The Merrifields are back! And they’re looking for a third sister wife!
During the Seeking Sister Wife Season 4 premiere, Dannielle and Garrick Merrifield revealed that their sister wife Roberta was still in Brazil. The Merrifields claim that Roberta’s visa has been approved, but she remains in her home country because of her mother’s health issues.
It’s been more than a year since Garrick and Dannielle have seen “tiny wife” Roberta, and the couple is getting a bit anxious to continue to expand their family. They met 30-year-old Lea via social media, and the relationship has progressed over a period of weeks to the point where they all want to meet in person.
Dannielle reveals that Lea is a nurse who lives in California. She and Garrick plan a road trip to Los Angeles for the meet up, and they pick Lea up from LAX. (It seems odd that Lea is from California and flew into Los Angeles, but more on that in a minute.)
Who is Lea?
“Lea is a nurse,” Dannielle reveals to the cameras prior to the California trip. “She does have one son pretty close in age to our boys. Lea has been in a plural relationship before, but it didn’t work out. She was really young at the time.”
“She’s very artistic,” Garrick chimes in.
“I feel like she’s bold,” Dannielle adds.
Garrick agrees. “Very bold. And driven. She’s a go-getter, which is neat.”
“My parents lived a plural lifestyle and I attempted a plural relationship before, when I had my son,” Lea says during a confessional. “It wasn’t successful, but I’m ready to get back out there.”
Lea then provides some information about her motivation to pursue plural marriage. “For me, polygamy is just a lifestyle choice. I’m not doing it for any specific religious reason. The dynamic of having multiple adults in the household is just the way I grew up. I’m just so used to it. I don’t think that I would be able to be in a singular relationship. I think I wouldn’t know what to do.”
More background on Lea
We have some additional information about the potential future Mrs. Merrifield III. Lea is indeed a nurse, but she lists her hometown as Portland, Oregon on Facebook. Lea attended the Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Portland, so it could be that she hasn’t updated her location since attending school there.
Speaking of Lea graduating, she finished nursing school almost exactly two years ago. Based on her Facebook posts, Lea did bedside for roughly three months before she was transferred to administration. “I’m definitely about to switch to case management,” she revealed in July of 2021. “That’s my niche.”
Lea’s son turned ten years old in August. Little man looks like a BIG TIME scene stealer, but it’s unclear if he will appear on the show this season.
The father of Lea’s son looks to still be in the picture, at least to a small degree. The dad posts photos of them together on occasion, and he has nothing but extremely positive things to say about his son and Lea. I don’t see any indication that he is (or was) in a plural relationship, but that often isn’t something that is shared on social media.
Lea mentions on the show that her parents “lived a plural lifestyle” and “having multiple adults in the household is just the way I grew up.” Unfortunately, it appears that Lea is downplaying a very traumatic childhood.
When Lea was 20, she was the subject of an article about children making the transition from foster care into adulthood.
According to the article, Lea’s mother was a drug addict. When Lea was seven, her mother was reported to CPS. As a result, Lea and her younger sister entered the foster care system. That began a harrowing journey for Lea as she hopped from foster home to foster home, suffering physical and sexual abuse on multiple occasions.
Lea says she told police and her extended family about the abuse, but nothing happened. She just kept getting recycled back into the system. This continued until Lea was in her late teens.
Alameda County’s Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) helped Lea get housing in Oakland when she was 17. Being independent allowed Lea to focus on her education and she eventually earned her high school diploma.
Lea got pregnant when she was 19. She had been slowly rebuilding her relationship with her biological father, but he was shot and killed when she was seven months along. Lea has indicated on Facebook recently that her mother also passed away in the past year.
In addition to nursing, Lea also has a side hustle selling THC-infused adult treats. The social media accounts for the business haven’t been active since June of last year, though.
It’s easy to understand why the Merrifields describe Lea as bold and driven. Her story is truly inspiring and deserving of a lot of respect. I have no idea in the world why she would choose to date Garrick.
It’s unclear exactly where Lea and her son currently live. As I mentioned above, her Facebook page says she lives in Portland. However, there are also indications that she has returned home to the Bay area near Oakland. I believe it is the latter.
If Lea lives near Oakland, it seems odd that she flew into Los Angeles to meet Dannielle and Garrick. According to Google maps, it would have been an extra three hours for the Merrifields to drive to Oakland as opposed to LA. Of course, if Lea lives in Portland then it makes more sense. Even then, meeting in Las Vegas seems like a much better scenario as far as drive time for the Merrifields and cost for Lea?
If you’re curious about when Lea’s airport pick up scene was filmed, she posted on Facebook on July 3, 2021 that she was flying to Los Angeles. I assume that filming the initial meeting was the reason.
There is absolutely no mention of Dannielle or Garrick on Lea’s social media, aside from preview clip from the show posted on Sunday. Seeking Sister Wife producers have been pretty good at preventing spoilers from being posted by the cast members, so it is to be expected that Lea wouldn’t give anything away.
That being said, there is also no indication that Lea and her son have moved to Colorado. That is something that would be a bit more difficult to hide simply by not mentioning it.
To see how Lea’s relationship with the Merrifields and “Tiny Wife” Roberta works out, be sure to tune in to new episodes of Seeking Sister Wife airing Monday nights at 10/9c on TLC!
— Starcasm (@starcasm) May 25, 2022