Monday, November 21, 2011

Out

I outed myself at church* a few weeks ago.

I'd been feeling this itch for weeks that I needed to speak up about adoption in my ward. I'd let several opportunities pass by because I didn't know how people would take what I had to say. Finally, the first Sunday of the month, I got up to share my testimony. Normally when I get up, I have an idea of what I want to say. If I don't focus my thoughts ahead of time, I end up tripping on my words and stuttering and it's pretty thoroughly embarrassing. But that day, all I could think was, I need to get up. I need to speak.

I feel like someone in the congregation needed to know that I'm a birth mom. I don't know who and I don't know why, but now they know. I don't remember everything I said, but I know that I talked about how much God loves us, and how our greatest heartaches can bring us our greatest blessings, and then the words flew out of my mouth - "Two years ago I placed a child for adoption."

You want people to sit up and take notice? Announce to a group of ostensibly abstinent people, a group to which you belong, that you once got into a little bit of trouble. One girl actually did literally sit up. I had to smother a laugh.

I like to think that I managed a decent segue from my blurt back into God's love, but I don't remember. All I know is that it's out, and I'm out, and my goodness, but it's a relief! I wish I'd said something sooner. It wasn't as scary as I thought.

Here's the thing - I'm not ashamed of being a birth mom. I think that having Roo and placing her are the absolute best things I've ever done and that I'll ever do. I am proud of the choice I made, and I am ridiculously proud of my little girl.

Keeping silent about my story - not speaking up when I've wanted to in the past - feels like an act motivated by shame, and that's not how I feel. I mean, I do try to choose my words carefully, and I certainly don't introduce myself to people by telling them I'm a birth mother. My adoption story, mine and Roo's, is a precious burden - it's the most sacred thing I have ever been a part of, and I want to do it justice, to explain things the right way when it feels like the proper course of action. But whatever my reasons for keeping things to myself, my silence can be interpreted as shame.

I'm done letting people think I'm ashamed of these things that I've done. If people decide to take my story wrong, to focus on my mistakes instead of the good, then that's their choice. But they're not going to misunderstand my love for Roo or the choice that I made. I am speaking up because I love her.



*Some of the words in this post might be confusing to my readers unfamiliar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So I've included relevant links in a few words to help explain what I'm talking about. Move the mouse around to find them :)

10 comments:

Ashley said...

You never cease to amaze me. Your courage is inspiring. Thank you for being you.

Alessi Family said...

You have NOTHING AT ALL EVER to be ashamed of. Because of women like you, I am a Mother. Of two. THANK YOU.

Lara said...

Way to go, brave lady.

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal said...

You are awesome. I'm so glad you were able to do that! I just know you've helped someone else already!

Jewls said...

Love this! I'm glad you told everyone...you never know who it could help, and you're right...NOTHING to be ashamed of, you are amazing!

Monika said...

I know exactly how you feel. I'm ridiculously proud of my own daughter and think that placing her was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I too have felt that people may think I'm ashamed of her if I don't tell them. It's VERY freeing to talk about her! I'm so glad you had such an awesome experience and I'd like to think you felt led to share your story then, to that group of people, for a reason. Awesome. <3

Holly said...

I think it's awesome! Your act of courage just may be exactly what someone needed to hear/see that day.

Holly said...

Way to go! I think you must have been led by the Spirit...there was someone in that congregation who needed to see & hear your act of bravery.

Trisha said...

You go girl! I LOVE this post! I know how you feel, about not being ashamed of being a birthmother, but it's such a sacred thing you don't talk about it to just anyone in any circumstance. I am glad you followed the spirits prompting...there was someone out there that needed to hear what a courageous woman you are! I am grateful to know you and have you in my life!

Tami said...

What a beautiful post. Our daughter is in the process of trying to adopt a baby and it's heartbreaking to see what she's going through (not being able to have one of her own.) You have done a wonderful thing for your own daughter and you and her will always be blessed. You are a brave girl to think of her needs too. I wish you the best of luck in your life.