Two Years Down | A Lifetime To Go

{For the purpose of this post, I will be using the names Kaden and Kate, and both he/him and she/her.}

“This is not your heart breaking, my darling. This is your heart hatching, shedding the shell of who you once were. This is your rebirth.”  ~ T. Weiss

I knew we only had a few days left with Kate. It was early December 2016 and just weeks before, she had confirmed what Scott and I had suspected since she was little. Our beautiful first born was transgender. The girl body she lived in didn’t match her boy brain and boy spirit. Once the truth was revealed, a heavy weight seemed to lift from her shoulders and the way she talked about her future life, living as the man she knew she was, stirred in me a desire to do whatever I had to in order to make it happen. There was never a question that we would help our child realize the life she had always dreamed about and prayed for, but as we approached the day of the haircut and name change, we knew there was no turning back and our hearts felt as though they were breaking.

Thank God I married a man whose devotion and love for me and our children superseded the expectations he had about how our life together was supposed to be or look. When it mattered the most, he let his heart lead. His concern was never about how the world would see and judge us, but how Kate needed his unwavering love and how he would lay down his life making sure she had it.

On December 7, 2016, while driving home from our first appointment with the team of doctors at the UCI Gender Diversity Clinic, Kate told me she wanted to tell her Saddleback Church life group, that evening, about being transgender. She was originally going to wait until I had an opportunity to let her leaders know, but in that moment she was feeling a small bit of courage and couldn’t wait any longer to let her closest friends in on her deepest secret. I sat outside the home, where Kate’s life group met, for what seemed like an eternity.  I couldn’t bring myself to drive away as I had so easily done every week before. A lump, the size of Texas, formed in my throat and hot, stinging tears fell from my eyes as I prayed for my child that her message would be received with love and acceptance from her dear church friends. When she emerged from the home, two plus hours later, I could see she had been crying, as well.  Kate wasn’t sure how her friends felt about her being transgender and none of us would know, at least for a while, how the girls and their families were impacted by this news.

As a family, we decided that December 10, 2016 would be the day we’d say goodbye to the daughter we had brought into this world and loved so much, and welcome a son we didn’t yet know or recognize. The love we had for the child who made us parents required that we let go of our hopes and dreams in order to make hers come true. And while we were glad to support her, Scott and I began a grief process that neither of us had experienced before or knew how to put into words.  After all, our child was alive and healthy.  I don’t know if our feelings were typical or not and I don’t know that that’s important.  What I do know is that Scott and I went through a period of mostly private mourning for our Kate all while loving and living with our new son, Kaden.

Here is a short video of me praying over Kate before the haircut began.  We were joined by a couple of her close friends and Zach Reese, of Danckuts in Irvine, CA, who came to our home and helped our son emerge.

https://mylifeintrans.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/img_5413-1.mov

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It’s been two years of so much mind blowing change. I don’t even think I have fully felt the magnitude of how far we all have come, especially our precious Kaden.  He was and will always be worth every shed tear and heartache. Kaden is the gift God waited to give us until we were ready to do the right thing…until we could be the best stewards of the child He entrusted to us. I sit here weeping at all of it, the death of the life we thought we wanted and the birth of a new one that is so full of love my heart had to grow in order to contain it all. It took some time, but I learned how to breathe again + how to see myself as the mom of two sons instead of two daughters + how to take arrows, lots of arrows + how not to fear rejection or judgement + how to not worry about my son’s heart and his safety every time he left the house + how to not apologize for our story and how to believe our family is worth loving and being connected to. I look back and am filled with gratitude for the overwhelming love and support we have received from so many family, friends, and strangers.  And if I had to do it all again, I would…in a heartbeat.

Many people have remarked that Kaden is lucky to have parents like Scott and I, but the truth is, we are the luckiest.

xoxo

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