Most love stories follow the standard form: boy meets girl, they date, marry and settle down.
Some love stories are quite the opposite. Like the one Adrian Leddy and Danielle Martin Leddy share.
Danielle spent her childhood in Trego, Wisconsin and then, as a young adult, she moved to Minneapolis where she worked many places before landing a job as a Project Manager for an IT company.
Figuring because she wasn't meeting any exciting men, she became a frequent user of a dating site called Okay Cupid. She was used to doing online chats that would last a month or two before she arranged to meet. She found that, even though she had established a relationship with this man, he usually turned out not to be the man Danielle thought she knew.
She sought advice and was told to get off the couch, quit procrastinating and dragging out the dating process. She was advised that she should be dating two or three times a week. Or better put, "If you don't go, you won't know."
It was, while on a date with a guy that bored her to tears that she met someone much more interesting. She and her date were playing trivia in a bar in the Cities, and all she could think about was going home. She was not a trivia person, and they were not hitting it off at all. A group of two men and a woman entered and asked if they could help with trivia. The woman spoke with her and her date a few times and then would go back to chatting with her friends. The younger of the two men caught Danielle's eye, but she believed he was dating the woman he was with, so she paid him no mind. But at one point she and the younger of the two men went out to smoke, and she noticed the woman gave a kiss to the other man that was there. What? The two weren't together? This changed things. From that point, she showed more and more interest in the young man who was possibly single.
By nine that night her date was walking her to her car saying good night, she no doubt saying under her breath, good riddance. But instead of getting into her car, she went back into the bar, smitten with a guy that was there with his friends.
Danielle walked right up to the bar and found out that the woman was engaged to the older man and the younger one was just there with them. Come to find out; he was their nephew visiting from Ireland.
Now things were getting interesting. They would have been more interesting, but the guy named Adrian turned out to be shy and didn't say anything for an hour and a half: he just sat, smiled and listened.
It wasn't until the Aunt and Uncle left that they had a chance to chat. This is when she found out that he was a farmer, cows not sheep. Though she was a vegetarian, she had always loved the idea of having a farm.
Danielle was going to a work-related dinner the following evening and invited Adrian to join her. Even though he was scared and very unsure of meeting a large group of her friends, he said yes.
They were inseparable for the next forty-two out of forty-five days that was left before his three-month tourist visa ran out and he would be heading back to Ireland and the farm.
They initially met on January twentieth, and within a week, he had invited her to come to Ireland and meet his family. By February thirteenth she was sure of her feelings and told him that she loved him. He realized he felt the same but was still unsure how the story would end.
With only a few weeks before he had to return to his native land, this new-found love information led to a great deal of personal confusion for him.
This was not the most comfortable situation in which to find himself. After all. Adrian only came to the US to visit his relatives and had toyed with the idea of moving to Australia when he returned home.
At the beginning of March, he boarded a plane for home. She followed him to Ireland two weeks later to attend his sister's wedding and to meet the family.
The second day she was there he proposed and gave her a ring. They had only dated for sixty-two days, and they hadn't talked a lot about what the next step would be, but this felt right.
She returned state-side April 2, and he came back with her.
This is the trip they refer to as “The Long Walk Home.”
Landing in Minneapolis, they separated when they got to customs with a short departing farewell, "See you on the other side." She got through first and was waiting for him to meet her, and she waited and waited and waited. He didn't come.
She found out that the Immigration Department at the airport had taken him into custody and was sending him back to Ireland. Neither one of them realizing he was supposed to have waited thirty days before returning to the United States according to his visa. He'd only been gone for twenty-eight.
They have separated again, and the only way to find a way for him to come back was by examining all his visa options. They finally found one and decided to get married in Ireland. Now they faced another snag.
In Ireland, there is a three month waiting period from applying for and being granted approval to be married. For some reason, this is standard practice for anyone applying for a marriage license. That would make it October before they could marry. Adrian hired a solicitor (lawyer) who was able to pull a few strings, and Danielle arrived in Ireland a week before the wedding, borrowed wedding dress in hand.
On Friday, June eighth, Danielle, and Adrian went to the city hall, documents in hand and got married at noon when the office was usually closed. His sister and her boyfriend were their only attendants. It hadn't rained for week's there, but that day it poured rain. She left the day after their wedding and immediately started the Visa process. Eight months later, after mountains of paperwork and interviews, he was finally granted his visa and was allowed to come back to the US.
On January nineteenth, 2013 he was back stateside, and they were looking forward to finally starting their new life together. They were living in Minneapolis, and she was still with the IT Company. Not having a Social Security card yet meant Adrian had to stay home and couldn't work. He was lonely and longed for home or to at least live somewhere that was more rural, an environment with which he was more familiar.
In February they were back in the Spooner area because someone had found a car for him and they came to pick it up. For a girl raised in a small town, the pull was getting stronger to go back to a more rural lifestyle, and this trip wasn't helping. Her dream was to have an old white farmhouse with a big red barn and a white picket fence in the country. Because she took a different route back to town that day, with Adrian driving his vehicle behind her, she not only saw her dream home, but there was a For Sale sign in the yard. Alas, no picket fence.
They closed on their new home May thirty-first, he got his first job at Jack Link's then Clover Meadow Winery and later, transferred to Hayward's Louisiana Pacific. She rented out her house in Minneapolis and continued to work off-site for her company.
They planted a massive garden and had an American wedding on their own land that September.
Again, it poured rain which they agreed was entirely Irish since it hadn't rained in weeks.
He's been back to Ireland three times since they've been married and she twice. His family has visited, mainly his mom.
Three years ago they had their first child, a girl they named Aishling which means Dream or Vision in Gaelic.
Almost a year and a half ago they were on their way to the hospital for the birth of their second child, a son they named Kieran, which she delivered in the car only minutes away from the hospital.
From the very beginning of this relationship, nothing has been normal, and it's a good thing they both believe that "Life's an adventure."
Even though Adrian loves this area which is similar to his homeland, a place full of friendly people, they aren't entirely settled even yet. With their oldest three years old, they are thinking if they're making any move, it would have to be within the next couple of years before the kids start school full time.
Maybe their next home will be in Ireland, or perhaps in Spooner or maybe halfway between. One thing they know for sure though is they will be together and only time will tell where their crazy love will lead them next.
Either way, Happy Valentine's Day.
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