10 years

“we’d like you to meet our oldest son someday,” they said.

“ok,” i replied.

i barely knew them.  and i had no idea who he was.

two years passed.

and then we met, this son of theirs and i.

he came to volunteer at a church jr. high event that i was leading.  and he was silly and goofy and obnoxious and cute and also a little mysterious.  and the kids loved him.  and he made me smile.  and he made me laugh.  but, he was seeing someone.

i had just graduated from college.  i was looking for a full~time job.  i was contemplating moving to connecticut with my sister.

we saw each other a couple more times that summer.  then i was going to make the big move to CT.  then he broke up with his girlfriend.  then he asked if i’d have dinner with him sometime.

that weekend, we had dinner.  it was october 2nd, 1999.  and i am pretty sure that at the beginning of dinner, when he told me that our waiter who had a patch on his eye really was a pirate, i started to fall in love.

we had one date, and that was it.  we were together.  sadly, we don’t remember our first kiss.  and we don’t remember the first time we said ‘i love you’.  but we do remember that we both knew he was the one for me, and i was the one for him.  we were it for each other.

our time of dating was fun.  josh always made me laugh.  we really enjoyed spending time together and with his family.  we got involved with a great group of people at church.  and josh was always finding ways to make me smile.  one time, while leaving the grocery store, he bought me a ring from a gumball machine.  it was a cute idea.  and very sweet.  apparently i liked it so much he decided to do it again, a few times.

we talked of marriage.  we talked of family.  we shared the same faith.  we shared the same goals.

in december of 2000, he proposed.  it was just the two of us, at my apartment.  we were asking each other questions from a packet of papers about marriage given to us by a pastor at church.  the questions went something like this, “would marry someone who _______?”  we were laughing and having fun, really enjoying one another.  and josh asked if i’d marry someone who gave me a ring from a gumball machine.  i said yes and when i looked up, he had a gumball machine ring container, only inside was a real diamond engagement ring.

we were married on august 11, 2001.  the weather was much like it is today~cool, breezy, sunny.  we had an amazing day!  we also had no clue what we were getting into(i know no one does!).

we didn’t really know that the vows we took before God, our family, and our friends, would be tested.

we couldn’t have predicted that one year after we said ‘i do’, and one month after buying our home, josh would lose his job.

we didn’t know that waiting until we’d been married for two years to start a family would eventually lead to the realization that we were infertile.

we didn’t know that a surgery for me would not aide our attempts at conceiving.

we didn’t know that God would call us to adoption.

we didn’t know that God would call us to the adoption of three children, at one time.

we didn’t know that two months before the children came home, josh would again lose a job.

we didn’t know that the lives our children lived before they came home to us would be so difficult to work through.

we didn’t know that six months after our children came home our daughter would start having seizures, multiple times a day.

we didn’t know that after seven years of marriage, i’d battle through a bout of depression and spend a year in counseling.

we didn’t know that after eight years of marriage josh would once again lose a job, this time for over a year.

we didn’t know that we’d question whether or not we should have gotten married.

we didn’t know that we’d question whether or not our marriage would survive.

i didn’t know that this young man i was pledging my life to would be strong when i was weak, would have faith when i had none, would pick up the pieces when they’d all fallen apart, would father as his own three children that didn’t come from us, would stand by me when i wasn’t sure i could stand by myself.

we didn’t know that at 10 years, we’d being enjoying one another again.  we didn’t know we’d be friends again.  we didn’t know we’d feel in love again.

during our really hard times, i had no idea that on this day, i’d be willing to and wanting to do it all over again.

i am so grateful for this marriage, for these past 10 years.  i am so grateful for the family we have.  i am so grateful for the faith that we share.

thank you for an amazing 10 years josh.  i love you.

“better than our promises
is the day we got to keep them
i wish those two could see us now,
they never would believe how
there are different kinds of happy”


  • Debi Hullinger

    This is wonderfully profound and romantic and beautifully written by one who is obviously in love! This ought to be required reading for every couple contemplating marriage … The depth of feelings you are experiencing for each other now is because of those many “we didn’t know(s) …” that touched you. You were faithful during the hard things and God was faithful at bringing you to a strong place with him. Thank you for writing! Thank you for sharing it. I’m blessed to know you, my dear friend.

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