Nina & Judith


Hello, my name is Nina and Judith is my Wife, and this is our little web page on Willothewisp.

It may seem a little strange to some people that two people of the same sex are wedded to each other but here in the Netherlands gay couples have been able to to marry for some years. Judith and I have been together  fifteen years now, time which for me has flown past. We are mothers to our four wonderful children Mariaske, Nicholas, Hilke and most recently (Jan 1st 2010) Joost.


Contrary to what some people seem to think, in a gay marriage one of us does not assume the role of the man. We are both women and happy to be so, enjoying our mutual femininity. Civil marriage for same-sex couples became legal here in April 2001. The process of same-sex marriage and the rights afforded to the married couple in the Netherlands are completely equivalent to the process and rights for heterosexual marriage.


Of our four children our oldest two we adopted, and our youngest two being our own.  Our oldest, Hilke, had been fostered with us on and off since her birth because her birth mother, our best friend Saskia, was ill with a cancer that started during her pregnancy.  Saskia decided to continue with the pregnancy despite knowing that the delay in her treatment would almost certainly be  fatal. Saskia gave birth to Hilke here in our home and both remained in our care there after. Just before her death she asked that we formerly adopt her daughter which we were honoured to do. Hilke is a very loveable, independent and startlingly intelligent child who deals with her spina bifida disability and with life with equal energy.


Nicholas was the surprise addition to our family. He came to us as a foster after his birth mother became unable to care for him. He had been terribly neglected through no fault of his birth mother and had many physical and emotional health issues in addition to his profound deafness. Despite his behavioural problems and disability we adopted him very swiftly. It made sense for him to come to a home familiar with the issues of deafness, besides I had pretty much fallen in love with him at first sight and found it hard to just be seperated from him for a few hours. He is now a sweet little boy who can now talk and has almost caught up to the developmental milestones for his age group. Judith and I are both  immensely proud to hear them call us  their “Mamas”.

In June 2007 I had our first pregnancy; Mariaska Sabina. She was eagerly awaited by her big brother and sister, by her other mother and by four grandparents, and several aunties. Mariaske is a calm little girl having been born here in our home with the rest of her family around us. In a lesbian relationship there are two mothers, the birth mother and parental mother.

On January 1st 2010 I gave birth to our second son and fourth child Joost Karl Hendrick. Joost is the child who causes others most confusion to people because while I carried and birthed him he is in fact genetically Judith’s son. No one ever said families were simple things !

Being a Lesbian Parent

No one mother is more important than the other in a lesbian family and together we work out ways to provide our children with a happy, safe and stimulating home. I am perhaps very lucky to have found a spouse who comes from a background with such a strong family ethic and strength from an inner calmness.

We now think our family is complete but who knows what the future might bring, but for now we are focusing on consolidating our little tribe !


Having come from a small and not terribly close knit family. My own family life was drastically short of good parenting and core values, so I have been determined not repeat the mistakes of my own parents. I was born near Amsterdam, where my mother still lives, she is a civil servant in the Government. My dad is also a civil servant, though in a different department. My parents are divorced now, they divorced when I was a teenager and now certainly appear to be much happier for it, though they can both still be rather tiresome as divorce never hinders their ability to fight with one another!

Judith came from a very different family background. Judith and her sister and were born in Germany on a British Base to an English Father and Dutch Mother. Their real Mother & Father died when they were very little, so they were fostered with relatives. Their foster parents, now my in-laws Harry & Yolanda adopted them and gave them wonderful and happy childhood along with that strong van Leiden family ethic. Judith grew up on the family farm near Nijmegen learning a lot about machinery from her father and even more about herbs and country medicine from her Doula mother, who I will always think of as a generous white witch !. Harry and Yolanda taught their daughters to be a free thinkers and to never let their lives be constrained by others, and to find their own way in life. My in-laws are both alive & well I am glad to and both still work their three farms though their current occupation appears to be spoiling their grandchildren and pestering us for more grandchildren to spoil !

Tyjardia & Nonke with their three children live in the next street and my sister-in-law lives just over the border in Germany with her hubby and little son Noah.

I should not forget to mention two other members of our family without whome life for my wife and oldest daughter would be so much more difficult, our two guide dogs Sissi and Jos.




I was educated in and around Amsterdam and joined the Koninklijke Landmacht (Dutch Army) where I trained to become a registered nurse, passing my nursing degree some years ago now. Later I completed my second degree and now I am also a Midwife. In Midwifery I believe I have found my true calling. There is no greater satisfaction is seeing my fellow women through their pregnancies and then helping them to birth their babies safely into the world while making birth a positive, joyful, and enjoyable experience. I have been in the army for some twelve years and I am on course to complete my full twenty years in the service. Fortunately I have a wife who supports me in what I do and is so very patient with the erratic hours my profession demands, it leaves me free to enjoy my work and this is a very special privilage to have.



Judith joined the Royal Air Force at 17 and went into the medical service, & taking her first degree in Medical Radiography. When she was twenty she was assaulted and severely injured (see Violence), and as a result lost seventy percent of her hearing. After spending a dreadful two years in hospital she returned to serve three more years active service in the military before she had to leave after what was left of her hearing completely failed  leaving her deaf. It was while in the RAF that we met. Before she left the service she was able to complete another degree in Physiology. Since leaving the service she has worked in radiology and also developed her own small practice as a consultant in nutritional issues. Along side this she had developed our garden to be a source of medicinal herbs. However if you ask her what her career is she will almost certainly tell you it is as a Mother.




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