A 11-Year-Old Shoebox Gift Brings this Couple Back Together
There are times in our lives when we can get impacted by even the smallest things that enter our lives. The two youngsters Tyrel Wolfe and Joana Marchan are a great example of this one. These two youngsters were simply brought together by a simple and cool act of kindness. Neither of them gave this another thought, but they surely remembered it when the greatness of social media brought them back together after a long time.
And, the way that they were brought together is going to really warm your heart, and the reason why they were brought back together was that simple act of kindness all those years before. And, after a really amazing chain of events which unfolded at their feet, they witnessed one of the greatest stories that have ever happened to someone, and they were the ones that were smack in the middle of it!
Facebook Request to Remember
The 18-year-old youngster named Tyrel Wolfe was expecting this to be just another regular day in his life. He was ticking the tasks off of his schedule following his regular daily routine when an unexpected friend request on his Facebook profile appeared. Each and every one of us has experienced this on some occasion or another and more often than not it’s simply tied to some case of a scam or spam. But, this friend request wouldn’t have caught Tyrel’s attention unless…
The first time when he saw the friend request on his profile he decided that he was going to delete it because he like all of us thought that it was some kind of a spam profile. And, at the time Tyrel didn’t really think about this event too much. What he didn’t have in mind is the fact that the same person whose friend request he deleted that day, would come back in his life and will be playing a really big role in his life.
The Person that Send the Friend Request
The woman that Tyrel got the friend request from went by the name of Joana Marchan, she was from the Philippines, and the fact that Tyrel has never visited the Philippines in his lifetime made the whole ordeal even weirder. He has never seen Joana before the friend request, but there was something about the girl that took his attention.
After he spends a couple of minutes in reviewing the profile of the woman that send him the weird friend request, he realized that Joana never visited the USA let along his small living town in Idaho. And despite the fact that random people sending out random friend requests on this social media is not an uncommon thing, something else stuck with Tyrel at the time. He couldn’t even start imagining what was about to happen. He was curious about what this girl wanted from him and that’s when it all started to unveil.
Tried not to Think About the Request
At first, Tyrell was trying not to think about the request. He thought that the girl probably had thought that he was a different person or maybe it was the thing that first went by his mind, maybe she was just an internet spammer. After a couple of days he forgot about the request and continued to live his life at his small hometown. He didn’t reply to the message ‘cause he thought that there was no reason to.
After a while, the friend request got its way back into Tyrel’s head. And this time it didn’t go as quickly as the last time. But, after a while, he finally forgot about it once again and it was just as it never happened. This wasn’t the whole story though, because after a couple of years he felt like he had a déjà vu because he got another similarly weird friend request on his Facebook Profile.
Why’s This Happening Again?
Two years had passed since the first weird friend request that Tyrel got on his Facebook, and he had completely forgotten about it, but after two whole years, he found himself in the same situation once again causing him to have a déjà vu. Little did Tyrel know that this friend request was going to have a different outcome than the first one, and ultimately it would have a different impact on his life. This request was from the same girl that had sent him the first one – Joana. But, the difference in this request was that it increased the curiosity that Tyrel had about why’s this girl adding him on Facebook for the second time, and why did she wait two years to do that…
He couldn’t think of one reason why would this girl keep reaching out to him with Facebook friend requests. But, why did she wait two years to send him the second friend request? He decided to do the same thing that he did the first time, he went through her profile, but just like the first time, he didn’t manage to find any connection between him and the girl that added him. The fact that his curiosity was increasing maybe was the key reason why he decided to change his mind this time. But, he simply wanted to find out the answers to the questions that he had.
The Mystery Girl
Not having any mutual friends, and the fact that they never visited the country of the other didn’t shine any light to the mystery of why this girl was adding Tyrel for the second time in two years. The two facts that we mentioned above confirm Tyrel’s assumption that they never met each other in person.
The mysterious girl from the Philippines sparked Tyrell’s curiosity and that’s why he did that everybody told him not to do it. So, after a long time that he spent thinking he decided to take the plunge and do something that would change his life forever, but he thought that he was just going to get to the bottom of the mystery that he found himself in.
He Finally Does it!
He wasn’t really fast to decide what he was going to do, he took his time, and consulted both with his friends and family. And, after a while, he decided that he was going to reach out to the mystery girl that managed to drive him crazy. He was desperate to get her out of his mind once and forever!
So, after days trying to get the courage and write her a message, he finally did it. But now he wasn’t sure what to write, so he spent some time thinking of the message that he should write to her. When he got the message that he wanted to write to her (a simple and straight message) he decided to ask her how she knows him.
A Fast Reply
Tyrel didn’t get the reply as slowly as he hoped for, instead, he got it really fast, and once he noticed the content of the message, it raised more question than it answered for him. Instead of simply answering his question the mysterious girl sent him another question, and this question was the one that made Tyrel dig deep into his past…
Joana’s question was one that didn’t solve Tyrel’s question. Instead, it made it even difficult for him. She asked him if he’s ever heard of the Samaritan’s Purse, and Tyrel was pretty sure that this was the name of an organization, but he wasn’t part of it, and he didn’t remember where did he hear about this organization… At first, he only recognized the name of the organization, but after he gave it a bit of thought the thought came to him, and he was actually pretty surprised.
He Finally Remembered…
The information seemed to be way back in his memory and despite the fact that he needed some time to remember the organization, once he did the memories started coming back to him. He remembered that he was part of the Operation named Christmas Child, and the Samaritan’s Purse was the organization that developed this operation.
Each and every year, this organization would send tons of shoeboxes for some of the lower class families outside of the USA… This was to improve their Christmas experience. The boxes that the organization sent out were filled with books, toys, toiletries, pens, pencils, etc. And, despite the fact that he remembered about the Samaritan’s Purse he was still unable to connect the dots and understand why she was trying to contact him about an ope4ration in which he was a part of but way back when he was a small child.
The Answers to all of His Questions!
The following messages that Joana sent to Tyrel were supposed to answer a lot of the questions that he initially had. The message that he would get from the unknown Facebook friend would turn Tyrel’s world upside down. And, in short, in the message, Joana said that she received the shoebox Christmas gift all that time ago.
He was in Shock
Tyrel spoke about this event and he stated that he felt a bit amazed that the recipient of the shoebox Christmas gift remembered his name for all those years, and he couldn’t realize why they would contact him after that long. And, while yes, Tyrel felt flattered, and he was surprised that she would contact him, some people that were in his vicinity, and felt close to him, needed to tell him that they were concerned about the things that were happening at the time.
They Were Concerned About him
Well, one of the most concerned people were his parents. They were thinking of lots of bad things that could happen to their son. They thought that Joana might be lying about everything just so she could prey on the young and inexperienced Tyrel. They were scared that Joana is going to deceive their son by getting his trust online.
And, after she got his trust, Tyrel’s parents thought that Joana would surely try to ask for money or maybe something even worse than money. They sat down with their son, and came up with a way to make sure that Joana is speaking the truth, they came up with a test to show if Joana is really the person she’s claiming to be! So, Tyrel went on with his and his parents’ plan to further investigate Joana and see if she’s no more than a regular scammer.
Coming up with an Effective Test
Once they found a way to ensure that Joana is who she claims to be, they needed to come up with the actual questions of the test that Tyrel was going to ask her. They decided to ask Joana what was in the shoebox Christmas gift that she allegedly got from Tyrel all those years ago. And, if she answered correctly to the question she was exactly who she said she was, but if she can’t answer the question, she is clearly a scammer.
They designed the test so that they could know if she is making the story up or if she was speaking from her heart. But, given the fact that this happened all those years ago, Joana couldn’t remember everything that was put in the shoebox, but, she could surely remember one thing, that would give the green light to Tyrel because it was a dead giveaway that she’s speaking the truth.
I Don’t Believe you!
Like we said earlier, Joana couldn’t remember all of the things that were in the shoebox all those years ago, but the things that she remembered were pretty correctly described. Tyrel didn’t think that this was enough, and he didn’t feel convinced at all, he thought that there was one item to make him change his mind, and if she told this item, he would start to believe her story.
And, after she spent some time thinking, sure enough, she remembered what that item was. She said that there was a photograph, and she further elaborated that Tyrel sent her a picture of himself in the shoebox. He was thrilled that Joana actually remembered this, so he asked her to describe the picture with a couple of short sentences.
Tyrel couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Joana knew each and every detail of the photograph that she described. She said that she remembered the cute cowboy on the photo and the wooden background behind him. And to Tyrel’s amazement, this was exactly the photo that he put in the shoebox all those years ago. So this was a clear sign that she is speaking the truth.
Tyrel simply couldn’t believe the fact that his shoebox traveled around the world and got to the Philippines. And, the recipient of the box didn’t forget about the gift all those years. The amazing fact was that she was still keeping the photo that came in the shoebox, and she still remembered the sender’s name and she even added him on Facebook… a couple of times! Now, Tyrel could be sure that Joana was definitely telling the truth about the shoebox!
The whole ordeal seemed nice and cute, but there was one more question that really bothered Tyrel… Did Joana keep all of the items that Tyrel sent to her all those years ago just so she could say thank you, or did she have some hidden intentions, he couldn’t get the courage to ask her, so he left it for time to tell.
Tyrel got the thank you message from Joana, and he thought that this would be it. The whole story would end here. But, lucky for them, this wasn’t it, because Joana had some other intentions… She actually wanted to find out something more about the shoebox gift mystery man. So, that’s how they continued to communicate.
Speaking Every Day
Time was passing by, and they started talking more and more… There were some points when they were constantly speaking to each other on a daily basis. And with that amount of talking they sure found out tons of things that they actually had in common. One of those things is the fact that they both love listening to Christian music.
The two became almost inseparable from one another. And a bit more than one and a half year has passed with them knowing each other. Despite the fact that they never saw each other in person they sure enjoyed spending time with one another. They actually started feeling like they know each other and that they are true friends. Time didn’t stop for the two of them, and as time went by Tyrel got to graduate his high school and he was planning on what he should do with his life. And one of the plans was going to amaze Joana in a positive way.
His Most Important Plan
Tyrel and Joana got pretty attached. So from their early days, Tyrel was saving up some money because he wanted to meet Joana one day in person. And, after his graduation from his high school, he decided to turn that dream into reality… So, after he spent some time gathering the confidence to write the message, he finally manned up and asked Joana if she would like him to go to the Philippines so that they could meet in person…
Joana seemed like she couldn’t wait for him to ask the question, so before he even finished asking the question she already answered it a couple of times. Yes, she said that she couldn’t wait for him to propose that to her. And now that he did she was so happy! And although Tyrel was expecting that answer from Joana, he also felt happy inside because of the fact that Joana actually said that she would be happy if he visited her.
One Journey Thousands of Memories
When you’re flying halfway around the globe it doesn’t come cheap. So, Tyrel actually had to spend a bit more time to gather up the money for the ticket. He was tireless in the grind for the money that he needed to go to the Philippines. He was pretty excited about the trip, and he thought that it is going to be full of amazing things.
And, once he was ready to get on his way to the Philippines, once he saved up the money he thought that he would need to get to Manila he booked the ticket. The scary part about the journey was the fact that Tyrel had never traveled alone and that’s the first reason why he was obviously nervous. He also had thousands of questions on his mind, How will the flight pass? How will I feel in a foreign country? How would I feel meeting Joana in person? And many other questions.
The Time has Come
Once everything was ready, Tyrel boarded the plane and started his journey halfway around the globe to the Philippines. The usual time to travel from Idaho to Manila is 14 hours, but it seemed like days for Tyrel. But, he would find out soon enough that it would all be worth it. Once he got there, Joana was at the spot waiting for him to get in the Philippines so that she could greet him in her homeland. Tyrel was pretty welcomed in Joana’s family house, her family also accepted Tyrel, and they actually liked him.
They Connected in an Instance
Joana’s family accepted Tyrel like one of their own. They treated him that way, and he sure felt that way with all the attention around him. But, what mattered to him was the fact that they got along nice with Joana, and he felt like he knew her for his whole life. They both felt the strong link between them and that’s why they decided to do something amazing! Tyrel’s stay in the Philippines would quickly turn his life upside down because of something sudden and unexpected that happened there. They decided not to think twice about what they were doing.
He Started Liking it there
With every day passing by the days that Tyrel should’ve stayed in the Philippines quickly turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months. And no one felt like they wanted Tyrel to go. They decided that Tyrel would stay in the Philippines for as long as it was possible for him to stay.
Once the started closing into the day that marked a month since Tyrel got to the Philippines they couldn’t believe that a month has actually passed without them even noticing it. They still wanted to spend some more time together, but they could feel that the time for Tyrel to leave the Philippines was coming closer and closer. And, by the time that Tyrel would leave they grew even closer than just friends.
“I Should Leave now”
The correct term to describe the two that started off like strangers would be lovebirds. They were something more than friends, their relationship grew with each and every day that Tyrel spent in the Philippines. But, the sad part was the fact that Tyrel couldn’t stay much longer there. He had to go, and his trip back home was coming closer. He didn’t have the ability to extend his stay in the Philippines one more time. The time to leave has come. He should say goodbye and go back home.
The lovebirds agreed on the fact that this wouldn’t be the last time that they met in person. And, just like that, the time for Tyrel to live came. The separation was just like any other separation… hard, and sad. And, with the last step that Tyrel made in the Philippines it looked like it was going to be pretty hard to maintain their relationship. But, what would happen next, was out of anybody’s expectations. Not even the two of them expected what would happen next.
Let’s do this Again
Once Tyrel got back home he immediately started saving up again in order to get the money he would need to go to the Philippines again. He loved the time he spend ni the Philippines so he was down to do it again as soon as possible. He was pretty determined, worked hard and gathered the money he’d need practically in no time. Much faster than he did it the first time.
He didn’t expect it, but this trip got even better for him than even the first one. The grew their relationship further, and in no time the lovebirds started showing the love that they had for each other. But, just as the last time he visited, the day to go home came quickly and he needed to go back to Idaho. But, this time he had it all planned. He couldn’t handle being separated from Joana, but he had a secret plan, a plan that would change both of their lives.
What Happens Next?
By the time he visited the Philippines for the third time, Tyrel has already started understanding the native language of the Philippines so that he could talk to Joana’s dad in order to tell him his plans that he has with his daughter. No one expected this, but when Tyrel visited the Philippines for the third time, he spoke with Joana’s dad and he asked for her hand. It might seem as these requests came out of the blue, but Tyrel has been planning this for much longer.
Joana’s dad didn’t even have to think about Tyrel’s proposal. He immediately accepted Tyrel’s request, but the problem was the fact that not everyone in Joana’s family was as happy as her father with the request that Tyrel proposed… Joana looked up to this person who had a problem with Tyrel’s proposal, and this person’s saying might have a great impact on her decision and Joana’s and Tyrel’s relationship as a whole. This was just one in many obstacles that they would have to go through.
Are they Moving too Quickly?
The one that was actually not too happy about the proposal that Tyrel has made was Joana’s mother. She thought that the youngsters were moving too quickly and that they weren’t thinking about the consequences that they might have if they go through with Tyrel’s proposal. She told them that she would like them to slow things down, and spend more time together so that they could get to know each other before they took that great leap that they were planning on taking.
Tyrel wasn’t mad and he completely understood the opinion that Joana’s mother had, and frankly he had to respect it. He thought that he knew why Joana’s mother was a bit hesitant about his intentions. The fact that he was a foreigner and they knew so little about him was a barrier that didn’t let them go through with the marriage he thought. So, he wanted to speed things up, and nobody expected him to do this, but he brought reinforcements.
Who did he Bring?
In order to help the things move faster, Tyrel thought that it would be good if he brought someone from his family in order to talk to Joana’s family and get to know each other. So, he called his father, he told him that he would like him to meet the family of the woman he loved unconditionally. And his father accepted to go there, I mean he had to, didn’t he?
After a bit of convincing, Tyrel’s father agreed to go to the Philippines, after his son explained the situation to him, how he wanted to marry Joana and he wanted to speed things up. But, how Joana’s mother was a bit hesitant about the whole ordeal, and without her mother’s approval, he couldn’t marry Joana. So, Tyrel’s father boarded a plane and went to the Philippines.
After Tyrel’s father came and met with Joana’s parents he spoke to them, and once Joana’s mother got to know Tyrel’s father she was ready to give her daughter the blessing so that she could marry Tyrel. They were ecstatic. Both of them felt like they were living their dreams, so they quickly started to move the wedding plans really quickly, and not too long after her mother agreed, the two got married. October 2014 was the date that they said the most important “Yes” in their lives at Tyrel’s parents’ ranch.
The period that it took them to marry after Tyrel’s proposal was just five short months. Joana was wearing a thrift shop-bought five-dollar wedding gown, and Tyrel was wearing a classic Filipino garment, a Barong. They didn’t have an extravagant wedding, but they both loved it. And the most important part of the wedding was what the couple asked from their guests as wedding gifts.
More than Your Typical Wedding
With the turn that their relationship took, and how unconventional it was, they wanted their wedding to be something similar. They weren’t expecting anything expensive, and they didn’t want to get any typical wedding gifts. Instead, they wanted something that would seal their love. They were pretty happy to end up together, and that’s why they wanted each and every guest at their wedding to bring something that would celebrate their story. Read on and find out what they wanted their guests to bring instead of typical wedding gifts.
The gifts that they would get from the wedding would not only celebrate their love story, but they would also end up going for the charity and the ones that actually need them. In case you didn’t realize it by now, the couple asked their guests to bring them shoeboxes for their wedding gifts. This would be the personal touch that they wanted in their wedding, and it would perfectly describe their whole love story. They got the gifts that would keep on giving.
The Shoeboxes Piled up!
Joana and her lover, Tyrel wanted their guests to bring shoeboxes that were filled with small gifts (just like Tyrel did for Joana all those years ago) and these boxes would be then given to the ones that actually need them, in charity. They were planning on giving all of the shoeboxes that they would get to the Operation Christmas Child. This was the same organization that actually made Tyrel and Joana’s relationship happen. It all started with a shoebox sent in this organization which would later end up bringing the two youngsters together, and now, in front of the altar.
What’s even more heartwarming than the fact that they asked their guests to bring shoeboxes, and they gave the shoeboxes away for charity was the fact that they actually spend their honeymoon bringing all of the shoeboxes that they got for their wedding to North Carolina from Tyrel’s hometown Idaho. The last thing that they instructed their guests to do was for them to leave one significant item that was special. Once they got all the boxes they drove all the way just to bring the shoeboxes personally to the Operation Christmas Child headquarters.
The Special Gift in the Shoeboxes
The special gift that they asked their guests to include in the shoeboxes was actually a written note of Tyrel and Joana’s love story, how they met and what they managed to do just with one shoebox gift. And, no, they didn’t ask their guests to put the note in ffor any reason that you might be thinking if you’re interested why they asked their guests to put the note in the shoebox, you should read on and find out.
I know, I know, a lot of you thought that they actually asked their guests to put the note inside of the shoeboxes in order to give the underprivileged kids around the world a possible fantasy of what could happen, I mean it happened for them, why wouldn’t it happen for any other child? The actual reason was something much more than a fantasy for the underprivileged kids. Namely, they put the notes inside of the shoeboxes to show everybody what good things might actually come out of one simple act of kindness.
Continuing with the Tradition
Once their wedding passed, the couple were still sticking to the tradition of gifting shoeboxes each and every year for the Operation Christmas Child to give away to the ones in need. Once they were done with the wedding, Joana had a big move to do, she had to move far away, she had to go to the other half of the World all the way to the USA from her homeland – the Philippines. While she was used to living in an urban area, she now had to get used to living in a small town in the country surroundings.
Since Tyrel was often required to travel for work, Joana has seen much of the United States. For her, adjusting to the quiet country life wasn’t easy, but with the help of her loving husband, she eventually grew to love it. Still, Tyrel and Joana’s amazing love story didn’t end there as there was still another miraculous result of their coincidental connection.
Sealing their Marriage
Not too long after getting married they were already expecting a new member in their small family. The newlywed Tyrel and his wife Joana, were expecting a baby boy, and they decided to name him Harlaan Jun Wolfe. The married couple was pretty happy that they could tell their son how their story ended up with them getting married, and that they could tell him that they made other people give to charity.
What they were not expecting was to be living in Idaho at the farm for whole four years, but they actually were amazed by the place, although they were traveling around a lot, they always came back to their home at the farm in Idaho. Their story is going to stay with them, and they are always going to remember how they met. The most amazing thing about their story is the fact that their whole story is based on Tyrel sending his shoebox gift at the right time and it ends up at the right home.
‘Tis the Time of Giving
The true lovestory that these two lovebirds can witness is nothing more than a true miracle. And the fact that their story was tied to Christmas in one way or another, made it even more special. Their story was so amazing that it reached to international and nationwide news. But, their shoebox initiative on their wedding wasn’t left alone either.
They will Always End up Remembering Christmas simply because of the fact that it connected them. They were constantly going to be reminded of how lucky they were for the shoebox to be sent at the right time, and end up on the right porch. They set an example for a lot of people and their social media were breaming with comments and messages congratulating them on their wedding as well as telling them how they empowered people to do some things.
A Walking and Talking Inspiration for Others
Each and every anniversary that they celebrate is one more reason for the couple to show how much they love each other and inspire others to give to charity. There’s not enough distance in the world that could keep the love birds apart from one another. And now, with the start of their family, it’s going to be even harder. This goes to show, how much they love each other and how they feel about distance.
The baby grew older and now, Harlann always gets mentioned around their social media posts. They have a couple of social media profiles and pages for the two of them that they manage each and every day. They created the fan pages in order to keep others posted on their everyday lives.
The Reason to Wake up!
As Joana Wolfe puts it, today her son is the reason why she’s smiling each and every morning. He is the reason why she wakes up. They constantly share images on their social media profiles of them as well as their son, they want to have proofs of how fast he’s actually growing. And, as they put it, they now understood the saying “they grow up so fast…” It felt like it was yesterday when he was a newborn, said Joana.
She even stated in one post how much she enjoys soaking all the baby cuddles that she can get from her son. In order to celebrate the fact that she became a mother, she continues to take pictures of Harlann’s journey in life for as long as he lets her do it. They don’t seem to miss anything, and people enjoy watching their Instagram and Facebook posts.
They Love the Philippines
Despite the fact that now, they live in Idaho. They actually love visiting the Philippines. They try and visit there as much as they can, for family trips, holidays etc. They enjoyed a family trip there when they took this picture of Joana’s family in the Philippines.
Joana loves to share and cherish these moments. She spends a lot of time trying to get the perfect shots so that she could post them to their social media profiles. She wants to share beautiful pictures to thank their followers for following her and to give them something that they could actually enjoy watching. On this image, they were going to visit the most popular tourist attraction in the Philippines – The Tanawan Falls in Dingalan. They seem like they’re spending a great time there and you can see by the smiles on their faces. Even Harlann Jun seems to be excited about the trip.
They are a Happy Family
Joana says that her family is one of the greatest gifts that God has given her she loves the time she spends with them and even a bit of cuddling could do wonders for her mood. Their story is an amazing one, and that’s why their love grows a bit each and every day. Their Instagram shows all of their happy moments in pictures and short videos, they are a happy family for sure.
You can notice that by the smiles on their faces, there’s a lot written in those smiles. Joana makes us more and more excited when we see that she has posted something new. Visit their Instagram profile and enjoy all of the happy moments of the Wolfe Family. We love how this simple shoebox gift turned into an amazing story to be told for years and years after by the Wolfes. Joana and Tyrel will sure remember this one. Throughout their life together filled with love and joy.
Share this story if you enjoyed it. The love story of Joana and Tyrel that started with a shoebox gift and ended up with a cute Family filled with love and laughter.