It all started in April 1994. A Dutch Marketeer and her European collegue [I mean, what else can you call someone who is half British, half Irish, born in Germany, raised in the UK and who lived in Belgium half his life…?] drank a lot of vodka in a pub in Brussels… and lightning struck. The vodka wore off, but the feeling did not: this was the real thing, Love with a Capital L. It was a crazy time of talking all night on the telephone, megabytes of email and staring into space waiting for the weekend and a fast drive to another country…
We started to make plans for a future together… preferably in the same house in the same country :-).
As cynical thirty-year olds we decided to “stress test” the new bond by taking a Holiday together in “primitive” conditions. People say that holidays together are usually breaking points, so a Safari in Africa should prove something about the survival changes of the relationship. We survived and flourished. After that, it didn’t take Tim long to propose to Marjolein…. and she surprised both herself and her friends with a confident YES.
It didn’t take us long to decide that for all practical purposes it was easier if Tim moved to the Netherlands and moved in with Marjolein. The hurdles the Dutch bureaucracy put up were immense. Importing a British-Irish Belgian resident with a German birth certificate into Holland, with the intent of marrying him sent the administration into fits. Proclaiming the bans, “undermarriage” as they say in the Netherlands, required a whole new law to be created. We felt pretty under-married for a while there, but persistence prevailed, and in November we proclaimed the bans. This was the second test.
In February 1995 Tim was officially imported into the Netherlands. He had a new country, a new job in a new line of work, a new house and a new person to live with… no problem, so the wedding was still on. Just to keep the stress level high we decided to buy a new house together, and start fresh. After a lot of driving we decided we liked Haarlem best: a beautiful little city, close to the sea, walking and biking areas in the area and 15 minutes from Amsterdam.
In September 1995 everything came together: September 1st we bought our new house in Haarlem and September 2nd was our wedding. Our wedding was more wonderful than we had ever believed possible; truly magical.
By the end of that year we had been trying to get pregnant for over a year. We decided to enter the medical circuit and get everything checked out. Unfortunately all they could conclude was that they could not find any explanation for our infertility problems. We were ‘idiopathic’ as the charming medical term describes it. So it was back to perseverance again…
Due to all sorts of unhappy circumstances Marjolein stayed home from work for a while. Which meant there was an opportunity to fulfil one of her long-standing wishes: buy a dog.
Being the persons we are, we searched the Internet for ages to find the perfect dog for us; friendly, cuddly and highly intelligent. So we ended up with Jimmy the Flat-coated Retriever. Hey, two out of three ain`t bad – and we usually do not mind him being a Flat-brained Retriever too.
Unfortunately, as far as kids were concerned perseverance was not enough. We finally managed to get pregnant via IVF and in September 1998 our son Matthijs was born. Since they never found a cause for our infertility problems we knew that there was a chance that we now could get pregnant without medical interference too. As we did not particularly like the idea of another IVF we worked really hard at becoming spontanously pregnant and were successful in August 1999. On the 2nd of May 2000 our son Daniël was born. Two years later we were lucky enough to repeat this event and on August 22nd 2002 our third son Falco was born.