janelle + monica // miami, fl
Janelle and Monica are two truly special women and it’s difficult for me to put into words how I feel about their story, but I’ll do my best. When I first met them via Skype, we hit it off right away. We laughed, traded travel stories, talked music and our mutual affection for dogs. I remember thinking to myself how happy I was for them…same-sex marriage hadn’t been legal for very long in Florida and they must have endured so much to get to this point. I truly didn’t know the half of it.
Janelle and Monica started dating long-distance back in 2011 while Janelle was living in DC. Three years ago, they met each other’s families, and though they were concerned about how their relationship would be received, their loved ones on both sides were accepting and wished them well from the very start.
But announcing their relationship to their conservative Hispanic families would be the first of many challenges. In the midst of their blossoming relationship, Janelle received a devastating cancer diagnosis. Since then, Janelle and Monica have not only displayed incredible fearlessness while fighting through to Janelle’s remission, but together they’ve proven what true love and unconditional commitment looks like.
After all they had been through, Janelle and Monica knew that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together and that they wanted to start a family. While she was sick, Janelle tried time and time again to have her eggs extracted with the hopes of one day bearing a child. After over a year of trying, Monica was able to successfully carry Janelle’s embryo!
Baby Olivia Sophia’s due date is coming soon and both of their families are over the moon.
It is honestly overwhelming and humbling to think of what love can endure: the challenges of a long-distance relationship, the fear of familial and societal acceptance (not to mention the US government), cancer and fertility complications. We know being married means a lot to all of our couples…but I couldn’t help but feel that for Janelle and Monica it means so much more because of the odds they’ve overcome. My smile was truly from ear-to-ear watching these two finally make it official and we hope yours is, too.
Monica and Janelle, we wish you a lifetime of love, health and happiness!