "I'm very proud to have Sarah join our family but really we're just enjoying freedom right now."
Shourd, who was released in 2010, is "excited to see what's next," she said. "I know Shane and Josh are more determined to do good work in the world and to fight and work towards a more just world for everyone. [I've joined] the call Shane and Josh made to release all political prisoners and all prisoners of conscience."