By 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! 

Two Black American expats meet by chance in South Korea, not looking for love. But as fate would have it, in a time of serendipitous discovery on the other side of the world, we met our soul mates.

We couldn’t have been more different. We couldn’t explain why we felt so drawn to each other, so we chalked it up to providence.

LaToya and Tiffany

LaToya and Tiffany

After two years as expats teaching in Korea, we decided to move back to the States. We set aside our passports and traveling dreams to settle down and do the expected. I got a corporate job while Toya did online ESL tutoring from home.

Who were we kidding? Five months in, I was miserable and Toya was bored. We could both feel the pull of the unknown and wanderlust calling. We knew for certain that we wanted to take another leap back across the pond, to which friends and family members thought we were out of touch with reality.

We were riddled with: “But you just got back!” And: “Take some time and settle in.” Or our favorite: “What are you running from?”

We weren’t running from anything.

In fact, we were running towards the life we wanted. Toya and I both have a deep passion for travel. We’ve ridden on elephants in Thailand, gotten lost in translation in Tokyo, and seen the sun rise on the black sand beaches of Indonesia.

After living the expat life, it was hard for us to fit back into the typical American lifestyle.

We found ourselves at parties starting each sentences like, “That one time in [insert Asian country]” or “I bought this in a little village in [insert some random town not even on a map].”

Not to mention, we had no idea what pop culture references people were making because we’d been in Asia for the past two years. We started to feel like that episode on Sesame Street. “Two of these things are not like the others…”

We talked at length about our next move. We’d mulled over Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Sydney and even moving back to Seoul.

However, when I mentioned moving to Shanghai, Toya looked at me shocked and said, “Mainland communist China. Tiffany, really?!”

“Let’s give it a year, and if you don’t like it, then we’ll try someplace new,” I piped with a knowing grin. All she really heard was, “Blah, blah, blah, together, blah blah blah travel.” I knew she was sold.

So we set Operation: Xie Xie in motion. Over the course of five months we acquired jobs, sold off most of our possessions, and said goodbyes to friends and family once again in search of a new adventure.

We were more than happy to trade in our unlimited phone plans, 500+ cable channels, car, and midtown apartment for the unknown that awaited us in Shanghai, China.

I knew the moment that I said let’s go and her eyes lit up that she was the one.

A few months into our first year in Shanghai, I proposed.

Photo by Erica Camille Productions (www.ericacamilleproductions.com)

Photo by Erica Camille Productions (www.ericacamilleproductions.com)

Then started the chaos that comes with planning a wedding from China. The rest of the year seemed to fly by between planning, dress fittings, numerous Skype calls with our officiant, families, venues, bakeries and bridesmaids. All of our planning culminated in the most magical wedding in Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain Terrace, where we became “The Roses,” surrounded by the people we love most in this world.

Sometimes we look back and think, we’ve really done all this together.

Fast-forward, with almost two years as The Roses, fifteen countries travelled together thus far, and a life built in China, we’re living the life we’ve always dreamed of.

What started off as only a one-year adventure in China has now turned into three years of bliss.

We’ve traveled the world and made it our home. So now what? What else could a couple ask for?

As the saying goes, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…

You guessed it! A baby in his or her baby carriage. We want nothing more than to be doting, organic-baby-food-making, world-traveling mothers.

That doesn’t mean we’re setting down our passports anytime soon. We’ll just be adding a plus one on our visa entry form. So now with the help of a known donor, we are embarking on our most exciting journey to date.

In the coming months, we look forward to sharing our journey through life, marriage, travel and the journey to motherhood.

Life, love, and travel,
The Roses

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.

About The Author

Your go-to resource for all things empowering, thought-provoking, and pertinent to Black queer and trans women and non-binary people.

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12 Responses

  1. Bee

    Love your story! Congrats! I tried to email you thru your tumbler & didn’t get a response. I’m interested in teaching in Asia too & like to get your opinions about the best way to go about it based on my credentials. Do you guys have another way to contact you directly, maybe a fb page? Thanks and continued blessings!

    Reply
  2. Angie B

    That was beautiful. My wife and I are expats in Korea. Thank you for sharing your story. We were thinking about going back to the States to start a family. You are proof that it can be done abroad. We will continue to travel look forward to growing our family. We would love to speak connect with you two if possible.

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Hi Angie,

      Well hello there fellow expat! The Mrs. and I would love to connect with you two. Drop us a line via our blog. Sending you and the wife love from Shanghai.

      Reply
  3. Dmack

    Great article. I love learning more about you two! I’m in awe of what The Roses are able to do. :-) can’t wait to read about your journey in motherhood.

    Reply
  4. Amaya

    As a fellow expat educator in Shanghai, this story made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I feel you on the wanderlust and desire to travel. I can’t–and won’t, if I can help it–return stateside to teach. Congratulations on your new addition and please continue to share your story! May you inspire others to run to their dreams and away from others’ mindsets.

    Reply
  5. Denise

    I love your story and the people I’m it. Wish you both the best in life..love.

    Reply
  6. Derek

    Those are my two beautiful, compassionate, wonderful friends! I love you both and can’t wait to read all the articles that follow!

    Reply
  7. Donyell

    I love this story. I wish you love and blessings as you embark on your journey toward parenthood. Also, for my own selfish reasons, I love the fact that my son will see other children like himself being raised by Black Queer Women of Color.

    Reply
  8. Shay D.

    How is the job market in China? My wife and I are considering moving East when we’re out of grad school. What kind of work do you do in China?

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Hi there,

      While I can’t speak for all of China, I can tell you about Shanghai. There are a number of jobs to be had in multiple fields as a degreed native English speaker. A lot of expats start businesses here as well. Of course the Education field here is valued but you’re not limited to teaching as an expat. My wife and I are both educators. We currently work at a French International school. If you’d like some recommendations or insight into the expat life feel free to drop me a line via our blog and we’d be more than happy to help!

      Reply
  9. Z Amara Perri

    Love this couple’s story! I’ve been following their blog religiously! I love seeing women like us defy expectations and reach for our dreams!

    Reply
    • LaToya Rose

      Thank you so much for following us and your support. It makes our heart smile.

      Reply

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