By Chanda Temple
Special to The Birmingham Times
“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, please send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
Who: Jemia Roberson Storey, 35, and Adrian Storey, 38.
Met: Adrian noticed Jemia at a Birmingham party in the summer of 2007 and asked the host about her. The host told Adrian that Jemia was “good people” and to “hit her up on MySpace.’’ Adrian did just that. A few weeks later, they met for Sunday brunch in Five Points South. They also walked around the Five Points South fountain and visited Charlemagne Records to look at old albums. While at the record store, they realized they liked music legends Jimi Hendrix, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, John Coltrane and others.
Although they didn’t hit it off that day, Jemia said it was the best date she’d ever had.
They reconnected in December 2007 when Jemia invited Adrian to a Birmingham ball her father’s fraternity was hosting. After the ball, they went to a Japanese restaurant in Five Points South. Jemia started out the evening with a scratchy throat. By the time they settled in at the restaurant, her cold had worsened.
“I should have gone home after the ball, but because I was feeling the chemistry with him, I kept going,” Jemia said.
Unable to shake her cold, Jemia ended the date. But before they parted, Adrian convinced Jemia they should go to CVS Pharmacy, where he bought her chicken soup, cough drops, Theraflu and Gatorade. He ended the evening by kissing Jemia on the forehead.
“The forehead kiss and him handing me that medicine, that did it for me. That was the light bulb moment,’’ Jemia said. “He didn’t have me at ‘Hello,’ but he had me at ‘Achoo!’ ‘’
They became an official couple on Nov. 2, 2008.
The proposal: Adrian popped the question in front of the sea turtle exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga on Jan. 26, 2013. About a month later, Adrian became a member of Jemia’s family church in Birmingham. “Adrian joining Sixth Avenue Baptist Church was extremely special to me because we could have started our life as a new couple at a new church,’’ Jemia said. “But he chose to follow my family, which is his family.’’
The wedding: They exchanged vows at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church on Nov. 2, 2013. After they repeated traditional wedding vows, Jemia recited vows she’d written for Adrian’s son, Aiden. “I knew that my fiancé was not a one-package deal,’’ Jemia said. “I take major pride in being a ‘bonus’ mom. I love Adrian, and I love Aiden. ‘’
“In my vows to Aiden, I said that I was committed to fostering a good relationship with him and his parents and always being there for him,’’ Jemia said.
Jemia presented Aiden with a ring for him to wear when he becomes an adult. Inscribed inside the ring is “Love always, Mama Mia 11-2-13.”
In sickness and in health: In the middle of the night one day in October 2017, severe pains shot through Jemia’s right side. Adrian rushed Jemia to the hospital, where doctors determined she needed emergency surgery for ovarian complications. Adrian stayed by Jemia’s side, while also caring for their 2-year-old son, Hampton. “Adrian cleared his work schedule and tended to Hampton and me for six days,’’ Jemia said. “He cooked, cleaned, did laundry, changed diapers, gave Hampton baths and took care of me. He is a true example of an amazing husband. I’m beyond blessed to have him in my life.’’
To have and to hold: “You can’t happily exist in a marriage without being friends. We married strictly for love, friendship and laughter,’’ Jemia said. “I have women who are my best friends, but Adrian is my best, best friend.’’
Happily ever after: Jemia, a graduate of Hampton University, is a freelance graphic designer and stay-at-home mother. Adrian, a graduate of Alabama State University, works as a quality assurance manager for an international materials company. They love how the Magic City has been a part of their relationship, from their first date to their first home.
“Our love for Birmingham runs deep,’’ said Jemia. “No matter where life takes us, Birmingham is always home.’’