…Fast forward several years, we’d had a daughter, my father had passed away, I had been institutionalized, but had stopped self-medicating with alcohol and was on a decent bipolar regimen. Amor and I had begun focusing on putting our priorities straight and making God number one in our lives.
Grandma actually got some money from an inheritance and kindly offered to throw me and Amor a Wedding. We were ecstatic! It’s something we had wanted for some time but had always found something higher up on the priority list to pay for.
If we had our wedding on October 7, 2012, which fell on a Sunday, we could renew our vows on the beach exactly 7 years since our second vow exchange. The only glitch was – our marriage still wasn’t legal. Since his former wife had fled the country a decade earlier, and was no where to be found, Amor had never officially divorced her before marrying me.
We had two options:
- Pay a private investigator in Russia to locate Amor’s (technical) wife, get the divorce documents professionally translated, have the Russian government officially serve her the papers if they could find her, pray she would sign, professionally re-translate the documents and finally, get a judge to sign off on the divorce decree despite the wife being physically absent OR
- Get an attorney. Pay a local newspaper where she was last known to reside to print a daily legal notification for 30 days. Then she would have a certain amount of time to contest. If she didn’t object and it was determined by a judge that she couldn’t be found, he may sign off on a divorce decree without her signature.
We chose option number two, which though was expensive, was not as costly, nor as complicated nor time consuming as option one.
So with the divorce finalized, Grandma, our wedding coordinator, started planning the big day. We booked a venue at a beach in South Carolina, near the NC/SC boarder where Amor and I used to live and therefore had friends and extended family nearby. Things fell into place quickly and as the big day approached, we scurried to get things in order. I contacted my cherished childhood pastor and his wife, with whom I had kept in contact over the years, to officiate the wedding and they were happy to oblige. The ceremony would be a vow renewal but would, in effect, also finally make our marriage legal.
About a month before the wedding, we went down to meet with them and finalize all the details. Everything was falling into place except…
the great state of South Carolina refused to issue us a marriage license! One of the forms of identification we needed to provide in order to obtain a marriage license in South Carolina was expired. Freak-out, panic, and anxiety flooded me! We had an alternate form of identification issued by North Carolina but for whatever reason, SC wouldn’t accept it. All I could do was pray that the NC would issue us a marriage license…
Double Talk Quote: “I’m almost done with the “I Do” series, I’m just missing one quote.” – Me to Amor. “Which one?” he asks.
Bible Verse: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Word that has Lost its meaning: finalize
Relatable Lyrics: “La Playa” by La Oreja de Van Gogh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-i-b0NlFHA
(March 21, 2015 – twins 8 months)
***Thank You Starla Ward (https://starlabward.wordpress.com/) for the above professional photos***