“Never give up on love, and love will never give up on you.” This is what 34 year-old Amy Giberson always told herself. Little did she know just how relevant it would be in her own life.
Just A Crush
Like most children in kindergarten, Amy Giberson spent her younger years playing tag, and getting teased by boys in the playground. One particular boy in her class, the teacher noticed, would spend his time trying to get her attention.
“They had a blast with each other. It was a quiet, bashful romance. They liked each other from afar, it was a young love, like a sweet crush, you know? They insisted on sitting next to each other in our school picture.” recalled Diane Twar while being interviewed by People Magazine.
Life Goes On
After preschool ended, Amy Giberson went on to a different school and continued thereafter to complete her high school studies. Years passed by, and her playground days seemed to be just fragments of her imagination.
Needle In A Haystack
Despite becoming an independent albeit attractive woman, Amy struggled to find fulfilling companionship. Her love life was riddled with failed relationships and emotional scars caused by men she, according to her friends, “allowed too close to heart, too soon.”
Too Kind, Too Soon
Her own kindness also seemed to be her own devil. Amy’s natural instinct was to be friendly and trusting, which sadly was seen as something to be taken advantage of by some of her partners. Her friends suggested changing her behavior which only made her feel worse, “If I stopped doing that [behaving that way], it wouldn’t be me.”
Never Give Up
She felt discouraged about her love life and was almost ready to give up on the idea that maybe there was someone out there for her, but then she remembered her own motto about giving up on love – “Never give up on love, and love will never give up on you.”
Amy felt she needed a change, and to be pro-active in her own life. She signed up to Match.com, a dating website, with new hopes of finding a love that would top all previously perceived loves. At the same time she decided to move back to her hometown of St. Petersburg, enabling her to be closer to her friends and family. Not long after she set up her profile, a handsome young man liked her dating profile.
Enter Justin Pounders
Justin Pounders was looking for love too. However, his reasons were quite different. Justin had been engaged to Adrianne Robert and had planned to move in with her in July 2012.
Justin remembers clearly driving to Adrianne’s apartment to help her move out and in with him when he was met with the sight of police officers and detectives outside her door. Adrianne had been murdered the night before on her way home. “How could this happen. This isn’t real,” said Pounders.
Time Ticks By
Two years passed and Justin felt a calling to return back home, so he did. It was a move that he hoped would bring happiness back into his life. The idea of finding love back home brought him hope, even if it was just a sliver.
Can’t Keep My Eyes Off Of You
A sliver turned out to be a little more than that. He came across Amy Giberson’s profile and instantly felt something grab at his heart. “I saw her photo and for whatever reason was instantly drawn to her. She just had this great energy, you could tell. I can’t explain it, but I knew I had to get to know this girl.”
It didn’t take much time for each of them to like the other’s profiles. Before they knew it they were setting up to meet in person for the first time. “When we met up and we hugged, it was like I had known him my whole life.” tells Amy.
A Date In Cake
On their first date, thinking the pair were long-time partners, the waiter brought them a special cake with the date written in chocolate. The date stamped on the cake would be more than just a sweet dessert, it would be a mark on the calendar that would remain unique to them forever.
Eyes To The Future
“I remember telling myself, ‘I’m going to be having dinner with this man for the rest of my life.’” Amy said while being interviewed by Cosmopolitan.
What’s In A Name
Two months glided past smoothly for the couple. Justin casually mentioned that he loved Amy’s name because he had a crush on an ‘Amy’ in preschool. Amy teased him by replying, “Well it wasn’t me, so I don’t want to hear about this Amy.” It became their personal joke.
A Scar That Speaks
One day as Amy was sitting with Justin, she noticed him rubbing a scar on his forehead. She also noticed that the scar must have been an old one. When she decided to ask where it had come from, he explained a story that would reveal just how close the two really were.
Justin recounted that he had fallen off the monkey bars almost 30 years ago in preschool. The fall caused him to cut open his forehead and leave a nasty scar until that day. When Amy asked which preschool he attended, his answer shocked her.
When she realized that Good Ol’ Sunshine was where Justin had been to preschool, she knew that this was no accident. Not surprisingly, neither of them had kept in contact with anyone from back then, let alone each-other.
Lo And Behold
Filled with excitement, Amy rushed to her mother. She explained their new discovery and asked her mother to pull out old photo albums of her childhood. To their adrenaline-filled delight, a playschool picture surfaced with Amy and Justin sitting side-by-side.
Was This Destiny?
“We found a photo of the two of us together and I just started crying, I was ecstatic. I was the Amy he had liked all those years ago! It was definitely meant to be.” It didn’t cross their minds that the Amy whom Justin spoke about was the Amy right in front of him.
Pop-Up And Pop The Question
A screen popped up with a live video feed to their former preschool, now renamed “Learning Adventures”, with a room filled with teachers and toddlers. As the camera zoomed out to show the entirety of the room, a 5-piece sign being held by the kids read, “Amy, will you marry me?”
And She Said…
Overwhelmed by the proposal, Amy burst into joyous tears. Justin, on cue, got down on one knee and said, “Amy I love you so much. You mean the world to me. Will you marry me?” The crowd cheered with support and admiration as she nodded in affirmation. He slipped the glittering diamond ring onto her finger.
Let The Tears Roll
It wasn’t only the couple who felt the moment of magic. Co-host of The View, Candace Cameron, had a hard time controlling her tears from streaming down her face as she emphatically shouted out, “I need a tissue!”
Tie The Knot
On November 18, 2016, after being engaged for a year and waiting for each-other for 30, they recited their vows. She gladly took his name and became Amy Giberson-Pounders to an audience of family and close friends at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg.
Step Into Paradise
Having come all the way back to their hometown to reunite, they decided it was time to take off and spend their honeymoon overseas in paradise. Their two-week honeymoon took them around the Caribbean. “I woke up and my life was suddenly a fairytale.” Amy gleefully exclaimed.
Something Greater Was Happening
These two sweethearts truly believe that a higher power ensured that they met at the right time. Justin believes that “someone or something definitely decided we weren’t supposed to reconnect until now.”
Angel From Heaven
The couple feel that Justin was sent a guardian angel to protect him and guide him to find new and lasting love. Amazingly, they believe that this angel was Justin’s former fiancé – Adrianne Robert. “We believe the day she became his guardian angel, she set out to help heal his heart and take care of Justin. We feel she found me and brought us together.” Amy told.
30 Years Of Love
It took 30 years for these two preschool sweethearts to find each-other again. 30 years of searching without knowing who exactly they were searching for. Sometimes love is across the seas or beyond the hills. But sometimes it is so near that it is right under our nose.