Ada Magazine Winter 2018 - Page 11

A s the sun set on the first half of their lives, Steve and Laura Brogden each knew they wanted something different. From different countries, they each set out to turn that want into a reality. Looking to fill a void in their lives, they turned to matchmaking website They set up profiles, posted photos and began taking those first tentative steps forward in the search for what was missing. Without realizing it was happening, the search ended for both of them April 22, 2015, when Steve met Laura. “I was a missionary in Mexico for 13 years, from 1990 to 2003,” Steve said. “Those were my formative years as a young adult — my first house, my first three kids were born there. Mexican culture just became a part of me.” Steve was looking for someone who could understand him, someone who would be able to re- late to his unique, bicultural background. Meanwhile, Laura was raising her children and earning a living in her childhood home, Tampico, Mexico. Laura was raised in private schools — a franchise called the American School. All the teachers there were American and Canadian,” Steve said. “So we’re both bicultural. We’re both divorced and we were looking for somebody that could see the world through the same eyes.” At the time, Laura was an English teacher and the head of the English department at a private Christian school in Tampico. She was also looking for someone who could understand her, some- one who could relate to her. “I had directed a Christian school in my time in Mexico and so our backgrounds were just so similar,” Steve said. “We both have kind of a Mexican-American, bicultural world view, and we had a similar religious background. We could understand each other so well.” The two had established profiles on the matchmaking site a little less than a month prior to meet- ing. In no time, emails began flowing back and forth between the two. Eventually, emails were not cutting it anymore, and the two began video chatting with each other over Skype. Soon enough, though, even Skype wasn’t enough. “I decided to bite the bullet and I bought a ticket to go down to Tampico to see her,” Steve said. “We were both scared to death.” Tampico is a port city in the southeastern part of Tamaulipas, Mexico, about six miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. It is the fifth-largest city in Tamaulipas, with a metro area population exceeding 850,000. The U.S. State Department advises Americans to avoid non-essential travel to Tamaulipas due to violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion and sexual as- sault. The number of reported kidnappings in Tamaulipas is among the highest in Mexico, and law enforcement capability is limited to nonexistent in many parts of the state. “Tampico is one of the places the travel advisories say Americans definitely should not go,” Steve said. “I had no idea if there was going to be a drug cartel down there looking to steal my organs, and she had no idea if some American psycho was coming down there to murder her.” Despite his fear, Steve got on the plane. Despite her fear, Laura was waiting for him at the airport. “My close friends knew, and my children knew — not my sisters or anyone else in the family because they were going to freak out,” Laura said. “My kids knew about Steve once we started Skyping. They were happy to see me taking that step.” Continued Pg 12 WINTER 2018 ADA MAGAZINE 11