LGBTQIA Family Photographer
Playa Del Carmen Photographer Jorge Rodriguez
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LGBTQIA Family Photographer

A true love story

Life as a member of the LGBTQIA community is not always rainbows and butterflies. It is full of awkward situations, hard conversations, hurt, and discrimination. Growing up, it has not always been easy to accept myself or be comfortable in my skin. Over the years through growth, love, and acceptance from loved ones, I have become very proud to be me.

However, it was not until I met my wife, Tonya, that I experienced true love and it became crystal clear that I was exactly who I was born to be. Fast forward 7 years, and our son August was born. Nothing compares to the love and joy added to our lives from the moment we met him. We are lucky mamas

To any LGBTQ+ couples like us looking to grow their family

The process started with finding a donor that fit what we were looking for and that was a good genetic pair with the mother carrying. There are three major cryobanks to choose from in the US and surprisingly a lot of options.

The process of finding a donor took Tonya and me a little longer as I tested negative for CMV, a common virus that most people have been exposed to but never know about. This required me to match up with a donor who was also negative to make sure our growing baby does not have medical issues and in turn, dwindled our options down quite a bit!

Once you find a donor, you decide how many vials to buy. This was a tough decision because it is quite expensive and you do not know if you will get pregnant on the first try. After you choose some vials they are stored for you until you need them. Next comes lots of doctor appointments and blood draws with a reproductive specialist to make sure you are healthy and ready to grow a little human inside your tummy!

After you get the okay from your doctor, you set an appointment for the procedure and reach out to the cryobank to ship the vial directly to your doctor's office for the day of the procedure. Fingers crossed and prayers on procedure day. Seems like a lot, but it is definitely with it! Tonya and I were so blessed to have gotten pregnant on the first try and could not be more grateful.

Our family experience in Paradisus by Melía

Bringing our family to Playa del Carmen was nothing short of amazing! Our flights went surprisingly well with a toddler! None of our flights were full, so we lucked out by having an extra seat for the little man. We used Cancun Airport Transportation to escort the three of us to the resort, which we booked in advance.

Their communication was wonderful from the time of booking. We received a confirmation email with thorough directions explaining what to do when we arrived. Once we arrived in Cancun, all the airport staff were happy to lead us in the right direction towards our transportation.

Vendors were set up outside the airport for snacks and beverages if you needed them after the long flight. The Transportation company was able to accommodate a car seat for our son, provided beverages, and great customer service. The drive to the resort was about 40 minutes. August was comfortable and fell asleep right away for a quick nap!

Once we arrived at the resort, our driver was so helpful with our heavy suitcases while Tonya and I attended to our sleeping boy. All the staff in the reception area greeted us with a smile and set the tone for a wonderful week ahead! The Paradisus Playa del Carmen Resort is beautifully designed!

We felt like we were entering a jungle oasis. August was so excited when he spotted the pond full of turtles and coy fish! We had to pull him away eventually to make it up to our room and get all settled in. Our suite was lovely and included a jacuzzi tub on the deck and a scenic view. The resort was able to accommodate a crib for August, which made nights so much smoother putting him down to sleep!

Most mornings we called for early room service to deliver coffee and breakfast, however, we could also get coffee and an assortment of breakfast items in the lobby area as well as the poolside restaurant.

Our extended family joined us on vacation for the week and we spent the first morning relaxing by the pool and soaking up the sun! Service by the pool was exceptional. All the littles loved their fruit smoothies as the adults sipped on poolside mimosas and other refreshments.

The resort was full of lunch and dinner options that were all accommodating for a large group. We were able to make reservations on the first day of our stay to ensure we could experience each restaurant. Our favorites were Bana and Capella, however, every restaurant had wonderful options for both adults and kids. The servers were very attentive and friendly making each dinner a pleasant dining experience.

We ventured to the beach a few times during our stay, however, August is not a big fan of sand yet, so we found ourselves spending lots of time at the pool! August even napped out in a shaded cabana two afternoons, which was so relaxing and enjoyable for all three of us.

The whole family found our favorite lunch items which we ordered multiple times including fish tacos and a guacamole platter. Yum! Fruit platters were also enjoyed daily by the littles.

Paradisus also has an on-site water park for little kids and older kids. This included slides, bubblers, water toys, and more! The food and beverage station provided cold treats for the kiddos and parents including ice cream cones, sundaes, fruit cups, popsicles, and more adding to such a fun afternoon!

The resort provided a complimentary Kids club daycare service to families giving parents an opportunity for some adult time. There are separate rooms for older kids and younger kids. The toddler room was full of toys, games, and a TV to play music or videos. The ladies watching over the kids were so good with our son.

August did not like to say bye to his mamas, but he was always having a great time when we picked him up! Tonya and I enjoyed a morning at the spa relaxing in the steam room, sauna, and pool before a wonderful massage treatment. We have rejuvenated afterward!

We also utilized the Kids Club at other times during the week so we could get a few workouts in. The resort’s exercise facility induced weights, cardio machines, and a wide variety of additional exercise equipment.

The three of us also spent time strolling around the vast resort paths taking in the sights, smells, vegetation, and the friendly wildlife that also call the resort home. We spotted lizards, birds, iguanas, and Coatis. August loves animals! There were daily activities at the resort to join in on such as water yoga, crafts, beach exercise classes, kids activities, and so much more. Whatever your personality and passions, there is something for you.

Paradius has a vibrant nightlife! Local vendors were set up most nights around dinner time with their beautiful handmade souvenirs. On other evenings there was live music or a DJ for entertainment. There was even a “silent party” one evening where everyone listened to the music through headphones! So much fun!

Tonya and I had one date night out for dinner and drinks where we made reservations at Bana for sushi and cocktails. We sat up at the sushi bar where the chef asked us questions about what we liked and disliked. He then provided us with a beautiful assortment of sushi, nigiri, and sashimi personally crafted for our liking. It was amazing! Accompanied by delicious cocktails, it was a perfect night.

Our overall experience at Paradisus was an A+. There were so many activities to join in on and enjoy for each member of our clan. To be in an LGBTQIA family and feel welcomed, comfortable, and not judged is priceless. We have to praise the staff for their wonderful service and willingness to go above and beyond to make our experience at Paradisus second to none. We suggest Paradisus to any family looking to travel to the Playa del Carmen area!

This was the first time my extended family planned a trip together with all our families, so we wanted to commemorate all the fun memories made throughout the week with a photo shoot on the beach together. I went online and found Jorge through a Google search. It can be hard to choose a photographer, but we lucked out with Jorge.

We had the best experience during our photo shoot. He was so kind and lovely to work with. Jorge took a great variety of shots, gave wonderful direction, and was so patient with the kids. Our photos turned out so beautiful! We could not be more pleased. We would suggest Jorge to anyone traveling to the area and looking to capture family photos. Thank you, Jorge!

Location: Paradisus by Meliá Playa del Carmen.