Well, speaking of adoption...
As amazing as it is, I can't always paint it out to be all roses. So shall I give you a peek at some of the realities?
We are HOME. Jameson's breathing and fluid intake was finally sufficient enough to let us come home this evening. He seems to be doing much better each day, although he still has a ways to go. We follow up with his pediatrician first thing in the morning, and from there, the hospitalist wants us to go see a pediatric specialist to look at Jameson's airways for any abnormalities.
Sounds logical enough. And it may put some of the puzzle pieces together about why he's had the problems he's had thus far. But emotionally, it's another thing to watch your infant being poked and prodded for two days straight to the point that he can't even make a SOUND anymore. Totally hoarse. It's so heartbreaking.
And then, finally leaving the hospital tonight still fighting a virus, while my daughter is completely melting down from spending the entire day cooped up in a hospital room watching Dora the Explorer movies, (that'll make anyone crazy) while Marc and I are trash exhausted and sleep deprived, while my house still looks like it did when we came home from our trip and literally dropped everything on the floor, while there's not hardly a single thing in my fridge, while I need to get ready for my family who is coming into town in 2 days... you get the picture... I will stop complaining now.
But seriously? Now I have to start considering that something may be wrong above and beyond this virus? Something that might potentially require surgery in my little guy? Something that might be restricting my baby's ability to breathe?
Noooo. Please God. I'm not ready to go into battle mode again. I'm not ready for anything right now except to curl up in bed and sleep.
If I must, I know I can do it.
But I look down at the peaceful, precious face sleeping in my arms as I type, and I do not want to think about what the near future might hold for him. Sweet boy.
But back to adoption...
So in the course of our hospital stent, as kind and professional as the doctors were, something really began to grate on me. It wasn't anything new really, as nearly every single doctor I've encountered has done the same.
You see, as amazing and beautiful as adoption is, there seems to be a different reality about it in the medical world. (at least in my experience thus far-- I'm sure there are wonderful, understanding professionals out there...) Because my child was lovingly placed for adoption by a birthmother, doctors meet that with suspicion, negative assumptions, and leading questions that make presumptions upon the birthmother.
As if my children are second class citizens. As if surely there will be something wrong, then. As if they're not like all the rest of the population of children.
It's oh-so subtle. Doctors have enough sense not to be outright insensitive. (most of the time, right?) But trust me- it's there.
Even as Marc held sweet, sick Jameson in the emergency room, workers were coming over to make sure he was indeed the father (understandable, I get that), and asking if he had custody of him. (assuming he was a foster parent or something, I'm sure)
"He's my SON," Marc told them.
We were prepared for that one, I'd say. By adopting transracially, we figure that question will come over and over.
But here was the kicker today from the physician... "Well... [clearing her throat] when you ADOPT a baby," (her voice trails off as she gestures towards Jameson with a slight hint of condescension in her tone) "you just never really know what you're going to get..." and on and on she went... at which point I honestly couldn't listen anymore because I felt my blood start to boil.
Um, I'm sorry. Does ANYONE know what they're going to get? I thought. Just because I adopted, I didn't know what I was going to get? I've know PLENTY of biological children who had health problems at birth that were unexpected, even with superior prenatal care! And I bet the doctor didn't blame those on their mother! Can you just treat my child as if he or she has the same medical standing as anyone else please? I may not have all of the family history or helpful information for you, but please-- let's not always immediately point to the fact that my child is ADOPTED as the cause for what's happening.
Once again, birth mothers get a terrible rap. Stereotyped. As if each one of them did something intentionally wrong to cause even a cold virus in their child.
Thankfully this time Marc and I held our tongues.
Next time, I can't promise the same. (It might make for a teachable moment, after all, right?)
So all that to say- I hate taking my kids to the doctor. (I know none of us do.) But I can't fill out those darn family history forms as thoroughly as I'd like to, and I don't know which great aunt died from what cause. It's just a reality we live with in adoption.
But I do know that I couldn't love my kids any more than if they had come out of MY tummy. And I'm going to fight for their health no matter what comes up, just like any biological mama would.
Family isn't just who shares blood. It's who shares a name.
Doctor, you may see my kids as "greater risk."
I see them as MINE.