How we met

You may wonder how Lívia and I met... I have to admit I love telling the story... So here it is...

In 2004, I was working in a snackbar / restaurant (Frans van der Schoot in Oss), which at the time was open till 3am on Saturday nights (so actually 3am on Sunday). On Saturday, April 3rd, I had been working and came home around 4am on the Sunday morning (April 4th)... When I went to my computer, as I always did when I came home, no matter the hour, I found a message from someone called 'Mami', asking me if I felt like talking... I usually click away those messages, not because I didn't like meeting new people, but because I preferred to meet new people in chatrooms and THEN add them to my ICQ when I found them interesting enough to do so, and because people who usually send these kind of messages disappeared right away, only to let you click a link to some porn site or so... This time, however, I minimized the message for later reference and made a phonecall to a friend in Kentucky, as I had promised earlier on Saturday.

Two hours later (or so), I got back to the message and decided to reply to it. 'Mami' seemed to be offline, so I just replied 'Yes, I would like to, but as I can see, you're not there anymore'... Right away, I got a message back, 'Mami' telling me she was still there, but in invisible mode...

Her real name was Lívia ('Mami' was a nickname her family uses), she lived in Brazil, and we started talking, which kinda made something 'click' right away, but I couldn't help but wondering why someone would send a message to a complete stranger (which was also my nick, 'stranger'), asking them if they want to talk... So I asked...

The reply was simple: she usually never talks to strangers, all people on her ICQ or MSN were realtime friends or family... But, she had gone to her best friend's house, and they were supposed to go out (5 hour time difference, when she sent it, it was still Saturday night), but the friend fell asleep on the bed, leaving Lívia bored like hell, especially since it was Saturday night, and all the family and friends she has on ICQ or MSN were offline (partying on Saturday night)... So, she decided, out of pure boredom, to search for someone on ICQ, someone with the nickname 'stranger', who spoke English...

Now, try that if you like... you'll get quite a list... So did she, and she randomly chose one, clicked to send a message, and guess where that one message ended up... Exactly... With me...

I thanked her for the explanation, but told her I had kinda expected a more exciting, mysterious explanation... So she told me she could give me one, if I liked...

I did, and she started telling me how she was sitting at the computer, and some voice inside her head (no, not a funny voice, just some reasonable suggestive voice) tell her she should just seqarch on ICQ... for 'stranger'... speaking English... And she did... She made the story quite a lot longer than this, it lasted like 10 - 15 minutes or so... And all the things she made up around it made me laugh so hard...

So when we finally decided to call it a night and go to sleep, we asked each other if we'd talk again the next day, as we both enjoyed talking to each other... I'm not sure if either of us really had the intention to do so at the time, or rather were going to 'see what happens' and 'if not, then not', but we did, the very next day...

Over the days, weeks passing, we talked almost every day, and when we couldn't, we'd let each other know in advance, to assure each other that we'd be back later... And she had such good timing... Often, when I came home, the moment I closed the front door, I heard the 'uh-oh' from ICQ, indicating a message just arrived, which was Lívia asking me if I was home already...

As time passed, we grew rather fond of each other... even started to carry pictures in our wallets, not knowing it from each other, btw... We never spoke about feelings for each other, but it seemed clear to us nonetheless... Till spoke to her on a Monday (May 18th) after meeting some family and friends on the day before, and told her about this kinda weird situation I'd been in... I showed her picture to my family and some friend, and they all asked me 'if she was my new one'... To which I couldn't give an answer, because we never talked about that... But it felt that way to me...

She had to laugh, and told me exactly the same happened to her the day before as well... She showed my picture to some friends, who asked her 'if that was her new one'... To which she couldn't give an answer, since we never talked about that... But it felt that way to her...

I had to laugh too, and told her that I had only one question remaining for her then: 'Would you like to be my girlfriend?'... She asked me if I really had to ask, I told her 'no, not really, but I'd like you to say it anyway', and she told me 'yes!'...

Shortly after that, we figured out that having an online relationship was all nice and all, but if anything were to come from it, we'd have to meet physically... So who was going to go where? She told me her friend and her were going to travel to Europe during summer, so finances were going to run out for the rest of the year... And since I had no vacation plans yet, we decided I would go there in October, after her Europe vacation (which was all planned already and didn't have the Netherlands in it except for changing planes at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and that only on the way back), and after the summer vacations in the Netherlands, which were extra busy at my work, and I couldn't get a vacation then anyway)...

So, 4 1/2 months after becoming boyfriend/girlfriend, we met on the airport in Campinas (SP)... And by then, it felt natural, like we'd been dating for forever and I had just come back from a trip (didn't totally feel like meeting for the first time). From there, Lívia drove home to Poços de Caldas (MG), while I was falling asleep next to her, being exhausted from the 22 hour trip... Not nice, but I was so tired...

When we got to her place, and she had collected the mail at the doorman, she found a postcard that I sent her a few days before I left, telling her I was looking forward to meet her, and hopefully the card arrived before I did, she spontaneously kissed me to thank me (we hadn't kissed yet, for that, it was too much like meeting for the first time)...

At the time, she was working as a fysiotherapist in Poços de Caldas, but had a few days off to show me around, and even when she had to go back to work again, that didn't keep us from doing all kinds of fun stuff... And very soon (for me it took less than a week, for her maybe a little longer) we realized that this was the one thing we'd been looking for... So when we were talking on the bed one day (October 15th), we were wondering out loud where this was going to go, and she got all emotional, asking me if this was for real, or that after this vacation I was going to be gone... I told her I had only one question to make her completely aware of how I was feeling: 'Will you marry me?'... After 10 minutes of crying happy tears, I asked her 'I assume that is a yes?'... She asked me if I really had to ask, I told her 'no, not really, but I'd like you say it anyway', and she told me 'yes!'...

A few days later (October 18th), in Ouro Preto (MG), we bought ourselves enagement rings and called that day our engagement date...

Of course, the end of my month of vacation came way too soon, and I had to go back... We had already decided that it would be best if she moved to the Netherlands, and that we'd start the procedure to get her a permit as soon as I got back to the Netherlands... So we did, but unfortunately, I didn't make enough money to do so, being short by €80 netto per month... I told my employer about that, and we made an arrangement to get those extra €80... Having not seen each other for a long time already, we decided that she would come to the Netherlands for 3 months (maximum stay with no visa needed for a Brazilian) from June till August 2005...

Those 3 months were great, but ended too soon, of course... After she was back in Brazil, we started the entire procedure for the permit again, and that time, everything worked out, and on February 8, 2006 Lívia came to live with me!A few months later, we found out she was pregnant, even though she was on the pill... We had talked about kids way before already, but had planned them "in a few years"... So that was quite a shock, especially since she was on the pill, but we decided quickly that even though no kid was planned yet, it would be very welcome anyway... Every time we had talked about having children, we agreed that the ideal for us was having twins, a boy and a girl... Has a certain special feel to it...

When we went to the gynaecologist for the first ultrasound, what can describe our surprise when we saw not one, but TWO foetuses on that screen... Along with the gynaecologist saying 'I have a little surprise for you... there's TWO of them in there'... We just laughed and added that knowledge to the list of unexpected surprises, which seemed to 'our way' anyway...

Secretly, we were hoping for a boy and a girl, even though 2 boys or 2 girls would have been more than welcome as well, of course... So when we went to the ultrasound where gender could be determined, we were very curious to know... First foetus was 100% surely a boy... Second foetus was 99% surely a girl... So while we were waiting for our appointment with the gynaecologist to talk the results of the ultrasound through with us, we decided on the names... Lívia thought 'Lucas' would be a great name for the boy... and I chose 'Samantha' for the girl... And there and then, it was decided...

It's been a rough pregnancy for both of us (physically and mentally for Lívia, mentally for me LOL), especially because there were two little rascals kicking mommy, pressing on her bladder, preventing her from breathing normally, and a belly that got HUGE... Lucas was lying butt down, lower than Samantha, so the gynaecologist decided a c-section was necessary for the safety of mother and children...

On February 16, 2007 the kids were born, healthy as anything, and after some complications concerning Lívia, we went home and found out it's not easy to be a parent while you relatively know nothing about babies... (of course, we've had lots of information and preparation, but I assure those who do not have children: it's a lot different in practice than you think it will be beforehand... LOL

Of course, we learned how to, and like the gynaecologist had predicted us, it came soon (as he said it: 'parents of twins learn faster how to boil the water with one hand, change the baby with the other hand, while feeding the second baby with the right foot and answering the phone with the left. They have to, otherwise they won't survive')...

Then, finally, on July 19, 2010 we got married! After such a long time together, not to mention having 3yr old twins, it was time to make Livia an honest woman... ;o)

So, here we are, with four now... And that's our story so far... :o)