“People spend so much time thinking about what they don’t want, but they don’t necessarily think about what they do want.”
Sometimes people have scars or emotional baggage from previous relationships, but Laura Solomon of West Bloomfield is proof those things don’t have to stop a person from living happily ever after.
Twenty-three years ago, life was falling apart for Laura. She was recently separated and had seven kids under the age of 13. To add to the chaos, she’d just been called to her kids’ school because her 4-year-old son had bitten another child and all of her kids were being expelled as a result of this carnivorous act.
Laura rushed to the school and as she waited for her kids, one of the daycare workers struck up a conversation. The worker tried to encourage her and told Laura that despite her circumstances, maybe she would find love in the future.
Laura glanced out the window as a fancy Alfa Romeo roared into the parking lot and a gorgeous man in a black leather jacket and sunglasses walked into the school. Laura shrugged dispiritedly and said, “It’s not like someone like that is going to want a broad with seven little kids …”
Three months later, a friend suggested Laura try the then-new JDate website. Laura decided to be extremely specific about what she was looking for. She typed in what she now admits was probably “completely unattainable” search criteria. Her perfect man had to be 36, Jewish, divorced, have a master’s degree … and be in law enforcement.
Turned out there was one guy in Michigan who met all the prerequisites: Jeff Solomon.
They agreed to meet at Mene Sushi for lunch. Laura arrived first and soon saw a fancy car pulling up … a fancy car that looked kind of familiar! Then a gorgeous man in a black leather jacket and sunglasses climbed out of an Alfa Romeo. It was that same man she’d said would never want her just three months before! It was as though God gave her a preview of what to expect if she just asked.
The kicker: It turned out Laura’s son had bitten Jeff’s son — that’s why he’d been summoned to school that day, too!
They both checked off all the boxes on each other’s list and were married shortly after, in February 2002. They became a blended family with nine kids under the age of 13, eight boys and one girl, who became — and still are — best friends.
Jeff was raised in Jackson, one of three Jews in his high school, and was in the U.S. Army for 20 years. He attended the University of Michigan and University of Houston and traveled extensively. He has been retired from government service since 2018.
Meanwhile, Laura is a self-proclaimed homebody from Huntington Woods who attended Berkley High School. She’s lived in the same 20-mile radius from where she was born for 60 years. She is the director of Advanced Rapid Detox, a substance abuse treatment center.
“We’re complete opposites. He’s intellectual and quiet and I’m a handful. I needed someone stable and centered, and he needed someone who could get him out of his shell,” explained Laura of their blissful 21-year marriage.
Their children were bar and bat mitzvah at Shir Shalom, Shir Tikvah and Temple Israel back in the day. Now, two of their sons are married. Laura and Jeff agree that their kids are their best friends. While they both enjoy being empty nesters, their favorite moments are the times they spend with their kids and their partners (and granddogs).
Laura’s message: “I thought no one would want me with so many kids, but everyone comes with something. People spend so much time thinking about what they don’t want, but they don’t necessarily think about what they do want. If you make a clear-cut vision for yourself and a clearly defined target, the universe will bring you the person you’re looking for. You don’t have to wait until your kid bites theirs!”
This column will appear biweekly. If you’d like to share your ‘meet-cute’ story, please email