Hi, this is Chad. It’s been a while since Portia’s written anything, and we wanted to provide an update. A heartfelt THANK YOU to EVERYONE (So many) for the kindness, love and support that you’ve shown her and our family through this crazy journey. Know that all comments and words of encouragement from Facebook, her blog, and the grocery store are forwarded to her and they mean a lot to her. You have provided strength, hope and light to our family. Many of our friends and neighbors have made it possible for us to visit Portia over the years in CA and MN, and those visits are priceless. They allowed us to be together to expereience the love and happiness our family has, and be reminded what we have to look forward to.

Upon arriving in CA this winter, Portia’s counselor requested that she be released to a Utah halfway house in May. Through the years she’s observed many people go through the release process and found that the counselors request is almost always granted. But as May approached there was no confirmation of the date requested. In fact, just a few days prior to her anticipated release date she was told the BOP had decided to release her in August. All of the excitement that had been building quickly deflated and was replaced with sadness and disbelief. At first thought 3 months doesn’t seem like much in the context of 4+ years. The best comparison I can come up with is running a marathon. You train for months, and in our case years, to run 26.2 miles. After running for hours, covering many arduous miles, you finally approach the finish line and realize that you’ve made it! Then you find out they’ve moved the finish line and the new finish line is a mile down the road, and even though you are mentally and physically spent you have to figure out how you’re going to finish the race?

On the weekend that we anticipated bringing Portia back to Utah I drove to Victorville, CA to visit her. The initial disappointment the delay created was difficult for us, but the time we spent together was uplifting, and strengthening. We are confident that August is when she’ll be back in Utah, but are emotionally guarded and aware that things rarely go as expected. She loves the California desert, and as you can imagine has made new friends. She has been able to receive more religious support in CA. There are other LDS women with her, and missionaries visit twice a week. It was great to see her beautiful smile and know that she’s happy and beyond ready to be with our family again. During our visit we were reprimanded for holding hands in the visiting room, I guess we’re still living on the edge:)

Portia was talking to an officer recently that asked why she’s in prison. She told him she was there for buying and selling real estate in a way that was improper. The officer said, “Well, that didn’t work out very well for you did it?” Portia told him: “It’s not over yet, it’s not something I’m proud of, but the end of the story hasn’t been written. She’s working hard to make the best of bad decisions, and I think the ending’s going to be pretty amazing!” I expect the ending will be amazing.

If you’re talking the time to read this know that we love and appreciate all of you taking the time to check in.