Stephanie & Roy got Married!
February 1, 2016
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Stephanie and Roy met in June 2015 at the local McDonald's in our small town.
The relationship didn't start off well. I was eating lunch with my quadriplegic
and non-verbal daughter, Emma, when a girl with a beard rolled up
in her wheelchair and started putting her hands all over Emma.
I thought Stephanie might be a pedophile.
A few days later, when I took my daughters to a local Vacation Bible School,
there she was again. During that week Stephanie and my daughter, Emma,
developed a huge bond due to their similar disabilities and
my relationship with Stephanie followed,
fueled greatly by my experiences as a disabled veteran
which gave us much in common.
I bombed the proposal so bad Stephanie thought I asked her to be my daughter's guardian.
Good thing she didn't say no before we figured out my mistake.
The proposal took place at the same location where we met, the local McDonald's.
Well, actually it took place in my big bus in the parking lot of the McDonald's.
If it weren't for that bus capable of transporting multiple wheelchairs
we never would have gotten together.
The ring was handed down by my mother. I presented it on one knee
and proposed with my mother watching (and taking this photo).
The first kiss came after the proposal.
It was much more romantic than the propsal too,
on the Oregon coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean at sunset.
(We don't actually have a photo of our first kiss but you get the idea)
Somebody got the idea I was already married.
All hell broke loose (or maybe it was heaven).
Either way, the religious people were all scrambling to be first in line
to condemn the relationship.
Some even branded me a predator.
Stephanie got fired from her job.
I got banned from the church we were attending under threat of arrest.
Both of us got banned from our favorite faith based organization (ironically, one that serves the disabled).
I got banned from her adoptive parents' home.
But the relationship thrived.
It wasn't all bad.
Stephanie's biological family was wonderfully supportive.
So was my mother.
(Hey, if we have the support of our mothers, who cares about the others)
Stephanie's biological grandmother was hired through the state to be my disabled daughter's caregiver and our families have been close ever since.
February 1, 2016
A romantic mountain top ceremony in the snow in a horse drawn sleigh
No guests, no gifts, no caregivers, no critics
No hotel room on our wedding night either but more about that later
Why we didn't have Sex
before the Wedding
Everybody's doing it. Everybody assumes we're doing it. Why not? We're engaged and have a wedding date. What's a few months or days?
They say actions speak louder than words. It's true and there are things I want to say to my beloved, things that will establish the foundations on which the rest of our lives will rest.
1. I want to say to my wife that she is loved and loved unconditionally. Having sex with her at this time says I love myself.
2. I want to say to my wife I am willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to put her first. Having sex with her at this time says I'm not willing to make sacrifices at all.
3. I want to say to my wife I love her more than I love the body in which she dwells. Having sex with her at this time puts my focus on her body and reinforces a fear almost every woman holds, that time and gravity will take from her what society says is her most important value.
4. I want to say to my wife I will be faithful to her even in spite of my failures in previous relationships. Demonstrating self control now when society says self control is not expected, confirms to her I can and will have self control later when it is expected.
5. I want to say to my wife I understand her need for nonsexual intimacy. There's nothing like demonstrating that now to assure her I get it.
6. I want to say to my wife I value time spent gazing into her eyes and time spent just talking. These things are important to her. Having sex with her at this time says I'd rather be doing other things.
7. I want to say to my wife I understand one of her greatest needs is the need for romance. Having sex with her at this time says her need isn't all that important in light of my need.
8. I want to say to my wife, I am a man. My greatest need is the need for sex. You are more important than that need!
A word of counsel for the guys: You and your wife will have the rest of your lives to have sex but the quality of that sex will depend, in large, on the foundations you build before you're married. Build the proper foundations now and your house will stand forever.
Interesting Facts about Us
1. At age 22 Stephanie became an instant mother to 13 children, grandmother to as many more, and could soon be a great grandmother.
2. We have an age difference of 39 years.
3. I am older than Stephanie's grandmother but I am not older than her mother.
4. We are the only couple in America, when we go out to dinner, we are regularly offered a child's menu (sometimes even a sippy cup) and a senior discount.
5. She has a beard, a big bushy one. He has a gynecologist.
6. He’s Jewish. She’s Mexican / Guatamalan.
7. She was adopted. He was an accident.
8. Time from first meeting to engaged, about 6 weeks.
9. We've faced a lot of resistance to our relationship. We've been banned by 2 churches and the world's largest disability ministry. Stephanie was given an ultimatum to break up with me or lose her job. People called Adult Protective Services to try to stop our wedding.
10. As of 2022 we've been married over 6 years and have never had an argument. Just the opposite, we are truly living happily ever after.
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Doesn't every groom drag his bride away after the ceremony?
The truth is we fell two feet through the snow on the way to the ceremony site so, on the way back, Roy used a toy sled to transport Stephanie but, when we got to the point we fell through the snow, it tipped the sled and we both fell into the snow again.
Fortunately, a sharp photographer got all the action and laughs.
It was really COLD but the morning of the wedding the skies cleared and the views were awe inspiring.
The horse refused to go any closer to the wedding site so the plan was for Roy to carry Stephanie the last 50 feet.
It turned out the horse was smarter than we were because the snow gave way and we dropped two feet straight down.
The horse drawn sleigh, the pristine snow, and blue skies made for a wonderful wedding.
Our 8 hour drive to Lake Tahoe.
Snow, snow and more snow. It was so cold the wheelchair ramp on our van froze.
An hour before the wedding we learned we didn't have a room for our wedding night. We had a confirmed reservation for the Rainforest Room but it was full of workers, scaffolding, tarps and tools! And nobody bothered to tell us until we showed up at the hotel.
So we had to settle for this suite. Tough break, huh?
Anybody for a cruise across Lake Tahoe on a sternwheeler in the freezing snow?
Fortunately, we didn't have any problem getting the wheelchair onboard.
It was so cold there were icicles hanging all over the boat. Notice there were no other passengers dumb enough to brave the cold to take a selfie.
For $47 a plate the waitress will even take your photo (if you provide your own camera).
We only honeymooned at Lake Tahoe for two nights because we have two special needs children but we continued our honeymoon at home in a local hotel.
This suite had a lot to offer for wheelchairs. There's a roll-in shower and the spa tub is accessible from both the bathroom side and via a window on the bedroom side.
Even while honeymooning we spent time with our daughters.
Carrying the bride across the threshold. Fortunately for me, Stephanie is only 4' 9" tall and doesn't weigh much more than my quadriplegic daughter whom I lift every day.
Interesting bit of trivia. Our wedding license was issued in California and says we were married in California but you can clearly see the location of the wedding ceremony was in Nevada, a good half mile over the state line.
It was so cold I bought a case of hand warmers and we stuffed them everywhere, even in Stephanie's bra.
• We've been married for over 6 years and have 2 children (daughters, of course).
• That's 5 years and 364 days longer than anyone expected our relationship to last.
• Our naysayers are still warring against us but our relationship is stronger than ever.
• We've never had an argument or a fight. We're still honeymooning.