I remember the day we brought her home from the hospital, appalled that ‘they’ had let ‘us’ bring her home all by ourselves. We were in our thirties, but we still wondered if we had what it takes to be good parents. She has been a wonder, a delight and the greatest catalyst for growth God has ever placed on two parents.
It started with the early onset ADHD. She was walking, and even climbing out of her crib, at nine months (we have dated pictures to prove it). From there she never looked back. I always said she never got sick because she moved too fast for the germs to catch her. And of all things, her ‘love language’ was quality time, and she wanted me to keep up with her. She was challenging, enchanting and exhausting.
As she entered her teen years, she brought yet another level of love for us to achieve. At first, looking for a name for how she felt, she told us she was a lesbian. We were okay with this and loved her just as much. Then she and her best friend decided they were a couple. They had already been having sleepovers for years—we had some very difficult parenting decisions to make.
Over the next several years, we educated ourselves, advocated for our child and continued to love who she was becoming. We weren’t quite prepared, though, when she realized her true nature, the person she is inside, was a boy. This is called transgendered, when the essence of a person is different than the biological sex they were born with.
He is in the midst of ‘transition’ now, moving toward ‘presenting’ as a male. He wears a binding vest most days and has asked me to use male pronouns when referring to him. I am careful to clearly communicate why this is difficult for me, but that I will do my very best. I can only thank God that our Community of Christ congregation and our regional church leadership have completely embraced my wonderful child and support him on his journey of becoming.
There have been difficult days, and I have mourned the loss of my daughter, which will probably always be with me. But through gaining a son, God has taught me a love so profound that I rejoice every day he is in my life. It never ceases to amaze me how God walks with me through every twist and turn of life’s path. By learning to love my firstborn unconditionally, I have explored depths of acceptance and compassion I never could have imagined. He has helped to make me a better parent and a better person.
By Kimberly Gazzo