imporBy Tiffany and LaToya Rose
In our second installment of QTWoC Chronicles, Tiffany and LaToya Rose are a Black American lesbian couple based in China and attempting to conceive their first child with a known donor. The duo documents their lessons in life, love, and travel — exclusively on ELIXHER! This is their final entry.
By now we had planned on sharing news of expanding our tribe and welcoming a new Rose into our little family. But as fate would have it, it wasn’t in the cards for us just yet. Throughout this journey we’ve learned so much and have grown individually and as a couple. Our dreams of a baby may be deferred but they are very much alive and well. All things in time.
Sometimes you have to be like Bey and pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade, sip it slowly as you regroup and get your plan back in formation.
Tiffany’s grandmother once told her to be open to the unexpected opportunities that life sends your way even if they don’t fit with the plans you’ve made for yourself.
We made our two-year plan here in Shanghai and then life, being the unpredictable force that it is, said, “Yeah…that’s cute, but I have something else in mind.”
To our surprise, we were recruited by a bilingual school in France for the 2016-2017 school year.
Now, when the offer came in, Tiffany jumped for joy: “Europe?! Hell yes!” Toya was excited but being the pragmatist of the two of us, made Tiffany slow her roll as we currently work for a great French international school here in Shanghai.
She whipped out her trusty notebook, and we made a pros and cons list.
We discussed at length how this fits into our five-year plan. Being impulsively decisive Tiffany had already made up her mind and started imagining the trips we would take, meanwhile Toya was giving the side eye, hitting with the figures and giving a reality check: “Europe = expensive.” Over the next few weeks, we sat down and thoroughly discussed what it would take to make the move a reality. Hanging on to what ifs and maybes.
We weren’t exactly prepared to move from Shanghai, and so soon. But then again this opportunity might not be around next year. A school in Europe recruited both of us. We knew that living in Europe was always a part of our five-year plan. It just came a little earlier than expected.
When making a life-changing decision, it’s important to not mistake fear for a “practical choice.” We try our hardest not to let fear be a factor in any our decisions. If anything, fear motivates us to step out on faith, trust in the universe and take risks.
Although we currently work at a French school, between the two of us, we have limited French. We can barely order off a dinner menu! But we’ve never let a language barrier stop us before. Our taxi cab Mandarin has gotten us through four years in Shanghai. [Hangs heads in shame.]
Shanghai is like New York City — if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!
We’ve lived in Asia for the last six years. It’s time for a change. We’ve enjoyed the adventure and sometimes seemingly impossible life here. It’s been rich, full of great friends and expat family, wonderful memories, fantastic trips and so much more.
But we’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss the Western world. Living in Asia, we’ve both developed thick skin, but at times it can be daunting to deal with being outsiders in a culture that is so very different from our own.
More than anything, this year has taught us the fleetingness of life and the importance of maintaining connections with family and loved ones.
When it comes down to it, France just seems like the right direction for our future. For one, France is a hell of a lot closer than China is to the U.S. A quick redeye and we’re home. Trips for Christmas, birthdays, and important milestones in our loved ones’ lives will be more feasible. And of course baby-making! There are a number of IVF clinics in Europe with great success rates. Fingers crossed! Let’s not forget that our marriage is recognized under French law, so we look forward to branching out into the French LGBTQ community.
If life gives you a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Right?
Look out world. The Roses are moving to Paris!
We can see it now: Long afternoons along the Seine, macarons at Ladurée, immersed in French, people-watching on the Champs-Élysées, and causal strolls by the Eiffel Tower. Guess it’s time to dust off our French grammar books and brush up on wine pairings. It’s time for our “Year of Oui!”
We’re about to call the City of Lights home. And we couldn’t be happier.
Around the world and back again, wherever in the world we are together is la vie en Rose.
We want to take a moment to thank all the readers for coming along with us on this journey. It’s been one of smiles, tears and unforgettable memories. We hope our stories have in some way resonated with you, and even inspired you. We encourage you to take that chance, buy that ticket, explore that dream, make that move, kiss that girl, and love every minute of it.
Live, Love, Travel,
To learn more about the Roses and their musings on motherhood, marriage, travel and more follow them on Twitter @thisisournormal, on Tumblr at thisisournormal.tumblr.com or visit their website thisisournrml.com.