March 19, 2010

Happy 15th Anniversary!

Yesterday we celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Somehow it hardly feels that long. Until I'd moved to Seattle I had never lived in one place for 15 years; had the same job for 15 years; or been in a relationship other than with my family of origin for 15 years. Somehow Seattle changed all that.

Rik and I have been through more in our fifteen years together than many people experience in three times that amount of time. Here are some of the highlights.
In our first year together, we both lost our jobs and faced lengthy periods of unemployment.
The couple who owned the first house we rented divorced and we needed to find a new place to live.

During our first five years, we tried to start a family.
I had several miscarriages.
We went through multiple infertility treatments.
We tried private adoption but were scammed by several birth mothers.
I was diagnosed with and treated for early-stage breast cancer.

Over the additional years, we dealt with more health challenges.
Rik had open heart surgery that successfully treated his congenital aortic stenosis.
My cancer returned and had spread into innumerable places in my bones.
I retired from work on medical disability.

Just before I was re-diagnosed, we tried to adopt a child from abroad but were told a foreign judge would look at our medical records and never approve an adoption.

We tried private adoption again and an agency in Florida scammed us for thousands of dollars. A local teen-aged birth mother met and approved us only a few days before her baby was born and then changed her mind.

In a last stab at starting a family, we approached Washington state's foster-to-adopt program and were told by a social worker that she would never be successful in presenting our case to a judge. The state would prefer that a child "age out" of foster care than be placed in a home with such serious medical conditions and risk another loss for that child.

We also did things we never thought we'd be able to do:
We traveled to France and Israel.
We adopted a dog (Pumpkin).
We bought a house.
We planted trees.
We adopted a second dog (Bobka).
Rik got his dream job all over again teaching AP Human Geography.
I am only two months away from being elected president of our synagogue.

That's our marital history. Even with serious health challenges, we have managed to enjoy each day, one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. And that goes back to the philosophy I learned from my favorite author, Robert A Heinlein -- "Dum vivimus, vivamus! While we live, let us LIVE."

Happy anniversary to us!


  1. Yes, Jill and Rik. Happy Anniversary.

  2. wynne5:37 PM

    Wow Jill! What an inspiring post, that last quote really resonates with me given my recent challenges. Belated Mazel Tov wishes to your wonderful union of love and commitment to each other.