May 16, 1987 they married at the same church her parents married at some 27 years earlier. They knew that they were starting a new life together, but they certainly did not know the adventures that awaited them.
They lived in Denver and money was more than tight -- at times it was almost non-existent. He couldn't afford to finish college and he couldn't find a decent job. She was working, but without a college degree, office work wasn't makin' much bacon. He decided the Navy was his best bet and took off for boot camp in San Diego. The separation was lonely, but the graduation was a blast -- well, except for the two nights of throwing up he experienced due to the lovely immunizations they gave. Shortly thereafter they were off for Norfolk, Virginia, his duty station.
Far from family and no friends in site they set up house and he took off. In port for short, out at sea a lot, it was an interesting life and soon they made friends and moved from apartment to apartment to apartment -- she had a touch of itchy foot syndrome. About five years later his parents passed on, both at one time a sad and profound loss. Two younger brothers came to stay and the young couple found themselves learning to live with two college freshmen and never enough transportation to share.
In 1994, they added a baby at last. The dogs were jealous; the couple was ecstatic. The young boys at home were smitten with their niece. To make things work she took a night shift and he took a day. The baby was home with someone most of the day. A few hours at daycare -- dropped off by mom and picked up by dad. Baby was thriving, mom and dad were decidedly, not.
Finally, a job offer and a move made her a stay home mom right before Baby's first birthday. The young men stayed behind and the small family started over in Ohio. It was great, and soon a niece moved in from Yap to try High School in the States. Well, the college boys had done fine and now a teenager, a toddler on her hip and NEWS -- a new baby was coming.
In 1997 a bouncing baby boy joined this mix -- he was nothing like the first and never has been. The niece finished high school and moved on to a new life the couple decided to home school their two and life was humming along.
Such a great family, such a lot of love let's add on they decided and after almost giving up hope the phone range with news of two - "You want them, or should I call down the list." Not the introduction they had hoped for, but off they went to retrieve two new children. One phone call, 15 minutes, the family went from 4 to six. It was a tough start, but they hung on and the family made it through the storm.
Four children, an old house right in the middle of town -- they needed room to run -- out to the country they went. A big house, two acres, a very small town and even a church with large families to boot -- we are home they said and settled right in.
Some years passed and those children with God in their heart and ideas in their head prayed and prayed until the hearts of their parents caved. More children they decided and after much paperwork, prayer and time two new kids did arrive -- this time from Africa.
So, those two kids that met in Montana; they did start a life together and the life they have lived has amazed even them. With God at the helm, love and commitment at heart, they have been married 22 years. "Happily ever after" ends a story real sweet, but this story is not done ... just a pause to reflect....