CLEVELAND — A change of heart in a courtroom where couples go when their relationship fizzles. On this Valentine’s Day, instead of dissolving a marriage, one judge in Northeast Ohio got to celebrate love. Thousands of miles, endless pages of paperwork and plenty of patience all leading up to one magical moment.
"It's been a long wait for the right person in my life," said Eric Cherry.
Cherry, a family attorney, visited a familiar courthouse Friday.
"I have the experience of watching what happens when marriages fall apart," said Cherry.
But instead of helping clients go their separate ways, Cherry got the chance to unite with the love of his life.
"I'm actually blessed that I've been able to see that, I've learned what to avoid,” said Cherry.
Cherry connected with his bride Tidakorn online in the Summer of 2017. She’s from Thailand.
"I waited about a month to hear back from her. She is sweet, she is supportive, she's loving and caring," said Cherry.
The distance between them at the time was more than 8,400 miles.
"Obviously hard not to see somebody for months at a time," said Cherry.
After proposing to Tidakorn the following summer, the couple faced the challenges that come with securing a K-1 Fiancéé Visa.
"It's cumbersome. It's very cumbersome," said Cherry.
With the visa approved, Cherry and Tidakorn were required to be legally married in the U.S. within 90 days.
“It felt like Valentine's Day was a great day for celebrating love," said Cherry.
Domestic Relations Court Judge Leslie Ann Celebrezze presided over their ceremony,
"You're starting off with a couple that's so much in love and we don't see that a lot here," said Celebrezze.
With their nuptials officially in the book, the couple is now pursuing a conditional permanent resident status to build their lives together in Northeast Ohio.
"We made the promise to each other and it's binding now. Really at the end of the day, what's binding is what's in your heart," said Cherry.
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