Gosh, are we celebrating in our house today. Truly in awe of this man, our journey and all that has come to life from the day we met until now as today, he is now, finally, officially a U.S. citizen.
Dan and I met on Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania in 2013. I was teaching English. He was running a whale shark conservation camp. We met one afternoon at the camp, then I saw him driving through my village a few days later. I started running down the road screaming “Jambo” - hello in Swahili as I couldn’t remember his name.
We spent all of but three days together while on the island. Made love in a treehouse the last night there. I went back to the States. He went back to South Africa, where he’s from.
One month later, I messaged him on FB asking if I was a fling or what it was. A few days later, he asked me to be his girlfriend, half way across the world not knowing when we would see each other again.
Eight months later, I headed to South Africa and fell in love.
We spent the next years, me flying between the States and South Africa while we awaited his visa. It took us three years to get him here, finally arriving in 2016. We got married at a courthouse just after he arrived.
Celebrated our wedding in January of 2017 with all of our favorite people from literally around the world.
The days, weeks, months, years since then have been a beautiful yet hard yet blissful yet determined culmination of dreaming then turning those dreams into realities. From moving apartments, to adding to our family with fur babies, to moving cities, to him becoming a green card holder, to job explorations, to finding out I was pregnant, to giving birth to our daughter, to fire fighter academy graduation, to being hired in his dream department, to buying our first home in the mountains.
It has been eight years of being utterly determined to live and do life together.
Today, he is officially a U.S. citizen.
Today, he gets to apply for an American passport.
Today, is another celebration of dreaming, working our asses off, turning those dreams into a reality all the while living truthfully, intentionally, wholly, fully, giggly in love with live, our family and one another.
Here's a little of our journey from meeting till now.
From left to right, top to bottom :
1. The very first day we met on Mafia Island, Tanzania.
2. Me visiting him in South Africa for the first time for a month and falling completely in love.
3. Us living back on Tanzania, the very island we met on where we got to fulfill six month job contracts together.
4. The day he proposed, at a place called Creation Winery in Hermanus, South Africa.
5. The day he finally arrived in the United States after three years of trying to get his visa approved.
6. The day we got married at a court house in Orange County.
7, 8 & 9 : From our wedding, on January 21st, 2017 celebrated in Oceanside where we said our vows on the sand and had a reception on the rooftop overlooking the ocean with 75 of our favorite people from around the world.
10. When we started growing our family with our fur babies.
11. The day his permanent residence got approved.
12. Our pregnancy announcement sharing our growing babe with the world.
13. Our first family portrait with our daughter, Orion who was born on July 11th, 2019.
14. The day my husband graduated academy and became a firefighter for OFCA (Orange County Fire Authority).
15. The day we bought our first home in the mountains of Southern California!