My New Beloved One,
This I share with you from my very heart.
I am a 55-year-old mom who was blessed to have received a 13-year-old daughter, through foster care, five years ago. Santina came to us as a very sad young girl. Life had not been kind to her. She had parents that were addicts and had been in the system for a few years. The foster home she came from had promised to adopt her, but let her down after having been there over two years. You can imagine how disillusioned and bitter she had become. But I believed in her, her strength, her spirit, her very being. I did not “know” her any more than I “know you.” That doesn’t matter. I knew her with my soul, as I know you with my soul.
Santina little by little, with lots of love, time, and support became able to accept me and my unconditional love. And within the safety of this love she was able to share with me that she was unsure about her sexual identity, unsure about her sexual orientation. She felt a powerful attraction and connection to girls and was worried that this meant she was different and that scared her.
This is where you come in my dear one! I will tell you, with the same heartfelt love I have for her; yes, you are different. You are allowed to be different from everyone else, we all are! You have a journey that is uniquely your own. You are a divine soul and you are free to love whoever you are lucky enough, or blessed to love. And my wish to you is just that you are loved back. I told her, and I tell you, you have been hurt, and there will always be others that choose not to understand or accept you, but you are worthy! Worthy of love, respect, and hope for a beautiful future.
During these holidays, I want you to know that you are the “gift.” You are the star on the tree, the glow of the candles, the light of the universe. Please stay true to who you are, do not change to fit in, be liked, to be accepted. You are perfect in the very person, the very being that you are! No, I do not “know” you, but I didn’t “know” my Santina either. But I knew she was worth loving, and I know, without a doubt, you are, too.
So I send you this love, this acceptance to say this: No matter where you are right now in your life, no matter what you may be going through, there is a mom in Connecticut who will love you and send blessings to you today, and from this day forward. I will send a powerful healing energy to you and will keep you in my heart for the rest of my days.
Love and blessings, forever, your mom in Connecticut,
Dear Holiday Child,
As a mother of an LGBTQ child, I want to extend my love to you this holiday season. I want to be your Holiday Mom . . . if you would like that too. I know the holidays can be difficult for some stereotypical families and even more so for many nontraditional families. But let me tell you, if you’re in my family, then you are one of us! As your Holiday Mom, my heart welcomes you and accepts you and CELEBRATES you for who you are. You are not made of the words that hurt you. Should a time come when you think that you’re out of hope, I’m here, and I’ve got plenty of hope to share with you.
I celebrate the bravery you have shown by not letting the world dictate who you are. I celebrate the strength you’ve shown in not caving to the pressure to be who someone else wants you to be. You are beautiful just like you are. You are beautiful on the outside and beautiful on the inside. Your heart is beautiful and your soul shines with promise.
If I could give you a stocking, I would fill it with an iron lock to protect your soul and self-esteem from those who choose to hate what they don’t understand, any anyone who is unwilling to accept you. I would fill it with a golden key so that those who love, respect, and accept you can find their way into your most secret heart places. I would fill it with balloons to lift you up during hard times and to commemorate the good times; Kleenex for the happy tears and for the sad tears. I’d fill it with Hershey’s Kisses and hugs so you’ll have plenty of both whenever you need or want them.
I can imagine what you might be thinking and feeling – suspicious, hesitant, untrusting, and waiting for me to put conditions on my love for you. It’s okay. I’ll be patient. I know you’ve been hurt by others before. But let me reassure you that my love for you is indeed unconditional. You are my Holiday Child and if you will let me, I’ll imagine wrapping my arms around you as I wish you a special holiday season. I will love you like my own. The strength that you have to live outside the box – outside of what some people think you should be – the strength you have to be you is a beautiful strength. When you’re true to yourself, you’re more capable of being true to those around you – and that’s the kind of relationship I want with you – a relationship where you feel safe being you, knowing that I love you and care deeply about you.
Wishing you a safe, peaceful, and happy holiday season.
I love you,
Dear Adopted Holiday Child,
The holidays can be daunting. And if you’re out in the world struggling with your sexual identity without support from family, the holidays can be disheartening as well. But guess what, you have a whole troop of mother’s out here wishing you a blessed holiday season and a fantastic new year.
The main reason I agreed to be a part of this awesome endeavor is because my son came out to me when he was sixteen. I was supportive on the outside. I volunteered during gay pride week in our community. I donated to the LGBT in our community. I provided a safe place for my son and his friends to share what they were going through and offered as much advice as I could, mainly in the area of safety. But on the inside, it took me a minute to embrace the fabulousness of this lifestyle…Love!
You see, my father was gay and in the south in the 1960’s it was even harder to be true to yourself. Instead, he got married and had four kids. He lived a lie, while living that lie he was unhappy, was not very nice to his wife and kids and eventually left and we never saw him again. That was 30 years ago. 2012 is a lot different than the 1960s.
During this holiday season I want you to know that you are in a way better place. Everyone may not understand what you’re going through. Your parents may not have fully embraced your unique fabulousness yet, but you have a support group and most importantly you have lots of adoptive mothers routing for your success, love and bliss.
Wow, it’s hard to believe that four years ago my son who just turned 20 told me, with fear in his eyes, that he is gay. He said, “Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m gay.” I smiled, gave him a hug, kissed him on his soft beautiful cheek and replied with excitement, “Who do you want for me to meet? Is he cute?”
As my holiday child, imagine it is me, your adopted holiday Mom; you proclaim your true awesome self to, and feel the excitement from my response to your proclamation. “Wow! Who is the lucky person that is blessed with the love of my holiday child?”
Don’t allow this time of year to bring you sadness because of your family’s inability to accept your sexual orientation. Don’t be sad because you might be spending this time of year without your true love as you gather with family and friends. Forgive them. Forgive yourself for being mad, or upset about the situation. They only know what they have been taught and may need a little time to accept the true you. It took me a little time. But you know what? It took my son a little time too. We are all in this journey together. Some of us have shorter legs.
This is the time of year for forgiveness, and what is the purpose of life if not to love and the holidays to forgive.
I will think of you each day during this holiday season, and wish for you love, happiness, and the knowledge that someone sincerely cares about you and how you feel. There is no one in the world exactly like you, you are fabulous just the way you are, and you are loved.
Most importantly, you are not alone.
All my love,
To My Beautiful Adopted Holiday Child,
Even though we didn’t have a lot of gifts, my mom always loved Christmas – cookies, decorations, lights outside, big turkey dinner – the works. She was little and round, and looked like an elf scurrying around getting everything done. Of course, she was always a procrastinator, so that necessitated a LOT of scurrying.
I think that’s why I believe everyone deserves a little magic over the holidays. Often, my favorite uncle came to visit at Christmas. The not-so-magical part was that my mom never accepted her brother as gay. Everyone knew. We just didn’t talk about it. Once or twice, he brought along his partner. Mom liked him, but they had to stay in separate rooms. I can only imagine how hard all of that must have been for him.
Now I have a gay child of my own. He can be who he is with his dad’s family. They are a league of nations, and no one sees him as different because they recognize the uniqueness of each person. But my side still doesn’t talk about such things. My son accepts this, but it makes me sad. He’s a great guy! A beautiful human being.
Having this dichotomy in my own life, I can see how some people struggle with not being embraced for who they really are. What I want you to know is that I embrace you. As you go about life for the next few weeks, keep a picture in your mind. There’s a mom who has you in her heart, as she prepares for and goes through the holidays.
Do you like chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter? What would you dunk them in? Coffee? Tea? Milk? Are you content to just try one or two, or do you need to eat six or seven like your adopted mom? Can you see me at the door, with my arms open, waiting to hug you? There might be snow, and we keep our house pretty chilly in the winter, so better wear a sweater. What color will it be? I imagine you in a blue one, because that’s my favorite color. Is it cold where you are? We always hope for snow for the holidays – but not too much. Can you smell dinner cooking? My mom always made turkey for Christmas dinner. For some reason, I make brisket. Funny, too, because I don’t really eat meat. I would be glad to know if you have any special food requests. Sit down, have something to drink. You are among folks who care. In my eyes, you are completely whole, just as you are.
I don’t know what your journey is like. I imagine there are good days and not-so-good days. You are so very brave. I wish I could be more like that. Wherever your path leads you this holiday season, remember that I am with you. As you are shopping, I will be the voice offering suggestions. As you get ready for and are mingling at parties, remember I see how beautiful you are – inside and out. Imagine that I am the person handing you bits of tape as you wrap gifts. If you are driving long distances, I will be your co-pilot. I’m a pretty good navigator, even without a GPS.
The holidays can be tough for everyone. So many expectations. But as your adopted holiday mom, even though we don’t meet in person, remember that I am behind you all the way. Even if you can’t see me, imagine me, and remember to feel my love.
With Warm Holiday Hugs,
To My Dear Adopted Holiday Child,
For many people, this is a tough time of year. The parties, gift exchanges, ever-present holiday music, and get-togethers with family and friends can all seem festive, but inside it is really easy to feel alone. Please know that I, as your Adopted Holiday Mom, recognize that as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning community, this time of year can be especially trying for you . . . for many, many reasons. What I want you to see is that you are not really alone in your aloneness because you have me and all of the other moms who are posting on this blog. You see, in addition to having a transgender daughter and a bisexual daughter, I have many friends in your community. I have also met many wonderful people along the way, such as Christie, who I met four years ago when I was in Trinidad with my daughter for one of her surgeries. Christie, a trans-woman, came out to her family when she was just 18 and was immediately told to leave her home. For six years, she had been living in homeless shelters and on friends’ sofas, and for six years, she had finally been able to be her true self. Whether or not her parents accepted her, she was Christie. She dressed like Christie, talked like Christie, loved like Christie, and laughed like her too. I have kept a special place in my heart for Christie ever since. She will always be with me, and so will you.
For some of you, this time of year might bring sadness because of your family’s inability to accept your sexual orientation, so you have to be without your true love as you gather with the people who supposedly love you more than anyone else. Or, your employer may not allow you to bring, or you may not feel comfortable bringing, your partner to your holiday party at work, so you have to go alone. You and I know this is incredibly demeaning and invalidates how you feel. If the straight employees can bring their partners, why, oh why, can’t you bring the person you love? This season, when you are driving alone to whatever gathering you attend, just imagine that you are coming to my house, instead of where you are actually going. I can’t wait to see you, and when you arrive, I will anxiously greet you at my door with a big hug and tell you how happy I am to see you! Looking in my eyes, you can see how proud I am of you for the strength you show each and every day. I know it is so incredibly hard living in a world that treats you like your love doesn’t count, that you don’t feel the same way everyone else feels. But, you and I know this isn’t true. We know you love your partner and want more than anything else to be able to share that love openly. Think of me as you reach for that holiday cookie or glass of punch. We are there together.
If you are trans, you may be feeling down because you can’t come out, and you are getting so weary of always hiding the real you. You may have to get all dressed up in a fancy dress that couldn’t be farther from who you truly are, and you’re tired of hoping for the day that you wake up in the body you know really belongs to you, not the one you have. Pretending to like the football jersey you find under the holiday tree, when all you really want is a handbag filled with make-up and brushes, gets pretty old. Please remember that there are lots and lots of people out here who understand and appreciate your feelings. They accept you for who you really are! I accept you for who you really are! Your gender identity is real, and you were born with a body that does not match the rest of you. And, you know, I honestly can see the real, beautiful you that is inside. And I want you to take just a moment today to stand in front of your mirror, look yourself in the eye, and see how special you are. Feel my hug as I tell you how proud I am of you for being so brave and never giving up.
As my Adopted Holiday Child, I will think of you each day during this holiday season, and wish for you love, happiness, and the knowledge that someone sincerely cares about you and how you feel. There is no one in the world exactly like you, you are enough just the way you are, and you are loved. Most importantly, you are not alone.
All my love,
Mom Annette Marie
Hi There My Adopted Holiday Child!
I am so glad to be spending this moment with you.
This holiday, I wanted to do something that would make my son proud of the mom he knew. You see in 1999, I lost Josh, my only child, just two months shy of his 22nd birthday. I was a single mom and he had always kept me on my toes. I think the one moment that really made me proud of him and reflected back to me the merit of my unconventional child-rearing techniques (which pretty much consisted of, “How the hell do I raise a child?”) was when he came to me in middle school to tell me he couldn’t be like everyone else. He could only swim upstream. He had tried fitting in, but being true to himself was so much easier than being like everyone else. It didn’t mean sometimes he didn’t feel left out of the dance, but it meant he knew he would be able look himself in the eye and smile . . . eventually.
So when I saw the chance to be YOUR Holiday Mom this year, I thought, "WHY, OF COURSE!" My heart is full of big, wide-open spaces for a whole host of holiday kids, just like the Montana I live in.
I know how the holidays can be difficult, especially for those who are without family, no matter what the reason. How oftentimes the “humbug" we feel isn’t what we want to feel, but just is what we feel. It is a particularly difficult time when we find we aren’t able to really express who we are - I know that happens a lot in the LGBTQ community.
That glittery holiday dress you delight in isn’t something you are permitted to wear because you don’t fit society’s accepted mold. The frustrations of having to attend gatherings for work without your partners, or having to sneak around to openly express who you are. Listening to everyone talk about the plans with their family knowing that your family no longer welcomes you, or feeling like a house full of your own children someday is only a dream.
This year, I want you to know that there is someone you can be yourself with. So imagine joining me for the Holidays. Let’s sing those annoying carols. You know, the ones that make you laugh and especially the ones that warm you so deep down, you can’t help but feel you are part of something wonderful. Come tell me about the crazy people out there shopping that get under your skin, the mistletoe at the party you so wanted to stand under, and the cookie exchange at work you felt uncomfortable joining. Really tell me about what this holiday season has evolved into for you. Share with me those wistful memories of family Christmas (if you have them, or even the bad ones, if that’s your reality), and let me listen as you work your way through those times to where we are right now in 2012. Imagine me seeing who you have become and hearing how your own traditions are reflective of the road you travel and of the people who understand what makes you tick.
I have a hug and a warm cup of cider, spiked or unspiked (if you are of age!), waiting for you. Imagine us sharing Christmas, and together we can build some new memories!
Love & Hugs,
Your Adopted Mom, Teri
Dear Adopted Holiday Child:
Hi. I’m the honorary Holiday Dad. Moms get nicer cards on Mother’s Day, but dads have hearts, too. Or at least some of them do. Maybe your fathers weren’t as accepting of your lifestyle as you’d hoped. Maybe you’re feeling alienated…isolated…alone. Let’s talk, OK?
I want to introduce you to somebody very special in my life: my son. He came out to us six years ago, at age 14. After he made his announcement, he said he noticed a sad look in my eyes. I assured him it had nothing at all to do with him and everything to do with the way I knew the world to work. But I don’t call my son the apple – nay, the orchard – of my eye for nothing. He has navigated his path with grace and assurance. He’s a strong, caring young man who attracts friends easily with his big smile and warm, outgoing personality. He’s benefitted from having supportive parents, of course, but he’s made his own way in the world.
I don’t know exactly what you’re going through in your own life. I grew up in a time when religious prejudice was far more pronounced than it is today, so I know something about being an outcast. You have your own story and all I can say is if I were there I would want to listen to that story. Not to preach or judge but listen. With my heart as well as my ears.
I admire you so much. Your big, generous soul moves me. Your search for love and acceptance inspires me. As your Adopted Holiday Dad, I can’t truthfully tell you that things are always going to go all right, but I can assure you that you will not be alone. You are loved and appreciated by more people than you can possibly know, people whose names you may never learn. I’m proud to be one of those people. I’m proud that you’ve selected me as a Holiday Dad.
I don’t know which holidays you choose to celebrate, so I wish you a hearty Happy Everything. My son told me to tell you that he sends his love, too. May the coming year bring you peace. May it gladden your heart and expand your circle of loved ones. May darkness stay far from your door and may the holiday spirit find an enduring place in your life. Bless you, Holiday Child. You’re my hero.
Your Loving Holiday Dad
I am so honored to have an opportunity to be your Holiday Mom.
When my son called me from college to tell me that he was coming out, I felt like the luckiest mom in the world. I always knew that he was special, but I had no idea how courageous he was. I didn’t understand what he had been through during his childhood years, and I felt like a horrible mother for making him feel like he might need to hide his true nature. Within minutes however, we were both laughing at the irony of his situation – he was literally calling me from the closet of his dorm room! I laughed until I cried. We both realized that we just needed to let the past go and make sure that we move forward with love every day. Our journey since then has been one of love and support. I want to share that love and support with you too. Let’s all let the past go and move forward with love.
Whatever your religion, origin, political affiliation, orientation, or body, I believe we are all the same inside. You are a unique expression of YOU and the world is lucky to have you! Your journey may have been difficult so far, but I am here to celebrate you for who you really are – a wondrous ray of light expressing your own uniqueness and love. Have you felt loved by the world? Whether you answered yes or no, I am here today to tell you that you are a wonderful, fabulous creation and I can’t wait to see what you do in this world! And I love you whether you love yourself or not, never expecting you to be perfect.
Just in case you don’t have a family to celebrate with this year, I would like to pass on the same advice I hope my own children receive and consider. It just doesn’t seem like a family gathering unless someone is there to give you advice!
▪ Honor your body and take care of it. If you aren’t healthy, the world can’t receive your benefit!
▪ Find the positive in all situations and declare it loudly.
▪ Spread your joy and love wherever you can whether people want to hear it or not. They will eventually listen.
▪ Learn to love yourself in the way you need to be loved – in this way you don’t have to depend on others’ opinions and judgment. You can love others who need it.
▪ Turn your journey into a message to help others – find your purpose.
We don’t celebrate holidays in a religious way, however we do have family feasting and holiday cookies. Please make some of your favorite holiday foods and enjoy this time. I will be thinking about you every day and hoping that your holiday season is warm and full of love. Enjoy any holiday rituals you choose, and spread your uniqueness to everyone you see. I will be there watching in spirit!
Beth, Your Holiday Mom
Dear Holiday Child,
My name is Mamabear. The holiday season is here and I want to invite you into my heart. I am offering to be your Holiday Mama. Why? I want you to feel loved my sweet, precious one. How do I know you are sweet and precious? Because you are here with me, wanting the connection. I can feel it.
I want to share with you a holiday tradition in my house. I pass around a bag filled with wrapped up snowflakes. Everyone takes one. You don’t pick the snowflake, the snowflake picks you! A snowflake is a beautiful, unique creation in nature, just like each of us. We unwrap our snowflakes and each of us tells how we are like our snowflake. Sometimes, we tell each other how their snowflake is like them. That is what I am going to do for you. See the photo that goes with this message? That’s your snowflake. I unwrapped this snowflake just for you.
The first quality that I see in this snowflake is that you are solid, but soft with gentle edges. A snowflake is vulnerable and unique like you. Look at your snowflake, there is beaming lightness coming out from your center, your heart. You appear dark sometimes, yet that only enhances the light beaming out from your heart. I also see you reaching out, to connect.
We are all like snowflakes in that we are headed the same direction, all a part of something greater. We are all vulnerable to melting when the heat of life gets to us, and yet like snowflakes, we are never alone.
I want you my precious one to know that you are not alone. You are in my thoughts and in my heart. I think of you every time I see your snowflake hanging in my house. Know that you are loved my sweet little one.
There is no one, and never, ever will be anyone just like you. I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty amazing. I want you to embrace your uniqueness and celebrate it this holiday season in every way you can. I love you and celebrate you!
Mom To My Precious Holiday Child,
You may be reading this in your room, or at a coffee shop, or at a friend’s house, or at school. Wherever you are, it is likely that you are seeing signs of holiday celebrations . . . shopping, decorations, and such. I’m seeing them too, and it’s reminding me of you. Why? Because when I think of you, I think of the greatest gift I’ve ever been given . . . a tiny little person put into my arms, perfect in every way. My own LGBTQ child. Like my own child, you are a gift.
When my son came to me at age 15 and said, “Mom, I’m gay,” I cried . . . not because he was gay, but because I know the world can be cruel, and one day I would have to let him go to face it without me. To me, you are just like him . . . precious, irreplaceable and bravely facing an uncertain world. Just like my own child, during this holiday season and always, you have a welcomed place in my home and in my heart.
We are atheists, so our family is very laid back on the more religious holidays. We do observe a few traditions, but mostly we exchange gifts and spend time together. It's the love that matters most to us. So no matter what you believe, or don't believe, your love will be what makes you fit right in with us. I hope you can imagine sharing a big turkey dinner with us, or just hanging out or going to the movies. Please know that this year, I'll be thinking of you.
I know that because you are part of the LGBTQ community, your life may not have seemed like a celebration so far. The world is not always kind or accepting, and you may wonder why things have to be so difficult. When I think of these times, I want to wrap my arms around you and tell you that you are so loved and so wanted . . . because you are. You may be wishing that you could come out, but are feeling afraid of how your friends and family will react. You may be always hiding the real you from the world, or you may be out, but your family doesn’t accept who you are.
I accept you as the wonderful gift that you are now and have been, since the moment you were born. You were born a gift and that hasn’t changed, even if others don’t always see it. Please realize that I’m not the only one who knows you are precious. There are people all around you . . . people you haven’t met yet, future friends, lovers, neighbors who accept you and will love you for who you are. They are out there. You are not alone.
Wishing you love, peace, and happiness always,