Love Story

Love Story | Over time and distance, love took root

In fall of 1990, Teresa Freeman, 19, and Adrian Barnhill, 20, both went through training to become resident advisers at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. During their college years they were occasionally thrown together, and the two became friends.

First impressions:

Teresa: “Adrian was interesting. He was a go-getter and a leader, and I admired those qualities.”

Adrian: “Teresa was pretty and smart.”

The unfolding:

After college, the two went their separate ways. They each married and had children. In October 2005, Adrian was visiting his mom in Greenville, and he ran into Teresa’s sisters. When he learned that Teresa was living nearby, he handed her sisters a card and said, “Ask her to call me.”

Teresa called and they had a great time catching up. Both were newly divorced, and they began hanging out together. Adrian got to know Teresa’s two children, and she met his daughter.

But when Adrian asked if they could date, Teresa said no. She felt she wasn’t yet ready for a relationship. They remained friends, even after Teresa moved to Kansas City in July 2008 to take a job with Hallmark.

They knew they were in love when:

Teresa knew she felt deeply for Adrian when she told him she wouldn’t date him. Adrian also knew he cared for her. He felt terrible that she wouldn’t go out with him.


By 2009, Teresa was ready to date. But Adrian was in Kentucky, and she was living in Missouri. Their challenges included traveling to keep up their long-distance relationship and the process of gradually blending their families.

The proposal and wedding:

In October 2009, Adrian enlisted Teresa’s daughter to help him pick out an engagement ring. On Jan. 2, 2010, Adrian surprised Teresa by asking her to marry him. They were married in March 2010 in Kentucky.


Adrian is the area human resources manager for Republic Services. Teresa is a creative strategist at Hallmark Cards.


Teresa has two children and Adrian has a grown daughter. They live in Blue Springs.

Favorite shared activities hobbies:

They like to travel, bowl, ride motorcycles and watch reality TV.

What keeps their relationship strong and growing:

They try to always act as loving as newlyweds. They communicate honestly, have fun and deepen their faith by praying together.

The qualities they most appreciate in each other:

Teresa: “Adrian is approachable, capable, responsible and hilariously funny. He is my best friend.”

Adrian: “Teresa is intelligent, funny and she supports me in my passions. I couldn’t ask for a better wife.”