Just Parents in Life

Journey through our trials and triumphs of raising a transgender child and his two sisters.

The Appeal Process

Ever feel like a tidal wave of emotions is attacking your mind, body and spirit? Yeah, thats me (mom) this last month. I think the last seven months had caught up to me last week. In July, our son saw Dr. Olson-Kennedy at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and it was recommended that we immediately get him on hormone blockers as he was in late stage 2 of female puberty. Our medical group denied the procedure, so we had to file an appeal with our insurance carrier. They get 30 days to make a decision and if they don’t approve it, then you can appeal to the Independent Medical Review (IMR) board.

Our insurance carrier had until last Friday to make a  decision on whether or not to approve the hormone blockers our son desperately needs to feel normal. I have pages of documented notes calling our insurance and almost every time, I got cordial people who really are just getting through their job for the day. Last week, I got a person who I could tell immediately had a cold and my heart dropped. Oh great, I thought. She’s going to be crabby and short since she is sick. I summoned up my kindness (instead of the F bombs of past conversations) and told her I was sorry she was not feeling well before asking for her assistance. She surprised me. She actually cared to see what was going on. She went over the entire notes on our file and asked questions about what she was reading. She discovered that they had NOT received the medical records and letters from doctors that were sent over last week and asked for my number to call me back, so that she can try to locate those faxes. We hung up and I had an emotional breakdown. Why? Why is this so difficult? I felt like our insurance carrier was trying so hard to make sure they didn’t have what they needed to make their decision to our appeal.

I called her back an hour later (because she never returned my call like she said she would) and she advised they never received any faxes. I got a little hysterical with her and started to cry again, from frustration, and I think she felt bad. She offered to call our therapists office herself to ask them to re-fax all the medical records. She followed up with me (and by followed up with me, I mean she replied to my email) to tell me she was in receipt of everything needed to make their decision and that she had passed our file onto the Medical Director and that the decision would be made on Friday, September 30, 2016. All my hard work was over. I did all I possibly could to prove to these medical professionals that this treatment was in the best interest of our son. She also let me know that they will not verbally notify me of their decision and that I will have to wait until a letter is generated and sent out via regular mail. 😱 So, I just tried my best to wait patiently.

Yesterday was Tuesday, October 4, 2016 and I just couldn’t handle the anticipation (I’m not very patient) any longer. I emailed the employee that so graciously helped me last week and told her I hoped she was feeling better and that if she could let me know if in fact a decision was made and when I could expect a letter to be mailed out, I would be grateful.  About an hour later, I saw an email come through from our insurance carrier and my heart stopped for a moment. I immediately opened it up and read the words “Your request of consultation and insertion of Supprelin LAVantas implant (hormone therapy) at the CHLA Department of Adolescent Medicine for the diagnosis of Adolescent Gender Dysphoria has been approved” and I screamed out in excitement, yelled for our son and told him it was approved!! We hugged and I cried a little as I felt so relieved to not have to start another appeal with the Independent Medical Review Board. I told him if he was 21 we would have celebrated with a glass of champagne!!! That letter took a HUGE load of bricks off my shoulders and I immediately felt better.

I started sharing our news with my hubby, our doctor at CHLA, our mental health offices that worked so hard and swiftly to help me get the proper paperwork submitted and to our family that knew what was happening over these last several weeks. If I could have written it across the sky for everyone in the world to read, I probably would have!

I have gotten some questions about what a hormone blocker is and why we need it, so I just wanted to share with everyone. This procedure will implant a small, soft tube into his left inside upper arm. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure done by a specialist in their medical office. This tube will release a medicine called histrelin which blocks the action of the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). Basically, this will stop female puberty from setting in on his body.  This will need to be in place until our son is ready to start the process of male puberty.

So, now we wait until we hear back from CHLA as to when our consultation is to sign the consent and then get us scheduled for the procedure. Thank you to everyone who has kept me sane during this process, who has offered up support, prayers and love to us. We truly appreciate it.

♥︎ Just Parents



A Roller Coaster Of A Ride

It has been a month since our last post. There has been so much going on that I just haven’t had a clear mind to sit down and journal what has been happening. Our life feels like a living roller coaster. Sometimes, our hands are in the air and we are enjoying the ride and other times, we are death griping the handle bars praying that this part of the ride will be over soon. This last month, we have been death griping the bars…

We are not sure if it’s all transgender issues that we are dealing with. It’s most likely a combination of this plus the tween angst and hormones. Things just haven’t been easy for our son. His mind can really take a hold of him and he can quickly spiral down the depths of the vicious roller coaster. A few weeks ago, we were dealing with feelings of rather being dead than alive. As a parent, that is devastating to hear. I (mom) have never felt so low that I thought of suicide, but I know others that I love dearly have and I try to come to terms with understanding what that must feel like. But, until you have walked in those shoes, I don’t think you could ever really, truly understand the pain and suffering of someone who has suicidal thoughts. We quickly kicked into high gear, called all the therapists and doctors, had long discussions with our son and made some adjustments to the medication he is on. We are now easing off of our death grip, but still constantly monitoring him.

We found a new therapist that he really connected to better than his last one. He is excited to start building a relationship with her and I think they will be a natural fit. This has helped him tremendously. He came out of his first session with her and described her to me as “The female Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” When I asked what the heck that meant, he told me “she gives the best speeches.” I asked what kind of speeches she was giving in there and to paraphrase what was said to me was that she told our son all you need is an ounce of hope, if you can hold onto that ounce during the darkness, you will make it to a better day and that it will get better, so long as you never give up that last ounce of hope. My heart felt warm when he told me that and together we discussed how powerful that is and to always hold onto that ounce of hope and know that when things get bad, they will always get better….so long as you never forget about that ounce and – never give up on yourself.

We are struggling with getting our insurance to approve the hormone blockers that we desperately need. This is where I have been mentally exhausted from it all. The phone calls talking to incompetent people who know nothing about transgender care have sent me into a downward spiral of F bombs. My sailor mouth has kicked in one too many phone calls and or emails that have transpired over the last month. I am begging these people to just approve the procedure that my son desperately needs to keep him from wanting to end his life and all I get is denials and go file an appeal and the appeals department telling me it does not qualify for an expedited appeal because there is insufficient proof that not having this procedure has an “imminent and serious threat to the health of the patient”. WTF are they talking about!?!?!?! This seriously is making me lose my ever living F’ing mind. See – there’s that sailor mouth again…Ugh…I have cried more tears of frustration and sadness this last month trying to handle this part of the roller coaster ride that I am exhausted. But, I will hold onto one ounce of hope that it will all get sorted out and hopefully sooner rather than later…

So, for now, we will continue this roller coaster ride of “life” and hold tightly to our ounce of hope when things are difficult and know that soon, we will be able to throw our hands in the air again and enjoy the ride…however temporary that moment might be, we will take it.

♥︎ Just Parents





Words are so powerful

My BFF is amazing at articulating just the right words to create a powerful message, it’s what she does for a living. Recently, I sent her one paragraph that I wrote in a moment of anger and hurt, that I wanted to share with those around us about our son. I knew it was time to start addressing the folks in our community as school is going to start soon and I was going to be bombarded with questions about why my child was no longer at the school. I also learned that some kids found out about our son and were talking amongst each other and I wanted to set the record straight for their parents. My hubby didn’t like my paragraph as it was too aggressive. I was so hurt, that I didn’t care if it came off aggressive. I was in momma bear mode and didn’t like knowing people were talking about us instead of to us about what they had heard. I am sure he was right and that I shouldn’t send the paragraph, so, I asked my talented BFF to edit it. She took that one lousy paragraph and turned it into a masterpiece. It was so beautiful that when I read it, I was moved to tears. Instead of me sending out a letter to let parents know about our child, it was a letter that was sure to get people thinking and hit them right in their heart. It was powerful.

Recently, I started sending the letter out in small batches to those parents that had children that were friends with our child. The responses back were immediate and filled with love. I spent the entire day in tears, reading these parents words of support and encouragement, their comments on how brave our child is and how they stand beside us. I would read the comments to our son and I could see the light turning on in his eyes. So, I decided to send it out to more than just our school community and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Some replied to my message, some reached out via text and some picked up the phone and called to offer support. I don’t think I have ever cried so many tears of happiness.

This journey has not been easy, nor will it ever be easy, but this is not a lifestyle choice, this is who our child was born to be and making him be anything less than what he was born to be is just not fair. Our son has been battling some serious depression lately and when we went to the doctor that monitors this, yesterday, I brought up the concern that we had been having. I also told the doctor that it seems recently though, he has been doing better. He has seemed a little bit happier and less dark than what we had been dealing with. The doctor asked our son what he thinks may be making him feel better and our son told the doctor about the letter we had been sending out and that all the messages of love back to us/him has really made him feel so much better. I almost cried. As a mom, I want to protect my child from all the hurt that I can. I drug my feet in telling the world, in an effort to protect him from hurt within our community. It was that reluctance that was weighing him down. Now, he feels free to be himself, he feels loved and supported by those that matter and even those that don’t know him and is just a little bit happier, thanks to that letter.

I wanted to share some of the wonderful words of support we have received back from those that received the letter. Words are so powerful and have the ability to lift up someone as easily as tear them down. These words have been so uplifting, I am incredibly thankful for that. The words back to us were just as powerful as our message we sent out ::

“I wanted to let you know that I raise my girls to not hate or to discriminate in any way what so ever. The girls and I are believers and attend church regularly and believe God loves everyone no matter their gender etc.”

“I guarantee me & my children are behind him 100%. ❤️”

“Your message had me in tears, not just because opening up like this has to be scary for you .. but because you’re helping your child live his best life.”

“I am blown away by his courage at such a young age to have the strength and understanding to come to this decision. It speaks volumes of your family and you and your husband as parents.”

“Love is Love and I’m happy he is surrounded by incredibly supportive parents.”

“What a brave, courageous and absolutely amazing boy you have! You must be soooo proud! I know that I am proud to call him my friend. You have my support 110% and I can’t even imagine the pride you must be feeling.”

“Tell your son that he has our full support and what a brave human being he is.”

“I am glad that you are open-minded and support him in his decision to live his life as he feels.”

“He is so super brave for taking this journey that most adults who are facing these feelings are too fearful to begin.”

“I want you to know that you will only get love and support from my whole family. I can only pray that you get the same from everyone else. I believe my job on this planet is to love my neighbor as myself. And I don’t think that means only if they are just like me.”

I don’t know how to articulate how awesome I think you all are. Wow… Just, wow. The absolute definition of true, unconditional love.

With love,

Just Parents ❤︎

Now, we wait.

Last week, we finally got to go to *Children’s Hospital Los Angeles* and meet the doctor and staff at *The Center for Transyouth Health and Development*. We have been waiting for this appointment for 10 weeks. Our appointment was at 3pm on a Friday. If you are familiar with Los Angeles, then you can understand what that entails. It took us almost 2 hours to get there and just over 2 hours to get home. We were all a little nervous. My hubby had a lot of questions and I had anxiety at just the unknown of it all. Our son told us in the lobby that he was nervous too.

The staff was beyond amazing. They were all friendly and tried to make us feel at ease. I was under the impression that the doctor would rush through our appointment, like most doctors have to do, so when she walked in and asked what our story was, I started with “Well, the short story is…” and she cut me off and said she would like to hear the long story, pulled up her chair and sat down to listen. It was in that moment that my anxiety eased, but my emotions skyrocketed. She wanted to listen. She cared about our story. It was a breath of fresh air and I had to try really hard to not let the build up of my emotions come pouring out of my eyes. I knew in that moment, that she was going to walk this journey with us and that we were not alone in the fight for the care that our son is going to need throughout his journey. She spent about 40 minutes with us, never rushed us and answered all the questions we had. She reassured us that all was going to be ok. I loved her and could have hugged her upon our goodbye, but thought that that might have been a little much for our first visit 😂.

Today, we had his blood drawn to start the process of hormone blockers. He has never had to give blood before (thank goodness for his healthy body), so he was nervous. The tech was wonderful and explained the whole process while showing us a bit of a comedic side. She tried to ease his anxiety. He did amazing. He gave 6 vials of blood, never looked at the needle in his arm and only had a few tears leak out his eyes. I looked him in the eyes afterwards and said to him that this is just the beginning of his long journey and that he will always need to remember to be brave as this is something that will become the norm for him. 😕 I hated having to tell him that. He is still struggling with depression and feelings of sadness as to why he couldn’t have just been born “right”. I assured him that I will always be by his side and that he will never have to undergo any sort of medical care without me there to support him.

So, now, we wait. We wait for lab results. We wait for insurance approval. We are hopeful that since we are in California and our insurance is based in California, that they will approve the procedure the first time it is submitted. However, our new doctor assured us that they are there every step of the way and will help appeal the insurance if a denial is received. Our fingers are crossed that California is progressive enough in their transgender care that they will approve on the first request and that we can get our son on the road to feeling more like a boy. But, if that is not the case, this momma bear is ready to fight for our sons medical rights. Fingers are crossed that it all goes smoothly. We will update once we hear back from our insurance, so in the meantime, please keep us in your positive thoughts for a speedy approval process.

❤︎ Just Parents

Making friends

Last week, our son was in his room playing legos and I (mom) went in to check on him. He seemed down, so I asked what was bothering him. He looked up at me with those sad, big eyes and said “I’m just lonely.” Ugh…my heart broke in half hearing those words. He doesn’t really have any close friends, nobody has reached out to him since school got out and now more than ever, he needs a friend or two that he can count on. He needs to feel like he fits in somewhere, that he belongs somewhere, somewhere that is safe for him to be himself. I told him we will start trying to find new friends and we decided to go to a support meeting that was coming up.

So, last night, I took our son to his first local PFLAG meeting that offers support to adults and those under 18. I had not been back since my initial meeting back in March and was hoping that the teens/tweens would show up and more importantly be kind to our son. When we walked through the door, we were greeted by my first friend and confidant, who got me to that meeting and we were both surprised and happy to see each other. Neither of us had been back since that meeting a few months ago. It made my heart happy to see her and she took our son right into the room where some teens were already at and introduced him to those she knew and said to take good care of him. I felt at peace as we sat down for our meeting. Several times, throughout our meeting, we could hear loud laughter coming from their room and that made me happy to hear that they are sharing fun things with each other as well as the heavy, deep stuff that comes from being LGBTQ.

When our meeting was over, my son came bouncing out with the biggest smile I had ever seen. His face was lit up! The teens were in tow right behind him and he asked if he could go to In N Out with all of them. I looked up and saw a group of teens that were clearly older than our son, but they were all smiling just as much. When I asked for the details, they let me know that they all fell in love with our son and think he is adorable and funny and that they were going to eat some burgers and wanted him to come too. So, we followed the teens over to eat some burgers. I sat at a nearby table to give him some space, but be close enough to sort of listen in. This group of kids were wonderful! They were fun, they were all cracking jokes and sharing fun stories, they made up names for each other and were all assigned a role in our sons life. He was given a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, godmother and godfather. They exchanged social media information since our son does not have a phone yet and just had a great time. One of the boys came over near me and I thanked him for being so kind and welcoming to our son and he genuinely said that although he just met him, he really likes him and thinks he is a great kid. My heart melted. These teens all had something in common – kind hearts, big personalities, loving souls.  You just can’t ask for more than that out of a teenager!

Before we left, they all took a group selfie, gave hugs and told our son that they hope to see him at the next meeting. Sometimes, you just need to feel like you belong and these teens did so much for our sons spirit. I can’t thank them enough…

❤︎ Just Parents

It was worth the drive…

This past Sunday, my hubby, myself and our son went to our first transgender family support group hosted by some affiliates of the Hospital that will be treating our son through his transition. The hospital, with no traffic, is an hour and a half away and on a Sunday afternoon, can be a bit of a mess to get to. We have been planning to go for several weeks because there is a group for us parents and a group for our tween to find support. This was going to be his first experience with meeting others just like him. He was so excited and counting down the days.

When we woke up Sunday morning, we woke up to the devastation that happened to our LGBTQ family in Orlando. I (mom) found myself a sobbing mess most of the morning. I cried into my husbands shoulders about how heartbroken I was and how scared I was. How that could have been my brother and brother in law, how that could have been my brothers friends, that have become our friends over the years, that it could be our son one day. It was just too much for me. I really felt broken. I reached out to my brother to tell him how much I love him and how sad I was. We texted back and forth for a little bit and then, we saw the news about the man arrested in Los Angeles earlier that morning and I started crying again, this time feeling really defeated. How could there be so much hate in this world?!?! Why?!?! What is wrong with people?!?!  We were heading to LA in just a few hours and my hubby said we shouldn’t go, so, of course,  I cried some more. But, then I said, we have to. We can’t live in fear, we are not going to be super close to the Pride Festivities, so we have to go. I am so glad we did.

When we walked into the support group meeting, we were immediately overwhelmed with how many families were there! My first thought was that there is this huge underground transgender community that nobody knows about. Now, I know that is an exaggeration, but it made me giggle and feel a little better. It made us feel good, less alone and proud that so many families were here for the same thing, to give support to their child and get support for themselves. We knew we were going to be ok, that these people were so welcoming and that it was worth the long drive.

When the meeting was over, we couldn’t wait to find our son and see how his group went. I (mom) was overwhelmed with how many people were in the hallway, when we exited our meeting room, and my eyes started frantically skimming over everyone looking for my baby. Then, we found him. Smiling and laughing. Talking to two other boys. My heart swelled. He said goodbye to his new friends and we headed out. The whole ride home was wonderful. He shared a lot of what they talked about, the other kids names and ages, where they are at in their transition as it relates to his, what he learned, what he shared, etc etc. He just kept smiling and then, he said something that was music to our ears. “Im just so happy. I can’t stop smiling.” My heart melted. It was amazing to hear your child, who has struggled for years to feel like he fits in, feel like he’s fitting in.

I asked my husband what his thoughts were on the meeting, what he liked or didn’t like about it, what he took away from the meeting, and he said he felt that we didn’t have it as bad as many of the other families that shared their stories. That made me feel good. Every single day is something new. Some days are good. Some days are a struggle, but after hearing so many other families stories, we were able to see that we are truly blessed with some amazing family and friends who have rallied around us and offered nothing but love and support. We will be going back. For our son, for us. It was worth the drive…

❤︎ Just Parents


What’s in a name…

Since our child told us he is transgender, he said he needed a new name. That his name reminded him of all things girl and he just needed a new name. We tried to reason with him that maybe one of the reasons all our daughters were named gender neutral names, was because we somehow knew and that his name could easily pass for a male name as well. It didn’t work. We have spent months pondering a new name. I (mom)  had requirements for what needed to be in the name. Some may think that is crazy or selfish, but I don’t care. 😉 I told my child that my one right after birthing my baby was to choose whatever name I WANTED. I told him, he can change his name, but I have to approve of it.

We made the decision that once school was out, he could start living completely in his new name and new pronouns, but we just couldn’t decide on that name. Who knew so much thoughts and opinions would go into a name?!?! Not only was it my husband and I trying to decide, we now how to include our son in this new naming process. It is so hard to find a perfect name for your baby, but it is even harder to name your child 11 years later.

We were driving last week, two days before school got out, and I threw out a name and added the name our child wanted as the middle name. He liked it! Our youngest daughter was in the car and she like it too! So, we got home and talked to Daddy. He pondered it for a minute and I started to worry that he didn’t like it and we would be back to square one. He said the name out loud and shook his head yes and said he liked it. That was it! We named our 11 year old son for the first time, in the garage on a Tuesday evening. LOL Whew! I felt a sense of relief and that we were finally ready to start our Summer with our son and two daughters.

❤︎ Just Parents

Telling the grandparents

So, we have been living with this big secret for the last several months, or so we thought. Our child told us in February that she is really a he, that he is transgender. We only told a couple very close family members at first. We didn’t want to tell anyone until we were able to sit in what this meant, until we could tell our other two children and had a grasp on what path we were taking. We decided that after school is out, that our child can fully transition to male and that we would ask everyone to start using correct pronouns and name choice. Well, school is almost out and we haven’t told either side of grandparents yet.

I (mom) have been so afraid to tell my parents. I kept coming up with excuses as to why it should be next week…First a birthday, then Mother’s Day, then my moms birthday. I knew I had to tell them, but nerves kept getting the best of me. What would they say? Would their old school thinking make this hard to understand? What questions are they going to have for me? How can I get through this quickly? I knew I had to do it, but just couldn’t muster up the strength, until today.

Today, my mom called to chat. I was talking to her on the phone while driving and something came over me. I decided in that moment to start driving to her house. I asked if my dad was home and what they were doing. I didn’t tell my mom I was coming over until I was almost there. I waited until my dad entered the room and asked if he could sit down because I needed to talk to them. They both looked scared for a second and my dad, the jokester that he is, said “You’re pregnant!” and we all laughed. It helped break the worry that was leaking into the air.  I told him no, but that might be easier news to hear. Then, I just took a deep breath and started speaking.

My parents know our child has been suffering for many years, but like us, wasn’t really sure what the issue was. They saw our struggles with raising our child, they knew about therapy sessions, ADHD diagnosis and depression issues. My mom has said many times, I wish I knew what was inside this childs head. So, I started with all of this and how we have all wondered what the root of our childs issues were and then I just said it. Our child was born in the wrong body and is a boy. My parents reaction was beautiful. My mom said “we love our grandchildren, no matter what.” It was music to my ears. They didn’t have any fear in their faces, they didn’t push back with any sort of “are you sure?” moments. They just embraced what I was saying and listened intently. I explained everything that is and has been going on. I filled them in on how our two daughters handled it, what our plan for next school year is, doctors appointments that are coming up and the support groups we have found to help us.

My mom shared that she was having a conversation with a co-worker last week and told her friend that her granddaughter looks like a boy and prefers boy things. It made me happy to hear that and that my mom is not ashamed of the fact. I am realizing that people around us are seeing this slow transition over the last several years and that it really isn’t all that shocking or surprising to them once we tell them and a few have approached me with their support without me ever saying a word to them.

The only question they asked was by my dad who wanted to know what exactly does transgender mean and how does that affect his grandchild. I took the time to explain gender identity versus sexual identity and that we are not talking about sexual identity. We are not sure who our child is sexually attracted to yet, and really are not concerned with that. We are working with a child whose gender that was assigned at birth does not match the brain this child was assigned. I explained that his gender expression has been predominately male for the last several years and that we have now realized that we need to support a full gender transition to male. I explained that we need to start working on proper pronouns (he/him) and will need to start referring to him with a new name that has yet to be agreed upon.

They were so loving and supportive and my mom even said she was sorry that we were carrying the weight of this alone for so many months. On my way home, I had a moment of relief wash over me and realized just how hard it must have been for our child to find the strength to tell us. I am so proud of him for being so brave at such a young age. It is not easy to share something with your parents when there is fear of rejection, even as an adult. I couldn’t have been more relieved to hear and feel their love and support and cannot wait for our child to come home from school so I can share the good news with him.

❤︎ Just Parents

Is school out yet?!?!

So, about that manual?!?! We could sure use one sometimes…The issues that arise from raising a transgender child are all consuming and sometimes overwhelming. We are counting down the days for school to get out. It has been an extremely rough last half of the school year. Our son has been transitioning and we haven’t announced it to the world yet, so the school children are seeing our child as even more different than they already did.

The boys don’t want our child to play with them citing “no girls allowed” and the girls don’t want to play with our child because they don’t like to play, they like to hang out and talk about “girl stuff” according to our son. Our child wants to play. Play soccer, play kickball, play basketball, play anything. He does not want to sit around and talk about girl stuff. It’s heartbreaking to hear that he doesn’t fit in anywhere and we cannot wait for this school year to end.

Hearing about kids pointing their finger and laughing at your child are harsh. Hearing about kids making fun of our child makes our blood boil. Hearing that our child is spending his recesses alone is heartbreaking. Watching our child sit alone is the worst. I (mom) have seen it with my own eyes when I have been on campus.

It is so hard to figure out if we are doing the right thing. Should we have announced to the school he is transgender and will now be referred to as male? Should we have pulled him from school to prevent the sadness? What is the right thing to do? What is the wrong thing to do? So many questions that nobody holds the answer to. It’s times like these that we wish there was a manual.

We are excited to finish out fifth grade so that there can be a full transition. The plan is to start sixth grade at a new school (still figuring this out and that manual could be useful) as a boy. Hopefully, the stresses of school ending will eliminate some of the moodiness and behavior issues our son has been experiencing. Wish us luck as we try to navigate the other school options that exist. We only have one more week of school as a girl who looks like a boy, we hope we can make it…

❤︎ Just Parents



I (mom) had a conversation with our child recently and it is one that will stick with me forever. He asked me one simple question. The words out of his mouth cut through my heart like a dagger. I felt a heaviness in my gut, sadness in my heart and had to fight back tears in my eyes. But, in my typical mom fashion, I did not outwardly display my feelings and instead jumped into my quick witted mode to respond.

We were driving home from the eye doctor recently. It had been a great appointment. It was a new office, so we made the appointment as a male. He got to go in there and be his authentic self. He loved that. He loved hearing the staff using the correct pro-nouns. It made him feel good, I could see it in his big beautiful brown eyes.  He picked out a rad new pair of glasses and we were excited when we left the office. But, just as I was merging onto the freeway, he looked at me with sadness in those eyes and said “Why am I so broken?” Hearing those words took my breath away…Those five words will haunt me forever.

As I safely entered the freeway, I asked him why he would feel like he is “broken”. His response was so honest and I could see why he would feel that way. In summary, he said he needs medicine to focus, he needs glasses to see,  and his body was not made right. His words were “nothing is right with me…” Ugh…even writing this now, brings the tears back to my eyes. You see, he is right.  Years ago, when we were at the pediatrician for his physical to get into kindergarten, we learned he had vision issues. Once we went to the eye doctor, we realized how severe his eyes were and that everything had always been out of focus for him. Glasses are a necessity for him to function. He was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade and needs daily meds to help him stay on track.  And recently, we have learned that his body does not match his brain either. He is transgender. He feels broken and I don’t blame him for feeling that way. He sure was dealt a crappy hand of the cards of life.  (This is where I hope the skeptics realize no person would CHOOSE to be transgender. They are BORN this way. Another post on this will come soon.)

I had to quickly come up with something that would make my son feel better because there is no way I want him walking around through this crazy life feeling broken. I want him to know he is far from broken. That nobody is perfect. That normal is boring. That being different is amazing. That through struggles you will find triumph. I want him to feel anything besides broken. I shared that his struggles are only obstacles and that he is overcoming ALL of his obstacles. Nothing will stop him or break him or define him. Together, we will help him through all of life’s challenges, one at a time. I then shared how I feel like when it is time for him to ‘adult’, he will be so much more prepared and ready than the ‘normal’ kids who live in a bubble. I explained how life can be challenging for everyone, but those who have had more obstacles placed in front of them at such young ages, will be able to adjust to the struggles of becoming an adult easier than those kids that just skipped through their childhood merrily. I reassured him he is NOT broken, but that he is being faced with challenges that are testing his strength and that he is doing a marvelous job with all that is thrown his way. I then reminded him how much he is loved and that nobody in our family will ever allow you to become broken.

I hope he believed me because I know he is not broken.  He is strong, courageous, brave, unique, amazing, kind hearted and loving. None of those sound broken to me…

❤︎ Just Parents