Your Holiday Mom: Suzy

suzy holiday mom picTo my holiday child,

     There is always room in my home and heart for you. I don’t have much, but my parents (and by extension, your holiday grandparents) taught me that when you have it, you share it. There is a warm place here, even if it is an air mattress on my living room floor. Apartment living at its finest! And I hope you like dogs, as I have a chiweeni puppy. His name is Sam, and he will be so excited to see you! Unfortunately, we don’t have the classic white Christmas here in Arkansas, but I will pass on my Hungarian family traditions with you. We will make kolatch, a Hungarian sweet bread filled with a cinnamon raisin and walnut filling. And the rule in our house is when you cross the threshold, you’re family. I know holidays can be hard. I have been blessed with a very supportive family, and I know that is not always the case. But I know how important it is to support others in our LGBTQ family, and if I can brighten your day, my job is done.

Christmastime has always been my favorite time of year. I love decorating the tree, which is always a big deal in my house. You would get your own ornament for the tree, as all the kids in my family have one that is lovingly put in the perfect spot. The Nutcracker Ballet would be playing in the background, as that is one of my favorite traditions. And, since the ballet is coming to town, we would go see it if you like. Then we would eat the kolatch with a bit of cream cheese and drink mulled cider or wine. Wrapping presents is also one of my favorite things, but watch out, there will inevitably be a wrapping paper tube fencing match. Another tradition that has happened in my house for quite some time is that my grandmother and I usually watch Gone with the Wind on Christmas day. It is our favorite movie to watch together, and my Nana will tell you all about the time she saw it in theatres when she was a girl and wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara when she grew up. She would call you ‘dolly’ and ask if you have a ‘truly fair’ (which is my all time favorite term for significant other.) Also, as she is a Hungarian Nana, she would tell you to eat more and bundle up. I know that is important.

 We show love in many different ways. ‘Buckle up’, ‘call me when you get home’, ‘bundle up, it’s cold outside’ are all little ways to show you care. And as people, we need that.  The holidays are supposed to be a time of love and family, and now you have that in me and mine. I have no children (yet), but I love ‘adopting’ new friends and family. If you ever need to talk, I am here for you. I came out  two years ago, at age 24, and was accepted with open arms by my family, and now I am paying it forward and accepting you with open arms. Know this, my friend: That you will always have a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, and someone who will snot-laugh with you at the funniest things. You have a home here, and a loving family that will accept you no matter what.

There is a gift under my tree for you, my dearest friend, and warm blanket and a warm puppy to keep you company.  We are all connected, we are all family, and I am glad that you are a part of mine.

All my love,

Your Holiday Mom Suzy

Your Holiday Mom: Karen

karen d dog picDear Holiday Child,

I am so happy to welcome you to my home for the holidays! My husband and I do not have children of our own, so we are honoured that you would be with us at this special time of year, thank you for giving us this gift. There are no secrets here, no shame, no hiding who we truly are at the core. You can be every bit of your beautiful self. You can talk about yourself, your hopes and dreams, your fears, your difficulties, your triumphs, your questions. We want to hear it all, as much as you care to share. Do you have a friend or a partner that you cannot share with your family? Please feel free to bring someone who is special to you, you both will be our honoured guests.

We have our Christmas tree set up in the living room (a real tree, of course!) and all of the ornaments are hung. We do have two large dogs though, so the bottom three feet of the tree have only unbreakable ornaments, as those tails have sent more than one ball flying across the room! Do you like dogs? Our dogs Zoey and Koda will love you, every single ounce of you. Isn’t that the magic of animals…they have no judgement, they just love and want to be loved.

My sisters and their families will be joining us for dinner, so I might need your help in the kitchen, if that’s ok? We will cook a giant turkey, so that we have leftovers for days. I have a special recipe for sausage stuffing, which is always a hit and makes the house smell divine, and also a pineapple casserole which is so tasty that my husband says it is more like dessert. I’ll get you to help me set the table, and we can use the good dishes (even though we’ll have to wash them by hand later). You can set the table however you want, just make sure there is room for two families of four, and our little family of three, plus your friend. It will be tough to fit twelve people around the table, but we can do it!

The holidays can be a tough time of year for lots of folks. I like to think of it as a time of reflection and renewal. I look back on the year that is nearly over and think about the hills and valleys I encountered, as well as looking forward to the new year and the fresh start that it brings. As a gender or romantic minority, you have probably encountered many valleys this year. I can only imagine how difficult it is to not be able to share your truth with your family, and to not be accepted for this truth. Please know that I accept and honour your truth, and I would be so very proud to be your mom. I encourage you not to alienate your family, but to also look to others to be additional family members. Your greatest allies may be in the form of friends, partners, mentors…let them fill your soul with the love and understanding that you may not find at home. Expand your definition of family so that you too will have a family that you can count on, that will nourish you in times of defeat, that will celebrate you in times of glory.

I will be thinking of you this holiday season, dear child. I will be wrapping my arms around you and giving you a safe space. I will be talking to you and listening to you, and also giving you moments of sweet silence, where you can just be. I will think of you as the gift that you are and I will hope for you to see yourself as such.

With much love,

Mom Karen

Your Holiday Mom: Toby

toby YHM PIcTo my incredible holiday child:

I wanted to take some time to sit down and remind you just how amazing you truly are and how important you are to myself, and those around you, especially at this time of the year, when life can feel overwhelming and sometimes full of sadness.

First and foremost, you are incredible.  You have a hidden strength that you yourself may not even be aware of. It is true.  And if you ever doubt it, I am always here to remind you of this.  The world has people who simply don’t understand the simple beauty of acceptance and humanity, but there are so many more that get it, and accept you for all of you.

I am a firm believer that we are all capable of loving others.  Gender does not matter. You fall in love with the person – all of them. Their heart, their soul, their compassion, their humour and kindness.  The key to love is to love someone who equally loves you back.  The person who steals (or has already stolen!) your heart knows how incredibly lucky they are to have you. Others around you may find your choices difficult and you make you feel like you have done something wrong because you don’t fit into “Their” definition of what is right and what is wrong.  Sometimes we can stand up to them and fight for what we believe and know that things will be okay, but often the fight is so insurmountable that the idea of being alone and bullied is just not worth it.

My little brother came out to us when he was 11 years old. I have never been more proud of anyone in my life. To know yourself and to feel comfortable sharing that with your entire family is a momentous thing and I know he was pretty scared to tell my folks.  But we are extremely lucky. Your adopted grandparents not only embraced his openness but supported him and made sure he knew that it didn’t change a single thing, especially how they felt about him.

He was not so openly accepted in high school and was beat up horribly by bullies in his high school.  He spent the next ten years feeling very scared and sad outside of our family and even went so far as to start dating (and later marrying) a girl he was friends with in school. They had two beautiful kids but he was never truly happy. As an outsider looking in all you want for the people you love is to not only find love and happiness but to always be true to themselves. It took some time but he has now found a man that he loves and who loves him. Of course there are ups and downs – that goes with every relationship on the planet – but he is himself and I want nothing less than that for him and for you too.

What seems like an unbeatable burden or difficulty right now, will pass. I promise. Your future is yours to write. You get to decide exactly where you want to go, what you want to do and most importantly who you want to be. You don’t have to stand up and try to push anything right now. What you do have to do though and remember just one thing: each day, each minute you are growing into this amazing and precious soul who will do magical things with their life. You have made me proud every single day and nothing will ever change that.

If ever you feel lost or scared or just unsure of the world, please know that I am always here for you and will always love you and believe in you.

With love, pride and the warmest of hugs,

Your adopted mom, Tobes

Your Holiday Mom: Emily

emily picDear Adopted Holiday Child,

It is so good to see you! I’ve missed you so much. I often have imaginary conversations with you. Today I saw a bald eagle sitting in a high branch on a cottonwood and I wished you were there to share it with me. It was a beautiful day—chilly and windy, a late fall day. One of those days where the sky is so blue it seems it might shatter and the eagle’s head was brilliant white against the sky. You would have loved it.

I know that you’ve been trying lots of different things and really searching to find what is right for you. I want to hear about your experiences. What have you been up to? How has it been? It’s not easy to step away from the group and into our own self. But it is worth it. I want you to know that. It is worth it, and in time we find our people, the ones who love and support us for who we are. That will happen for you, I know. I just don’t know when.

When I saw the eagle today and I thought of you, I got the feeling that you might be going through a rough time. I remembered some rough times in my life. Times when I hit a wall so hard that I couldn’t get up for days. I mean that; I would stay on my couch or in bed for days. Months, even, a few times. I would hate not only the wall, but also myself–I would beat myself up, endlessly, for not getting off the couch.

We have high expectations for ourselves, as we should. But when we hit walls, we have to give ourselves grace and generosity and kindness. None of us came out of the womb knowing how to deal with walls this hard. So far I’ve always managed to get up and get going again. I found ways around the walls, but it takes a lot of time and energy. All of that is the long way to say that I know that you will keep going and moving when the time is right. In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Take a slow walk. Enjoy your surroundings. Look for bald eagles and think of me.

I’m rambling on. You and your partner are welcome in our house for the holiday. We’ve been trying to keep a Norfolk Pine alive all year, but really it looks like that Charlie Brown Christmas tree and the dogs aren’t helping—they’ve knocked it over three times in the last week, as they were running to the window to bark at a rabbit! If you can accept my house with barking dogs and the unfortunate Christmas tree, I’m happy to have you and anyone you bring. We can sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate—real hot chocolate, made in a saucepan!—and watch the snow. And I hope that in our togetherness, we all feel some healing shifts in our souls.

As a parent, I want you to have a fulfilling life, whatever that looks like for you. I don’t know your exact situation, but I know that we all have deep wounds. I support you in being you. Please accept my love, and here’s a big hug, and, oh! Let me brush that dog hair off you.

 

Take care.

Emily

Your Holiday Mom: Bev

bev webberTo My Adopted Holiday Child

It can be hard to know what to say to someone who doesn’t have support from their own loved ones over the holiday season. I want you to join us this year if only in spirit to our holiday season.

This year for the first time we are getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city to a cabin in the country about an hour away, not too far but far enough to smell the fresh air, and see the mountains we are so blessed to live near. Including you there will be twelve of us, with four children under five so I expect things will be noisy and hectic, hope you are up for it.

We have decided for gift exchange that the eight of us will each buy a game that we would enjoy playing, wrap it up and then on Christmas morning we each will a gift to open and then can spend the day playing these games. For the four younger ones, me as Grammy will put together a box for them to have to open. I want to include paint, play dough, crayons, and lot of actives for to keep them busy but no electronics.

If the weather cooperates we will spend as much time as possible outside, making snow angels, snow people, maybe a snowball fight, and of course tobogganing. Bring your warm clothes. There is also a fire pit outside we will make good use of.

Oh what was that you were thinking of: of course there is going to be food, I LOVE to cook and would love if you could help with chopping, sautéing, and maybe with the dishes too. For Christmas Eve we are thinking a fondue, and Christmas Day we will go the traditional route with turkey and all the trimmings. On Boxing Day we will do Raclette What is that you ask, you will just have to Google it.

I am so glad to have spent this time with you. Imagine my arms wrapped around you as we laugh and cry together. You will be in my heart this year, my very own special holiday gift. I am so very pleased to be sharing this time and space with you. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life; you will be a part of my life forever. I send you the warmest of hugs to wrap around you, to keep you warm. I send my love on the winds that blow across your face, the touch you feel on your check will be the kiss coming from me.

The touch on your shoulder is me telling you are not alone. I care.

You are in my heart this Christmas season and will continue to be in my heart, my thoughts for the rest of time.

Never stop living what’s in your heart.

With all my love,

Mom Bev

Your Holiday Mom: Jean

Jean picTo hear Jean read her letter to you, click here.

My Dear Adopted Holiday Child – Hello!

It is a great pleasure for me to be able to share some thoughts with you at this time of year. It is a gift that the universe has presented to me and I am delighted to take part. It is my hope that through these words you feel the true love and acceptance that I feel for you – Even though we have not met in person I want you to know that you matter to me; that in my eyes you are the “Perfect” you just as you are; and that there is no one else just like you; and that I celebrate you for simply being you.

As the Holiday Season begins we watch those around us congregate and share family and communal traditions with joy and laughter. I know it can be especially hard when your heart might be yearning for these times with your family and for often complicated reasons these moments do not happen for us. Some years we have to watch the Joy from the outside looking in and this can be especially painful. I feel your pain, I understand it, it is real… my greatest wish is that my words somehow lessen that burden for you.

I am a Momma and a Grandma to 3 young precious children. Every morning I awake and say a silent prayer and a wish for their happiness – and I now include you in this prayer. In order for you to be able to embrace this…I want to tell you what my definition of Happiness is for all children regardless of their age:

I want them to feel safe: safe to be feel their feelings, safe to express their emotions and their thoughts and safe to be their true selves.

I want them to look in the mirror and smile.

I want them to live in a world of inclusiveness and not experience judgement.

I want them to know to their core that they are loved unconditionally. I want them to feel satisfaction and pride.

I want them to know how to celebrate Joy and to find it in the places that are often surprising (like a letter from a stranger).

Basically, I hope with each new day that they are comfortable in their skin, comfortable in the world, and comfortable in the knowledge that those who try to chip away at their Joy are wrong.

So you see, my wish for them and for YOU exists every day of the year not just at Christmas time.

But at Christmas we are generally more sentimental, more reflective, more emotional… So although my wishes do not change, they are made more often throughout the day and are felt more intensely.

I will be thinking them when I place ornaments on the tree, when I listen to (and sing) my favourite Christmas Carols… I will be thinking of you, and holding you in my heart throughout this Holiday Season, with each special moment of tradition, and in the quiet reflective moments when I am alone with my thoughts.

I know that this Christmas may not be the Christmas that you wish it to be… I know you might not feel the love you deserve from the people you deserve it from – I know you might feel alone, confused, frustrated…you might be longing to be with people who are not near by for their own reasons.

But please also feel the Love and Understanding from me. Allow me to represent the unconditional acceptance and love that your family members might wish they could offer but they may be unable to at this moment:

Many young people who were not raised directly by me call me “Momma Jean” or Grandma … They do this because they feel the same warmth from me that I hope you now feel.

Families come in many different shapes and sizes: some of us have a “traditional” family, some of us design our own families with those that speak to our heart…

You are part of my family! You are someone that matters! You are someone that I include in my deepest Christmas wishes and now my daily intentions/prayers.

When you see a Christmas light twinkling, please feel my love. When I am looking at one I will be thinking of you and sending you a Hug. When you hear someone singing “Joy to the World” know that I am wishing Joy for you, it is my favourite Carol and always makes me smile, so I will be thinking of you too when I am singing it and smiling.

This Christmas I hope the Spirit of the Season envelops you with Joy, with Peace, and with Love.

I hope you have Faith: Faith in yourself, Faith in the Future, and Faith in the Goodness of others.

I hope you remain open to all the goodness that this Season will offer you (like a letter from a Stranger) – I hope you can embrace all the Love and Acceptance that is around you, even if it does not yet come from the places you wish it did.

My dear Adopted Holiday Child… I love you! I honor you and I embrace you. You are an important part of our Family and we will think of you often ….

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We also wish you a Happy New Year… We hope this New Year brings more inclusiveness, acceptance and Love and less judgment to us all!

Love your Holiday Momma, and my entire family

You Holiday Mom: Lisa

Lisa Pamplin picMy Dear Holiday Child

I am honoured to be your holiday mom this year. I am writing this letter at the end of a long day, with plans to begin the holiday set up of our home. I love the holidays! Spending time with family and friends, enjoying fellowship and traditions. My favourite family tradition is getting new Christmas pajama’s on Christmas Eve. I am ready to get my holiday baking started.   Can you smell the shortbread? I sure can. My girls love decorating the tree! Each year I get them a new ornament, something that says something about the past year. This year my youngest is getting an Olaf ornament (she is sixteen! But loves “Frozen”), I have not found the perfect ornament for my oldest yet, she is in University now and has experienced many amazing changes this year so I must find the perfect ornament to commemorate this! And this year, in particular, when I hang my girl’s ornaments, I will think of you here with us! I love unpacking the ornaments each year and reliving the memories that come with each one, and now you will be a part of those memories. Each year we volunteer at the “Breakfast with Santa” and help with the local Christmas Hampers. As my girls get older, and their lives expand outside of our family unit, these Christmas traditions and the time spent together mean even more. What are your favourite memories of the holidays?

I am the mother of two beautiful daughters, who are my life. They are what I am most proud of in my life. I believe we have raised them well. They are good kids, amazing friends, and active citizens.   My “baby” is in high school, very involved in sports, a hard worker and amazing person. She has had a rough time with bullies in school, but has come through with a fierce attitude and supportive network. My oldest is in University, forging her way in the world independently. She has the best work ethic you will ever find and an incredible spirit. It has been a pleasure to watch them grow, becoming the most amazing women, whom I hope will change the world. I hope they are a part of a world that forces change, in attitudes, laws and love.   A world where someone does not have to “come out” they simply are, a world where acceptance is not needed, it simply is.

Know that I am proud of you. Of your accomplishments and achievements, but more importantly, of who you have become in life. Not what you do, but who you are. Your caring nature, your sensitivities to those around you, your love and compassion. In the end, what matters in life is your story. That’s why you’re here. You’re here to write your own story. What will it be? I know that it will be amazing.

Family is sometimes about choosing people to be in your life because they matter and they care. Surround yourself with people who care, who love, and who lift you up. I cannot take away any pain that you have endured, but I can wrap you in hope that it will not be like this forever.

Shine brightly my love, for the world is a better place with you in it.

 

 

With love

Holiday Mama Lisa

Your Holiday Mom: Carin (+ Dad Reese)

carin and reese pic Your Holiday MomWell hello there!! Welcome back my dear holiday child, come in the house where it is warm. Lets get your coat hung up so the cats don’t get fur all over it.

It is so good to see you again! I want to hear everything that is going on in your life! What a year it has been, life has been very full with children growing and milestones being reached. Tasha got married and Catrina is graduating from high school. They are a little busy in their own homes this evening (though they send their love) but this gives us a chance to spend the evening with just you, Reese and I. I can’t wait to hear about how your year was and what wonderful milestones you have reached. Goodness I have been so excited to see you that I am getting ahead of myself.

Come in the kitchen, lets get you something to drink before we head into the living room and get caught up. Dinner will be a bit yet, lets go see Reese in the living room. I was hoping you would help me decorate the tree this year, with the girls being busy it is just Reese and I and we would appreciate the help. I am not sure if you remember but we get a new unique ornament for the tree every year, I was at a craft fair and I found a beautiful new ornament for you this year too!

Hey it looks like Reese got the lights on the tree! Thank you honey, now we can get the ornaments on. The boxes are in the basement, would you mind helping Reese get them?

(Reese)

I just have to get the pellet trap off of the Christmas box. Did Tasha tell you, on her birthday, instead of blowing out the candle on her cake, I got her to shoot the flame off with the pellet rifle? She did on the first try! She only hit the wick, not the candle. The student is surpassing the teacher. That’s how it should be, I guess.

Too bad we don’t have enough time for you to give it a try. Well, you’ll get lots of chances to play if the Nerf guns come out after dinner. There was another Nerf war on Thanksgiving again this year. Carin actually got video of it. Thanksgiving was on Grandpa Jim’s birthday this year so we sent him the video. He said it gave him a great laugh. I got a new Nerf gun for the battle this year. One battle, and two of the five darts are gone to be with the missing socks. Can’t find them anywhere.

One of these boxes is heavier than the other one. You want the heavier one? I appreciate the offer, but the old man’s not that old yet! Well, okay, you can take the heavier one if you really want to. Sometimes I forget just how strong you are.

(Carin)

Thank you for your help with the tree! Once you put your new ornament on the tree it will be perfect! I am so thankful that you came this evening, the tree is always more beautiful when we have family help us decorate. I am not sure if you have noticed, but we define family as people who love each other and are dedicated to supporting and loving each other no matter the situation. Last year we spoke of the family quilt and how each person is a wonderful and unique patch and the love we have for each other is the yarn that holds all the unique patches together. Every time we support each other the yarn gets stronger and with every new patch the quilt becomes more beautiful and keeps us warm when it is cold. You are an important patch in our family quilt.

Lets go get dinner on the table. We feel it is important to give thanks for everything that we have been blessed with, one these blessings, is you.

Before you go, lets get a picture of the three of us with the tree, I will text it to you and the girls so they can see what an excellent job we did!

Darling, I know it could be a year before we see each other, but know in your heart that you are loved and respected. Next year, if you are with someone special, bring them with you, we will welcome them with open arms.

Love you every day.

Mom Carin and Dad Reese

Your Holiday Mom: Catherine

holiday goldDear Holiday Child,

Oh precious child, come to my house and let me love you for the holidays! The Christmas lights will be lit on the front porch and there might even be some in the living room and kitchen if we were able to get them all untangled from last year! The Christmas Tree will be lit, the presents will be in a jumble under it, and the kitchen will be full of big people and little people and cats and food.

My three sweet kitties will welcome extra love! The girls will rub wrap their tails around your legs and follow you around til you pet them or give them treats. My big male cat, Jasper, will give you The Look and if you don’t speak cat language, I’ll tell you what he wants…he wants you to sit down so that he can sit on your lap and purr and fall sleep so happy and warm. If you’re not into cats, that’s ok, he’ll go look at somebody else. My five adult kids and their spouses and partners and my 10 grandchildren will be in and out. There will be sticky little hands and cookie crumbs and hats and mittens everywhere! What a big happy mess it is!  Babies are passed back-and-forth so their parents can eat. Toddlers will toddle about, leaving handprints on the floors and furniture. Everybody keeps an eye on the Littles and the house is regularly punctuated with shouts of “Baby in the bathroom!” and “Baby on the stairs!” Someone will come running, as everybody chips in to make sure all the kids are safe and loved. The bigger kids wrestle, watch horror movies and play with their phones. There will probably be a game of soccer in the backyard at some point when the afternoon gets warm enough. With over 20 people in the immediate family, that’s enough for a lively game of whatever-sport-the-kids-are-into. Often, it’s soccer since my kids are all adopted from Guatemala and soccer is Really Big there. As a parent of kids who spent their formative years growing up in another culture, I’ve always made it a point to love them exactly the way they are and not make assumptions about how they “should” act or do or be. They all know, and I want you to know too, holiday child, that you, too, are loved exactly as you are. The important thing is that you follow your heart, and I know you have a Big Heart, and that you love, and let yourself be loved. And if you have a partner, that person is welcome in our home too, as all are welcome be their unique, beautiful selves.

At some point, we’ll eat dinner and since the majority of the family is Latino, that means we’ll have mole with black beans, yellow rice, and handmade tortillas de maize. There will be chips, guacamole, potato salad and macaroni salad and we’ll drink homemade horchata and atole. Since the kitchen table isn’t big enough for 20, some people eat in the living room, some at the kitchen table and some at the island in the kitchen. It’s a great big free-for-all! After dinner, we’ll do presents in the living room with the Christmas tree and there will be wrapping paper and debris everywhere.  We’ll take lots of pictures and digest our dinner til the kids start begging for dessert. Soon theres cake, icing and ice cream everywhere. Welcome to our big family holiday full of love! I feel you there in my heart, so please know that you are always welcome, and loved, cherished even, exactly how you are.

Bless you, my Holiday Child!

Love,
Mama Catherine

My Dear Holiday Child


Christmas-wallpapers-06To My Adopted Child,

I wanted to start this letter off by telling you how honored I am to have this opportunity to write to you. I know that this time of year can be difficult and at times it easy to feel alone, despite the merry festivities surrounding us. So I write you this letter to let you know that you are not alone and there are people who are thinking of you.  As your adopted holiday mom, I know that as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/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 alone because you have me, and all of the other moms who are posting on this blog.  I may not have met you or even know you personally but I will be thinking of you this holiday season and hoping you feel the warmth and love being sent your way.

I don’t know what this time of year, brings for you.  But I do know the road that has led you here has most likely been a difficult road to travel.  I know that you might feel sad because of your family’s inability to accept your sexual orientation. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable bringing your partner to your holiday party or maybe you are not allowed to bring your partner to your corporate party.  I know these feelings bring you a lot of anxiety and that sometimes you may feel ashamed.  But I want you to be proud of who you are and everything that makes you the individual you are.  I want you to know that I would never judge you for who you love.  I would embrace you and your partner with the same love that I embrace my own two children with.  I am proud of you and the strength you show each and every day.  When you are feeling lonely, sad and unloved, remember that I am PROUD of you.  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 I encourage you to keep sharing your love with your partner.  I want to tell you that your love counts!  Your heart and all the love it has to share with your special someone MATTERS.  We know you love your partner and want more than anything else to be able to share that love openly.  So my advice to you is for you and your partner to continue to love each other and love each other even stronger during this holiday season.  You are a part of each other, you understand each other, you share in your struggles, but more importantly you ACCEPT and LOVE each other.  So don’t give up on sharing your love.

Some people may feel down Others may be feeling down because you feel that 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 purse filled with make-up and brushes, gets pretty old.  Please remember you are not alone.  There are lots and lots of people out here who understand and appreciate your feelings and accept you for who you really are!  I APPRECIATE your feelings.  I ACCEPT you for who you really are!  I ACCEPT every part of you male or female. Your gender identity is real, and you were born with a body that does not match the rest of you.  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.

I am a mother of two little girls who are age 4 and age 7.  I try to teach them manners, acceptance, patience, and love.  I tell my daughters everyone is different.  That people come in in all shapes and sizes.  I tell them it is not okay to laugh at someone or bully someone because they look, talk, or act different.  My girls have been taught that it is important to be accepting of all individuals.  I have also told my children to embrace their individuality.  I teach them to love themselves, to love what is different about themselves, and to never stop believing that they can do anything they want to do.  As your adoptive holiday mom I am going to tell you the same things: Love Yourself, Accept Yourself, Love Yourself, Believe in Yourself.  Never stop believing that you have the power to make a difference in this world.  You have a purpose. You are important. You are loved.  As my adopted, holiday child, I will think of you often and not just during this holiday season.  I wish for you only the best things life has to offer. I wish you love, kindness, happiness and acceptance.  I want you to know that someone cares about you and wants to make sure you are safe.  There is no one in the world exactly like you and that is what makes you beautiful. You are important.  You are loved.  You are not alone.

All my love,

Holiday Mom Denise