They say you never really know when and how you’ll meet the love of your life. Sometimes people meet each other in unusual circumstances, seemingly as the result of divine intervention. That’s exactly what happened to Amy Giberson and Justin Pounders. Amy said it wasn’t long after she met Justin that “she knew” he was the love of her life. But when Amy showed him a preschool photograph, he was completely shocked. Something in the corner of the picture forever changed the way he would look at love.
Amy Giberson had grown up in St. Petersburg, Florida. She had a crush on a little boy she went to school with. The two played with each other, enjoyed games of tag and shared their lunches. Their little romance was so adorable that their teacher still remembers it 30 years later. Diane Tar, the former owner of Sunshine Preschool remembered the toddlers having a real connection. Diane told People magazine in November 2015, that the two “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.”
However, the kids were just three years old when the met and went their separate ways after they finished kindergarten. As the years went by, Amy forgot about her first crush. She moved away and went to college. Unfortunately, as an adult, Amy’s love life was filled with heartbreak. Amy had been betrayed so many times that her friends felt compelled to step in, telling Amy not to get too close to men so quickly.
As Amy recalled to Cosmopolitan in 2016, “People would tell me, ‘Don’t be so open, Amy. Don’t trust so easily.’ But if I stopped doing that, it wouldn’t be me. It’s just absolutely nuts that I (was) the tragically misguided girl who was always let down.”
Amy was still single at age 32. She moved back to St. Petersburg with the hope of settling down and getting married. She decided to sign up with an online dating site. Quickly, Amy’s profile was viewed by Justin Pounders, another St. Petersburg native.
Justin had also recently moved back to his hometown. He also was unlucky in love. In fact, his history is downright tragic. In 2012, Justin was engaged to Adrianne Robert. On the night before the couple would move in together, she was tragically killed. Robert was on the way home after having farewell drinks with a roommate when a man she had met raped and murdered her.
After two years of agony, Justin was ready for a fresh start. He decided to give love another chance, and that’s when he found Amy’s compelling profile on the internet. There was an immediate connection between them. Justin told People magazine that he saw her photo and was drawn to her immediately. “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.”
Justin and Amy quickly agreed to go on a first date which took place Dec. 3, 2014, at a local restaurant. Amy felt an attraction immediately. “When we met up and we hugged, it was like I had known him my whole life.” Even the waiter noticed. He marked the occasion by writing the date on their dessert plate. Amy told Cosmopolitan, “Not even halfway through dinner I found myself shivering because I was so excited. I remember telling myself, ‘I’m going to be having dinner with this man for the rest of my life.’”
Justin and Amy saw each other every day, falling in love hard. After about two months of dating, Justin told Amy that he liked her name “because his first crush was a girl named Amy in preschool. I joked and said, ‘Well it wasn’t me, so I don’t want to hear about this Amy.’”
However, around a month later, Amy saw Justin touching a scar on his forehead. When she asked how he got the scar, Justin told her he fell on the monkey bars during preschool. That was their first clue that they had met 30 years earlier.
The two quickly realized that they had attended the same kindergarten and preschool. Although they both knew they grew up in the same area, they didn’t know the same people, so they assumed that there was no way they could’ve met.
Justin asked his mother to find some old photographs from his preschool and kindergarten days. When she showed them a group photograph of the kindergarten class, they realized that they had known each other all along: there they were, sitting side by side. The two were stunned. “We asked our parents to dig up any preschool photos they had. Justin’s mom 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,” Amy said.
Eleven months after their first date, Justin surprised Amy. The two were appearing on the TV show The View, where they related the details of their romance. Then the cameras cut to a live shot of the preschool where they first met. To Amy’s shock and delight, the students were holding up a sign that read, “Amy, will you marry me?”
Exactly one year after their appearance on The View, Justin and Amy made it official. The wedding was held on Nov. 18, 2016 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. It was just like something out of a fairytale. The couple believe that a higher power played a role in leading them back to each other. Justin even believes it’s possible his late fiancee was his guardian angel. “Someone or something definitely decided we weren’t supposed to reconnect until now.” And as Amy said, “If you keep an open heart and an open mind, you can find your true love. You just have to believe and have faith.”