WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (AP) — The children of a Minnesota couple missing in the Italian cruise ship disaster say the waiting has become “an extreme test” of their patience.

In a blog posting Wednesday, the children of Jerry and Barbara Heil of White Bear Lake, Minn., say they “so badly want Mom and Dad found” so they can be brought home.

READ MORE: Archambault Lifts Coyotes Over Tommies 90-79

Rescuers have found 16 bodies, with 17 people still unaccounted for. The Heil family says it’s received no notification that the couple have been found.

READ MORE: 'Hockey Party’: Hundreds Compete In Pond Hockey Tournament's Opening Weekend Finale

Heil family members say they’re monitoring search efforts in Italy firsthand. They say diving conditions “are undoubtedly making this a very slow process.”

The Heils are the only Americans missing in the wreck. Their family says it has been praying for those searching and to express their gratitude.

MORE NEWS: 'This Is All About Inclusion': The 5 Simple Rules Of Wheelchair Etiquette

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)