I found this video on Facebook. The woman named Ash Beckham discusses "coming out of the closet" and how we all have closets. She defines a closet as one in which the conversation that ensues is a difficult one.
Infertility was my closet. I still am cautious as with which people I am open with. Discussing things that are sensitive are hard because they make us vulnerable. It is easy for someone to hurt my feelings when discussing infertility. At one point she discusses "meeting people where they are at." It is easier said then done. Her point is taken though. For someone that has never experienced infertility the conversation is likely hard and uncomfortable as well.
In "coming out" of my infertility closet I have been able to be a support person. I am the friend people call when they themselves or they have a friend who is experiencing infertility. I am often cautious with those conversations even when someone is "infertile" because just because someone has been diagnosed with "infertility" does not mean they will never get pregnant. In fact just about a month ago one of my friends who was told she "couldnt get pregnant" did. I'm thrilled for her and I'm glad she will be able to become a parent. It still hurts that that I neve was struck by lightning.
Adoption for a long time was a closet. I think for some families it still is. People even in the adoption world depending on when they joined have different levels of comfort. About a year ago I was talking to an "experienced" adoptive mom of a high school student. She was truly challenged by my idea that I spoke frequently and openly about adoption at home. She also was concerned about the contact with had with Baby Girls birthfamily. I never want adoption to be a closet for Baby Girl. I do want her to feel that she can choose with whom she shares her story but I want her to be proud of that story.
As hard as my wait was it gave me time to practice being "out" of the adoption closet. As Baby Girl gets older I become more comfortable speaking about adoption and helping others become comfortable speaking about adoption. Just this week a friend told me about how another one of her friends got a placement. A few other coworkers jumped into the conversation. At one point another coworker told us a story about how the "regular mother" (I kid you not) wanted her kid back. She was upset that the "other mother" would get to have the child back only to have it placed in foster care. I took a deep breath and told her that the mother had rights and it was within her legal right to create a plan to be able to parent her child. I also said that although the waiting period is hard before the TPR is final I know that I allowed the legal process to work and that D chose me to be Baby Girls Mom. I can't imagine being on the other end of waiting for the TPR to finalize the swinging of emotions between the plan you created for your child and fighting your own desires to be near that sweet child you carried for 9 months. I dont know that I'd always would have been able to have had that conversation.
As a whole I think my friends and coworkers know how much I respect birthmothers and expectant mothers. I think for many of them this is a new way of thinking. I can't say that I have them all convinced but thats their challenge not mine.
So please enjoy this clip: