The prompt at the Open Adoption Roundtable this week is:
Think about a time when your child has been injured or sick (or for adoptees, when you have been injured or sick). Did adoption change or complicate that experience at all? Did you share it with others in your adoption constellation? You might write about an actual experience you have had or think about what you ideally would want to have happen.
We have an older child foster adopt situation, and I have tried to keep contact and openness. My grandfather was adopted and we had a blank slate on his side as far as medical history goes. I also knew the desire that my mom has just to know. I’ve heard her tell over and over that she has no medical history for her paternal side while dealing with serious medical issues. I wanted to have more for our little Boo.
Fast forward a few years into our adoption . I was standing in the operating room holding area as the surgeon and his nurse asked me questions. I heard things like I was in a fuzzy trance. “family allergies to anesthesia, any previous surgeries, any medications…” . I had trouble answering how old she was. I was in shock but I will never forget not being able to answer some of those simple question. She needed her appendix removed and I had no answers to anything.
The worst part? It was all my fault. I had access to anything I needed. I kept putting it off. I was busy trading pictures and stories and visits. I also didn’t want to start our relationship with a bunch of personal questions. (EXCUSES!!) I would do that boring medical stuff another day. I never did, until she was out of surgery and I was hot on the phone, asking questions and answering them as well.
Her surgery was fine and it prompted me to gather as much as I could for her. I learned that medical history is not concrete, it is ever changing. We are able to trade information as it comes about. (and still trade pictures)
I am thankful that we can communicate and share information, about a variety of things. Mostly, I know I have access to the majority of her family medical history. To this day, my mother would still like to have hers.