We met in the fall of 2008 when I transferred to Clemson where Chris was already attending college. I was assigned to on-campus housing right next door to Chris, so we met and became friends right away! We both dated other people and never had any interest in one another romantically, so it gave us the chance to get to know each other as friends with no hidden agendas and no trying to impress one another. This is one of my favorite things about our story, because it made our transition into dating SO fast and easy. We had know idea that one short year later we would fall in love so quickly. We were both recovering from over-the-summer breakups, and we had already decided during the previous year to sign up to be neighbors again (collectively, with our roommates!) As the new school year began, we found ourselves bonding over conversations we had never really talked about before; conversations about relationships, and subsequently, conversations about what we both desired in a future spouse.
We each began to see each other in a new light as we recognized that our hearts really lined up perfectly in regards to our hopes and dreams for the future and in how we operate in relationship with one another. Our feelings for one another came on unexpectedly and at the same time, but we were both scared to tell each other because we had been friends for so long that we were worried the feelings weren't mutual. We had been spending a lot of one on one time together and it was getting to the point where we both could tell we needed to have a conversation. One night, after we watched a movie together, I awkwardly asked him if we could talk. He immediately responded as if he had been thinking the same thing for a while. I was so incredibly scared that he was going to tell me he was sorry for leading me to believe he had feelings for me. I knew I would be crushed, which was still so mind-blowing because we were seriously the most platonic of friends mere months prior!
I was relieved to find out that Chris did have feelings for me, and I quickly reciprocated so he would know I felt the same. We spent a couple hours talking about what a relationship together might look like, and at the end of the conversation Chris asked me to be his girlfriend.
I had a feeling he was going to try to kiss me, and that made me the most nervous of all. I nervously feared that we would kiss and feel nothing, and that this all would have been a huge, confusing mistake. He leaned in and kissed me, and I literally could not stop smiling. In fact, it was so embarrassing that Chris stopped trying because he could only manage to kiss my teeth because of my huge grin! I was mortified, but the happiest I had ever been! We laughed it off and called it a night, and we went on our "official" first date the next night. I managed to give him a proper kiss that night and I was relieved to find that we had some major chemistry. :) Ha!
It was 9 months later that he proposed, and 8 months after that that we got married. He truly is my best friend and my better half. We never could have imagined that our vows of "in sickness and in health" would be tested so quickly into our marriage as we walked through two full term, traumatic pregnancies, resulting in the death of our two sweet daughters. You can read about those journeys in the Ellie and Elsie pages of this blog.
From the very beginning of our dating relationship, we knew we would adopt. We couldn't wait for it. We talked about it so frequently. We always imagined having biological and adoptive children, we just never though our adoption journey would begin out of such grief and despair. But it did, and four short months after the loss of our second child, sweet Shepherd Zion was brought to our arms. His adoption story can also be found in the blog!
We don't have it all together, and we never imagined that our lives would look the way they do now, especially just four short years into marriage. What we do know, is that our life would look SO incredibly different had we walked through all of this without Jesus, and without the hope and promise of true life. We hope that this journal will serve as our "stone pile" that we can look back on year after year and remember how the Lord saw us and healed us and blessed us.
Thanks for taking a small peek into our lives. We hope you leave this little space of the internet feeling encouraged to press on through whatever hard thing you might be facing, or just to feel grateful if things are going well. More than anything, we hope that our words always remain a genuine reflection of our hearts--the good, the messy, and the ever-imperfect.