This is just a short page about my wonderful wife, Yolanda. I met Yolanda through mutual friends online — yes, the great wide world of Internet relationships. At least, it started out that way, but unlike many of them, has proceeded quite nicely.

I never intended to get involved with anyone online, let alone in a foreign country. It all happened rather unplanned but once it had started I was pretty powerless to stop it — not that I wanted to.

Yolanda is from a town called Whyalla in South Australia, which is right down on the bottom edge of Australia and on the coastline. She comes from a rather large family, consisting of her late step-dad Andrew, mum Sharon, and siblings Danja, Daryl, Shayne, Matthew, and Samuel. Add in the various wives/girlfriends/boyfriends/kids, and you have a lot of family.Yolanda

When we met, it was just friendly chat and hanging out online, mostly on my talker. Those chats eventually led to asking lots of questions about each other in the form of “20 Questions” and then to phone calls. I swear she must have spent a mint in phone calls for those first few months that we talked — thank goodness Aussie telephone rates are good. At any rate, I found myself often staying up late so we could talk, as the time difference sometimes made it difficult to chat otherwise.

She had visited the USA several times as a camp counselor through an organization called CCUSA – Camp Counselors USA, which is an organization that gets foreign people to come to the US and be camp counselors and workers. So she had already been over here previous summers to camps in Connecticut and others. So, she lined up a camp in Michigan and came over to go there, but came early to meet me and hang out.

Things went very well once we got past the initial oddness of the situation. It is incredibly odd and yet strangely familiar to finally meet someone which, until then, you have only communicated via voice and typewritten text. We hung out until she had to leave for her camp; after her camp was done in August she came back and stayed with me, not going back and filing for a change of status to stay here in the USA. She left in April then and returned in May for camp again the next summer, this time in Boone, IA, only an hour and a half away — much easier to stay in contact. We saw each other on weekends, which was arduous at best. I could only pick her up after 12 noon on Saturday and she had to be back by 11am on Sunday, which meant we barely saw each other and she basically slept (since she was exhausted) and then went back. I was eternally glad when that summer was over.

We flew to Australia on December 17th, 2003 and stayed until January 9th, 2004, and met her family and friends, etc. On December 29th at 10:45pm on the moonlit beach of Whyalla I got down onto one knee and asked Yolanda to marry me, and she luckily said, “Yes.” I had to leave her there on Jan 9th to return to the States and get back to my job — we hadn’t had the money to purchase her a ticket with me back, so we had a very tearful goodbye at the airport. I sobbed hard almost all the way to Adelaide as I watched her leaning against the airport fence as the plane pulled away. I have never done anything so hard in my life and I hope I never have to do it again. My heart was wrenched from its roots that day that I left her.

Fortunately, by the beginning of February 2004 we were able to afford to bring her back to the States. We got married on February 28th, 2004, in a small, private wedding ceremony to start the immigration process for her. We were then re-married in a December 18th, 2004, wedding with a large ceremony and reception and dance with friends and family — an exciting and tiring time preparing for it and affording it, but we were able to pull it off and had a good time.

Some of the best things in life are the ones you never expect, and this is certainly one of them. Yolanda is my best friend and my best love all in one, and I’m so very thankful that she loves me and likes me for who I am. I am truly blessed with her.

Come what may…I will love you till my dying day.

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