Not too long ago Robin, our resident adoptee writer, asked me the following question:
“If Olivia’s adoption hadn’t closed, do you think you would be pro-adoption?â€
I answered with the following, and she suggested I share it in a blog post:
“Iâ€™ve asked myself this very question many times, and I donâ€™t believe I would have been pro-adoption even if Charlie wouldnâ€™t have objected in the end. If she would have said the night before or the day she signed the papers, â€œMom, Iâ€™m fine. This is the right decision.â€ I still think there would be issues with us visiting Olivia. Without some sort of counseling, I don’t believe we would ever have been able to communicate well with my brother-in-law and his wife, my granddaughters adoptive parents. I believe they would have used their power to try and control our behavior, and it wouldn’t have ended well. The only positive is the better position we would have been in to negotiate visitation. That said, being able to see and know Olivia may have stopped me from being as vocal about the injustices of adoption like I am now.
I donâ€™t see that it ever would have worked out knowing what I know now about everyones different personalities and motivations for the adoption, and I still want to say “no” even if we all behaved as adults and did what was in Olivia’s best interests. Olivia still would have had her name changed. She still would have lost. I started to feel some of that in the hospital before Charlie ever started saying anything (I never told Charlie I didnâ€™t feel right about anything until much later). I should say here all of this “not feeling right” would have led to the same online communities I found originally. Like I said, I may not have been vocal, but I would never have been “pro-adoption”. I may have stayed silent until I couldn’t stay silent anymore.
The grief may not have been as bad for me personally. I believe if Charlie would have had the right information, if she had not been pressured into her decision, and she would have been allowed enough time alone with Olivia while not on pain medication and not still healing from surgery it would have been a decision given the appropriate amount of time and consideration with the correct information it deserved. That was what both Olivia and Charlie deserved. Even if she made the same decision we still would have grieved, but I donâ€™t think we would have felt as if we murdered a child. Honestly, thatâ€™s how it feels sometimes. The difference between causing a death and it being accidental, if that makes sense.
So, again, my answer is no, I don’t think I’d be pro-adoption if the adoption hadn’t closed.”