This month, the Mama Bear we are highlighting is Whitney Campbell! She is a compassionate and loyal mother. We are extremely thankful that she shared her Mama Bears experience with us. We are thrilled for you to learn more about her!
Why did you originally join the Mama Bears online group?
I have the incredible honor of being a parent to my son through foster care, who moved into my home as a 17-year-old and is now a happy and thriving 20-year-old trans young man. He began his transition shortly after turning 18, two years ago. My husband and I also have two daughters, ages 6 and 9.
How has Mama Bears positively impacted your life?
It has opened up a world and community that I desperately needed and didn’t know I could have. My son’s transition began just after Covid hit, and although it wasn’t a surprise, we lost some relationships in the process and others were more strained. Many people struggled to understand how we could unconditionally support a child we had only known and loved for a year – who also wasn’t officially “ours”. It was hard for us to find community in this season of our lives and also difficult to advocate for him, our daughters, and ourselves when no one seemed to be advocating for us.
What does it mean to you to be a Mama Bear?
To choose love through insurmountable circumstances and sacrifice. To continue to protect and defend the defenseless. To lock arms with other mothers you may have nothing else in common with, for the sole purpose of shoring one another up in the strength to fight for a world we can be proud of. To share the beauty, fullness, truth, dignity and honor in our children’s stories.
What compelled you to join the Mama Bears Giving Circle?
Our son was fighting so many battles – in addition to his transition – because of his upbringing and biological family; generational poverty, violence, mental health issues, incarceration, lack of access to education and healthcare, substance abuse, and racial bias have all played a part in his story. Despite this, he has always had a tremendous inner strength and resolve to better himself and his circumstances. Seeing his bravery in beginning his transition, and then in a short period of time, becoming an advocate in the community, is an inspiration I truly can’t put into words. Aside from that, what Mama Bears has offered others is aspirational. The sense of acceptance and community is unmatched. Honestly, just being so darn lucky to be able to connect financially with a cause that is so close to our hearts and minds is a no-brainer.
Did any of the nonprofits in the giving circle specifically stand out to you? If so, which one?
The Trevor Project is very close to home for me. My son (and all foster kids we’ve met) struggled with anxiety and depression prior to his transition. Even when he was safe, his brain and body often told him he wasn’t, leading him to have suicidal thoughts and to attempt suicide multiple times prior to him being placed in our home. As a young man, he struggled to understand his worth and his agency over his life. It is heart-breaking to imagine what he went through – all alone – in his first 12 years of life. People often say “it gets better” to teens in his circumstances. We are very fortunate to say that in his case, it did.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Mama Bears community?
I know now that I needed to be an advocate before I had an LGBTQIA+ child in my home. Imagine the kids you know who will come out to you before their own family because they know they are known and loved with you, no matter what. You are the soft place to land before a kid knows they’re even falling. So know this: You are exactly where you’re supposed to be – and you’re doing great.
Share your story!
If you or a Mama Bear you know is interested in being our Spotlight Mama of the month, we would love to connect! Please note that Spotlight Mamas may be anonymous if this makes the person sharing their story more comfortable. It is important to us that we honor the privacy of those in our community. To get involved please email Juliana Jordan at email@example.com. We appreciate you sharing your journeys with us!
Join the Mama Bears Giving Circle!