Way Back Wednesday

*Adoption blog, star date January 2011

What's Way Back Wednesday?

One of the many unknowns in adoption is your child's medical history. You don't know if his or her biological parents had cancer, asthma, high blood pressure, chromosomal disorders, genetic blood diseases, or diabetes.

I did not like this particular aspect of adoption, not one bit. I thought that not knowing what health problems Pearl might get in the future, and her lack of medical background would cripple our efforts at caring for her health. I thought it would be hard filling out papers for the pediatrician, dentist, therapist, whatever and not having a single thing to mark down for her medical history. I thought it would be hard on us and on her, not knowing if minor symptoms were indicative of major illnesses to which she is genetically predisposed.

I thought not knowing her biological inheritance would be really scary.

Hey, so it's really not. It's not scary at all.

I mean, when you think about it, so what if your grandmother had cancer. (I am NOT being flippant about people having cancer. Please know me better than that. I AM being flippant with medical histories.) That doesn't mean you will have it. So what if your father didn't have diabetes. It doesn't mean that you won't. What I'm trying to say is that in the grand scheme of life, a medical history just really isn't all that essential. It actually simplifies paperwork. Instead of checking or unchecking a zillion boxes on a form, I can just write "unknown" and go back to playing with my kid instead of filling out a sheet of paper that would just help a doctor make assumptions about her anyway.

Plus, it helps me to not worry about what she "might get" and instead focus rather intently on who she is and how she is right now. I like that Pearl's physicians have to think very carefully and specifically about every one of her symptoms. Her lack of medical history actually means that she gets some pretty individualized attention. I like that doctors can't make assumptions about her based on her biology, but rather are forced to look at her as a little person and treat her as uniquely as she deserves to be treated.