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“Fostering” love. A story of growth, forgiveness, and a rekindled relationship.

Jeannie and Fred Foster don’t hesitate when asked what they love about each other.   

“His kind heart. He’s the most generous person I know,” Jeannie said.


“Her sparky-ness. She keeps me on my toes,” Fred said.


Spending even just a few minutes with the couple, their mutual respect and love for another is evident. They’re quick to share loving anecdotes: how Fred packs both of their lunches every day or how Jeannie proclaims Fred as her best friend. They have matching tattoos. Both adore their fur-baby. They intentionally spend time together each and every day—a far cry from what their relationship used to be. It’s a rekindled love: thirty years after a teenage breakup.

Jeannie and Fred Foster have multiple matching tattoos, including their wedding date and rings.

Jeannie and Fred met while working at the Tillamook Headlight Herald. They were both hired to insert ads into the newspapers. At the time, Jeannie was a teenage mom balancing work, school, and motherhood.


“He was asking me out and asking me out,” Jeannie recalled. She said she turned him down several times, until she finally agreed to grab breakfast one morning.


The attraction grew, a relationship developed, and the two welcomed a son. But, as teenagers and young adults, it was a struggle to find stability. Fred entered into a “party phase,” a lifestyle Jeannie was apprehensive about.


“Fred eventually fell off the face of the earth,” Jeannie said. She recalled not knowing what happened to him. Did he move away? Was he incarcerated? Had he died? Jeannie didn’t have a clue for nearly 30 years.


After the dissolution of their relationship, and with another baby on the way, Jeannie made the difficult decision to pursue an open adoption for her and Fred’s son. She went on to get her GED from Tillamook Bay Community College, and over the years had many self-proclaimed “job adventures” as a nursing assistant, bartender, cocktail waitress, and then finally found her passion in cosmetology.


“I’ve always loved hair,” Jeannie said. She enrolled in cosmetology school and successfully obtained her license.  


Single, and with work on track, Jeannie said that for the first time in life she finally felt at peace.


And then three years ago, she received a Facebook message.

“Is this the same Jeannie I had a kid with 30 years ago?”


It was Fred.


Jeannie recalled being taken aback, but responded.


“Yeah. What do you want?”


The death of Fred’s father prompted him to reach out to try and inform their biological son.


Jeannie replied and the conversation continued to flow.


“It’s like where we left off, but without all the teenage drama,” Jeannie said.


The more they talked, the more the two realized the growth in one another. Both had changed their lifestyles, created careers, and had space in their lives for a partner. 


“She was my first love,” Fred said, fluttering his hand over his heart. “She’s the only one I ever cried over.”


Wedding day June 2022

After a few months of phone calls and FaceTiming, the two agreed to meet up for a date: out to breakfast.


“From the moment I saw him up at the door, I knew I was in trouble,” Jeannie giggled. “He’s so different now.”

The date didn’t stop after the meal. The two ended up visiting the Tillamook Creamery that same afternoon and made plans to meet up again. Within a few months, they were engaged.


“One morning, Jeannie asked, ‘Why don’t you marry me,” Fred said. “I was like, ‘Okay!’ I texted my boss that I wasn’t going to be coming into work. I went and picked up coffee from Dutch Brothers, and then waited for Fred Meyer Jewelry to open.”


Six months later, in June 2022, the two said their vows beside the Wilson River in front of a small group of family and friends.


“You live and mess up, but it all happened at the right time,” Jeannie said. “We both had a lot to go through to get to this point.”


As newlyweds, Fred and Jeannie are making up for lost time.


“We don’t get enough time together,” Fred said. “It’s tenfold, we get along so much better now.”

They enjoy eating good food, playing board games, attending recovery events, and auditioning for live theater plays. The couple was recently in the main cast of Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts’ production of “A Nice Family Gathering.”


Fred and Jeannie Foster were in the main cast of TAPA’s production of “A Nice Family Gathering.”

During the week, Fred drives a garbage truck for Nestucca Valley Sanitary Service, and Jeannie works as a cosmetologist at Cutting Loose Salon in Bay City.


At the end of the day, the two like to unwind by sitting close. Jeannie said they used to have a loveseat that didn’t match the rest of their furniture, so they got rid of it. But, after having spent decades without one another, two recliners wasn’t going to cut it.


“We quickly purchased a matching loveseat so we didn’t have to sit apart,” she said.


Commemorating their love, the couple has several matching tattoos including: their wedding date and rings; the infinity symbol on their ring fingers; “Faith, Hope, and Love;” and their son’s birthdate. Fred took it a step further and had Jeannie’s name and her lips tattooed on his neck.


While Jeannie never thought this relationship would happen, she’s glad it did.


“He didn’t give up; he persisted,” she said. “I’m looking forward to spending more time together in the future.”


As for Fred: “I’m looking forward to growing old together with her.”


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