Next Saturday, in five days, my first born is getting married. Laura will marry Kagi Phaladi here in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We are spending this week getting ready for the wedding. Along with the physical preparation, I realize I need to get emotionally ready. I was surprised by the strength of my emotions nine years ago when Nancy and I dropped Laura off for her freshman year at Grove City College. I want to be better prepared this time. To that end, I have decided to attempt to write several blog posts that express some aspects of Laura’s character that I especially appreciate.

When I think of Laura, I think of her inclination to take risks. I first noticed this element in her character when she was less than a year old. Unafraid of falling, she started walking when she was eight month’s old. One day she tagged along with me on an errand to Home Depot. As I was studying something at one end of the plumbing isle, Laura wandered to the other end. I was watching her and when she turned the corner at the end, I went to the next isle intending to head her off. Unfortunately, she was not in that isle or the next. Aware that cute little girls can be kidnapping targets, I began to run up and down the isles looking for her. After realizing that she had somehow disappeared, I rounded the end of one last isle to go to the front of the store and ask for a lock-down. It was then that I overheard a man mutter to no one in particular, “Whose baby is that?” He was looking straight up as he spoke. My eyes followed his gaze and my heart skipped a beat as I saw Laura ten feet off the floor on the top of a tall portable ladder-platform.

Shortly after the Home Depot incident, Nancy lost Laura in our house. We lived on a busy four-lane street in a high crime district of Pasadena, CA. As Nancy was searching high and low for her the door bell rang. When Nancy opened the door she met a Spanish-speaking lady who lived in a second floor apartment 500 yards down the street at the corner. Apparently Laura had wandered down there and climbed the stairs. Since we were the only white family on the street, the lady accurately deduced that she belonged to us and kindly brought her home.

Laura’s adventurist spirit continued through high school and college as she participated on various short-term mission trips and other adventures.

Immediately after she paid off her college loans, she began traveling again visiting and living in various countries, including several in the Mid-East and North Africa.

Currently, her adventurist spirit is leading her to enter a cross-cultural marriage and to continue working with me to launch Anda Leadership. Both current adventures are high risk, high reward endeavors — perfectly suited for Laura the adventurist.