REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS Over the front door of 1929 Meridian House at Meridian International Cultural Center, Washington D.C. the quotation, “Quo habitat felicitas nil entret mali,” is inscribed. It might be said that “Where happiness dwells, evil will not enter” has been the motto of Ed Urbaniak and Erwin Lobo of Sterling, Virginia, who passed through this door to marry on August 14, 2010. The day was also a tribute to their tenth anniversary two months before, a decade of shared love, laughter, and joy.
First Meeting Ed and Erwin met in a chatroom in
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February 2000, shortly after Erwin had arrived from the Philippines, and later that year, they met in person in New York City, where Ed was working for a photo production company. The occasion was so special, every detail can be recalled. “We met in person for the first time on June 13, 2000 at The Big Cup —a coffee shop in Erwin Lobo (left) and Ed Urbaniak (right) along with their two children Ilo and Leon. Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography. Chelsea,” Ed remembers. “We then went to ‘Eighteen and Eighth’ for dinner.” Soon, their special date “But I told Erwin that we were running had turned into a special summer, and early,” Ed reminisces, “and that we’d stop by they knew they were meant to be together. a friend’s house for a party. Unknown to “Forever,” they add. So when Ed received Erwin, I’d asked all of his friends to be there a job offer in IT Consulting in Virginia, he with a banner that said, ‘Erwin, Marry Me’.” asked Erwin to join him. Erwin said yes, packed, found a job as an office manager, When they entered, their previously-hidden and they made the move. friends jumped out and Ed proposed. Erwin, again, said yes. “I think our friends “The evolution of our relationship seemed might have been even more excited than very natural,” Ed says. “I think that we both we were,” Ed recalls. knew from the start that we’d have a long future together.”
The Proposal On their first anniversary, Ed asked Erwin shopannabel les.com (702) 364-1 1 84 4280 s. hual apai way l as vegas, ne vada
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another question, again hoping for an affirmative response. But initially, all Ed revealed was that Erwin should dress up, be ready by 6 p.m., and be prepared for a surprise. At 6 sharp, a limo pulled up and whisked them away for what Erwin assumed was a night on the town.
Starting a Family Ed and Erwin’s lives became even more
exciting when in 2004, they adopted a special-needs child, Leon, now age 7, from Guatemala, and their already-joyful life became even more so. “We knew that Leon would have some developmental issues and some vision issues before he came home,” Ed explains. But they’d been unaware of the extent of his disabilities, including Leon’s extreme far-sightedness,