I met Jodie on eHarmony in 2005. I was in the Marine Corps, stationed in San Diego, CA, but had orders to a new duty station in New York City. I was apprehensive about eHarmony at first, but after taking the personality test, which was right on, I quickly became a believer. Right away I was matched up with a few people in the NYC area. Jodie was one of the first.
Jodie and I were soon exchanging emails and talking on the phone for hours. She was so easy to talk to and her laugh just made me feel good. When I finally made it to New York we met in person.
We were going to meet in the lobby of my hotel and then go out for a nice dinner. The moment she arrived is one I will never forget. Without saying a word she walked up to me and hugged me like I have never been hugged before. For me, not knowing a soul in New York, it was so much more than just a hug. It was a warm, loving embrace that made me feel right at home. The memory of her arms wrapped around me, her beautiful smile and infectious laugh made it a moment I will remember forever.
Over the next year Jodie and I had so much fun together. We went on trips, and spent almost every day together, learning about each other and having an amazing time. I had been thinking about proposing to Jodie, but thought I would wait for the holidays in 2007.
Then tragedy struck.
Jodie’s younger sister, Jane, was murdered on January 4, 2007. She was a preschool teacher and was such a sweet and loving person. Jane also was a 25 year-old single mother of a beautiful 3 year-old little girl, Serenity. I had spent some time with Serenity, and just like everyone else, I had immediately fallen in love with her. To look into her big brown eyes and know that she will never remember her mother just breaks my heart.
This was an extremely difficult time for Jodie and I, one that we could never prepare for. As soon as we heard about Jane we knew we had to adopt Serenity. I also knew my plans for proposing to Jodie would have to be expedited in order to be able to be approved for adoption. I proposed to Jodie just three weeks later, on her birthday, January 24, 2007.
Jodie and I were married at the courthouse on Valentines Day 2007, one month after Jane was killed. It was both a happy time and a very sad one. Jodie and Jane were very close, and raising Serenity would be a daily reminder of the terrible event that changed our life. We also knew our care-free lifestyle would be over with a child, but it was a decision neither of us ever questioned. We knew we loved each other very much and this was a chance for us to make Jane proud.
A few months later the adoption was finalized. We have been raising Serenity for almost two years now and we have become quite the little family. We love Serenity more than anything and remind her every day just how much Jane loved her. And to hear Serenity call me Daddy is the most wonderful thing I could ever imagine.
Although Jodie and I went from a comfortable, care free life, to both working two jobs, going to school and raising a little girl, we feel blessed to have Serenity in our life. We don’t get to travel or do a lot of the things we used to, but it is a trade-off I am happy to have.
I can’t say enough about how strong Jodie has been through all of this. She is such a good mother, much better than she gives herself credit for. Serenity is growing everyday and learning about the world around her. Our family has also grown, as we have welcomed a beautiful white Labrador, Brutus, to our family.
I am so proud of Jodie and I am so thankful to eHarmony for bringing us together. Without it, I would not be a husband to a wonderfully beautiful wife, nor would I be a father to a beautiful little girl.
Thank you so much for our life together.