DETROIT, MI (WTXF) - Erica Maison, mother of five, surprised her transgender daughter Corey with her first dose of hormones that she had been waiting for more than two years to receive.
The unforgettable moment was captured on video.
"This was it, this was the most pivotal turning point in her life, and we both knew it," Erica told Buzzfeed News.
According to her mother, Corey's typical day involves typical 14-year-old activities like riding her penny skateboard, playing Call of Duty on her Xbox, and obsessing over makeup.
But this particular day was different--today Corey would be allowed to begin hormone therapy.
In the emotional video, Erica instructs her daughter to reach behind a cushion to see what's there for her. Corey something is happening, but plays along and finds a mysterious bag.
"I could tell she really had no idea what was happening," Erica said. "I was very anxious and couldn't stop smiling."
In the video you can see the moment Corey realizes what's inside the box.
"She squeezed me, and I stopped the camera so I could hug her back. Neither of us let go for what seemed like an eternity," Erica told Buzzfeed News. "We were both crying and shaking. She literally took my breath away, as she has never given me a hug like that before. I have never felt so much love from her than that moment. It was a mixture of pure joy and relief from us both."
Erica told BuzzFeed News that Corey was always feminine, even from the time she was very young.
"She loved to dress in high heels and dresses. In public she wore boy clothes -- I just assumed she might be gay."
When Corey was in the fifth grade she was bullied so badly her mother made the decision to pull her out of public school and begin homeschooling.
When Corey was 11-years-old she and her mother mother-daughter discovered transgender YouTube sensation Jazz Jennings and things suddenly clicked.
"She said, 'Mom, I'm just like her, I AM a girl.'"
Once she was at home and free to be herself, Corey started gaining confidence and began dressing like a girl in public -- which wasn't always easy.
"Her hair was still very short, and she still looked like a boy. People would give her dirty looks, and take pictures of her with their cell phone cameras," Erica says. "I told Corey, 'Every time someone points their phone at you to take a picture, you turn and smile and strike a pose!'"
Erica began the search for a therapist who specialized in transgender children to help the family through the process of Corey's transition. She was directed to the gender clinic at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, which was five hours away from their home.
Corey was given a puberty-suppressing implant just a few months later. "It's usually a fight to get the insurance to cover it for gender dysphoria, and we were fully prepared to write letters, make phone calls, whatever it took to get it covered, as it costs $21,000 just for the implant -- that didn't include any of the doctor or hospital fees for placing it surgically," her mother said of the process. The family was informed that the procedure would be fully covered by their insurance.
The family's therapist and the medical team in Chicago determined that Corey was ready to start hormone therapy in August of 2015, when she was 14 years old. But the process took longer than Erica expected.
On Septtember 24, 2015, Erica finally received a phone call from the pharmacy letting her know the estrogen prescription was ready to be picked up.
She has since received only positive reactions since posting the video to YouTube and Facebook.
"We all just want to be loved and accepted by others, and that is all I want for my daughter, to be loved and accepted for who she is inside."