Val proposed to Lawrencia on Valentine’s Day 2013. They were not considered officially engaged until July of 2015, when their families came together to pay and accept the dowries, and their ceremony traditions were performed. Val and Lawrencia met in April 2009 shortly after Val came to the U.S. Val’s sister had just given birth to her first child, and Lawrencia went with a friend to visit her. Val recalls exactly what Lawrencia wore that day and was immediately attracted to her, although he made no attempt to ask her out. Within moments of being introduced to each other, they had an in-depth conversation about their passions, goals, values and future endeavors, and they quickly discovered they had a lot in common.
Val had a background in human rights law and was an active participant in programs that advocated for the rights of women and children in Cameroon. While Lawrencia aspired to make an impact in the lives of women and children back in Africa, she had not yet embarked on that journey. He encouraged her to pursue those dreams and gave her contacts and resources that would help her achieve those goals. Although there was nothing romantic during that initial encounter, they reconnected in 2012 and drew closer together as they discovered more about each other
"I’ve met other kind, compassionate, generous, intelligent, and loving people, but no one compares to Val. We truly believe that we bring out the best in each other."
Photos by Imani Fine Art Photography