by Edna Mae Loveless
Deea, 38, listened uneasily when three girlfriends urged her to put her profile online, recommending shiningstar.singles. All three girls had married Internet contacts and were "living happily ever after."
As a single mother in Lincoln, Nebraska, with 9-month-old Myla, Deea wondered who would be interested in her. Myla's welfare was uppermost in Deea's mind.
But her friends prevailed. Deea submitted her profile, determined to initiate no further approaches.
When she got a message from Shining Star that someone wanted to contact her, her Internet access balked. Finally she gave a girlfriend her code number to download the waiting message.
"This guy, he's in Turlock, California. Says he finished high school at Platte Valley, Nebraska, just like you!" her friend reported.
After examining Deea's profile, Jon Kaufmann, 39, had found that the two had actually finished high school at the same school, just a year apart. Never married, Jon was looking for someone who would share his post-9/ll return to Christianity.
Deea responded. A Christian commitment was important to her too. The two soon switched from e-mails to phone calls. And in a few months Jon announced he would fly to Nebraska to meet Deea.
Awaiting that first meeting, Deea admits that her anxiety grew. What if I don't really like him? What if I have to figure out how to get out of this after he has flown out to see me?
The doubts melted. Jon's father, a clergyman, had ministered to some of Deea's relatives. Deea's profession (nursing) and Jon's (pharmacy) were compatible. The visit and a subsequent one were comfortable.
Deea contracted for a three-month traveling nurse job and moved, temporarily, to California. Both were aware of Deea's entry on her profile: In pursuing a relationship, she wanted to move no more than five hours away from Lincoln because of the friends and family in her support system.
A year after meeting, the couple married and moved to McCook, Nebraska (pop. 1,994). Jon has adopted Myla, and Deea asserts that she could go on and on about what a wonderful father he is. Jon, content in Deea's network of family and friends, presides as "Doc" in a McCook pharmacy.