Happy Holidays: Mom Deborah

Listen To The Audio Recording Of This Message

Dear Adopted Holiday Child,

It’s hard to be home for the holidays. You cannot always be who you are. You may not be able to express your affections openly let alone bring your partner. Perhaps you are not welcome home at all. Well, I embrace you. I accept your truth. You have a home in my heart. This holiday season, let’s celebrate together!

You are so brave. You’ve challenged duality to embody infinite possibilities. As a mother of an intersex child, I know it’s not black or white, nor he or she…it’s a rainbow of beingness. 

When I gave birth to a baby with ambiguous genitalia in 1984, we were given only two choices—to raise our child as either a girl or a boy. The doctors said it would be easier to “make a hole than a pole”. I said, no. So we named our baby an ambiguous name. And our child grew up exploring the range of masculine and feminine, surrounded by loving families of all persuasions, sexual orientations and identities. In deference to my intersex child, I shall use the agendered pronoun “they”…

As a family we knew our decision was best for us so we left behind the narrow mindedness of our religious cultures and embraced a broad inclusive spirituality.  Holidays at our home spanned from pagan winter solstice celebrations, to baking Hanukah and Christmas cookies, to a feast on twelfth night.

One Christmas, I gifted our children with a costume box. For years, our child and their sister dressed up and played many roles without limitations. Although our family tried to be as open as possible, as a mother, I intuitively knew that once our child became a sexual being that they would question their identity. So when the time was ripe, I gifted them with the book “Middle Sex”. And they realized they were not alone…yet who were they?

Thankfully, they found support within the transgender queer community…yet seeds of doubt were planted by the well intentioned group. And our child began to question our earliest decisions.

So I gathered their grandmothers to hold council with them. Their grandmothers remembered well the events of their birth, the stress of not knowing if they were a boy or a girl, and the relief that they were alive and well, although very premature. They expressed their love and devotion to their now grown grandchild. Their 90 year old great grandmother said it best…. “We don’t care who you love, dear, only that they love you back.”

And soon our child enjoyed a true loving sexual relationship. Shortly thereafter, they established an intersex support group in their city. And now can be who they believe themselves to be openly.

I wish the same for you. If you cannot be where you are most comfortable, where you feel most loved, with the people who know you and love you for who you are…

Then imagine being home for the holidays with us. We’ll bake cookies together, decorate the hearth, build a holiday altar to set our New Year’s intentions. We’ll sing and we’ll dance. We’ll play games and wrap presents. We’ll open our hearts to the joy of the holiday season.

I accept what you are. I embrace who you are. I do not care who you love, dear, as long as they love you back. You are the future, my dear one. You embody infinite potential and have the courage to Be your Truth. I hold you in my loving arms, kiss your precious face, and bless you with a joyous holiday and an abundantly loving New Year. When I light the candles on our family altar this holiday, I shall light one for you. You are the light and the love that this world needs. Bless you, precious one.

Love and Light,

Your Holiday Mom Deborah



  1. Jackie says:


    I’m so touched by your story, especially how you brought together the grandmothers in a circle of loving wisdom and support. Feels as though we 40 moms are showering all who land in this space with that same depth of unconditional love.

    I’ve never connected with people who experience what many share here. It’s hard to imagine such cruelty and prejudice running free in our world. What I HAVE experienced is an equal or greater measure of open hearts filled with unconditional support, wholly embracing those they love. And what I personally know to be true is that depth of grace breeds more of the same.

    So to those who’ve suffered due to being different, there’s an immense ring of admiration for your unique presence. And many of us are here and even beyond, holding a place for you in our hearts. Xoxo

  2. Jess says:

    This is a really beautiful post. It made me so happy I cried. Your words made me feel more loved, so thank you. Sadly, unlike your child, I won’t be where I’d like to be this Christmas, but I’ll be happy thinking that someone out there has a place for me and people like me. Thank you very much.

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