Ever read that book?
Love's Long Journey is part of the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke
(some of my favorite reading material growing up, and now).
I think it's a very good name for our last 6 years.
We first saw each other in February '03 during a college visit.
We were aware of each other freshman year, but never spent time together ('03-'04).
Then, thanks to a water fight that turned epic, we "noticed" each other (Fall '04).
By January '05 we were dating.
March '05, engaged.
And July 9, 2005 we were married.
Here's a few things that have happened along the way.
We were married on a very hot day in July.
We thought out honeymoon would be a cute cottage getaway by a lake.
It was a fishing cabin by a smelly lake.
Oceana Faith was 7lbs, 11oz.
We had no idea what we were doing.
She's not broken, despite our ignorance.
We graduated from Elim Bible Institute 3 weeks later.
We wrote papers, took exams, and worked, and barely slept during that time.
We moved 5 weeks after that --- to New Zealand.
We meant to be there for 3 months and finish our internship, required to completely our school requirements.
We didn't leave for over 4 years.
We did everything from property maintenance, to picking rhubarb, to event coordination, to DTS staffing, to mission team organization, and a whole lot of other things.
Joshua Matthew made his debut January 7, 2008 and changed our lives forever.
We still had no idea what we were doing.
But he helped up navigate his 67 days.
We learned things we never wished to learn.
We joined a "club" we had no interested in joining.
We held our promoted son in our arms and said goodbye.
We planned a funeral for our baby.
We tried to keep life normal for Oceana, even though we felt like we were rotting inside.
We've been on some dates.
We've celebrated birthdays.
Naomi Aroha was born in our living room ((on purpose)) April 10, 2009.
She weight 8lbs 2oz.
She had reflux.
We didn't think it was reflux.
Our sleepless nights and puke-stained carpet said otherwise.
For a variety of reasons
((including, but not limited to sleeplessness, necessary energy boosts,
meetings, relaxing, and the fact that we love the taste))
drank more than our fair share of coffee.
((We --- ahem, or just Matt --- don't like our picture being taken)).
We had some fun.
We played and created and lived.
We lost a baby in August 2010 at 7 weeks.
We moved back to the USA.
It feels like "Home".
So does New Zealand.
We will always be torn, no matter where we live.
We lost another precious baby at 15 weeks.
We became disillusioned.
We still do not understand why we've lost 3 of our 5 children.
This road has been the hardest.
There were many good moments.
It's a journey with bumps and pot holes that I couldn't wish on our worst enemies.
But we've survived.
I love you Matti. HVD.