Doctors Need Education, Too

We have great teams of doctors who work with my kiddos. I love most of them, like some of them, and can only barely tolerate one of them. Not bad when you have as many docs as we do that you see as often as we see them. We are blessed.

I like Zippy’s psychiatrist a lot. I think she’s good and thorough at what she does. I love that she’s dark-skinned — she’s from India and has a dark complexion which I like so that Zippy isn’t always the glaring minority in medical situations. (We very purposefully have several docs who are not light-skinned.) I like that she’s beautiful. What?? Sounds materialistic and shallow? Well, just try sitting down face-to-face for appointment after appointment after appointment with an unpleasant doctor; it makes you appreciate beauty!! 😉 But overall, I really do like Dr. N.

But she isn’t perfect. She’s human. She’s not an expert at everything. She doesn’t know correct language and lingo for every situation. She needs reminders. She needs to be further educated sometimes.

Case in point: At Zippy’s last appointment, Dr. N was asking for a review of Zippy’s case history, starting at birth, just to serve as a reminder to her since she’s been treating him for close to 8 years. After the birth history was filled in, she moved on to family history. And that’s when she showed that she needed an education.

“And you have 2 children of your own, too, right?” she asked.

Ouch. I’m sure Zippy felt as though his fur had been rubbed in the wrong direction. I know I did.

The education needed: correct language when talking about adoption.

Not “children of your own”  or    “your real children”

Not “your natural kids”  or    “your blood kids”

I (and surely all adoptive parents) feel that Zippy is just as much my child as my other 2 are. They are all my own children. They are all my real children. They are all my natural kids since I happen to think adoption is quite natural.

The question she could have asked is this: “And you have 2 biological children, too, right?”

Or better yet: “And you have 2 other children, too, right?” (although in her defense, it is important for a doctor in her role as counselor to know the specific dynamics of the family — how many adopted and how many biological)

The word she was looking for, if she even knew she should be looking for it, is biological.

I am sorry to say that I did not offer Dr. N an education that day. As you’ve heard before, it really depends on my mood whether you get an education and what form that education may take on. This particular day, given Zippy’s mood and anxiety, I decided that less conversation was best and left it at that.

But for all of you well-meaning wonderful folks reading this post, I can sweetly pass on an education to you in the case that you’re in need of it. Repeat the word “biological” over and over until you’re comfortable with it. Use it instead of “natural, real, etc…” And remember that unless it’s necessary to distinguish whether the children are biological or adopted, don’t distinguish it at all. They are all equally their parents’ kids. 🙂

Any questions?

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jojos mom on June 18, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    You Go Girl!

    Reply

  2. Posted by beth h. on June 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I just love you girl…..

    Reply

  3. Thanks for the education. I’ve thought about this, but never really knew what was right. I’m adopted by my step father, but I don’t even think about not being biologically his. And now of course, I don’t want to use words that are going to make Jordan feel excluded.

    Reply

    • Yes, our words are so important, aren’t they? Your blended family– your siblings and parents– really is a sweet, very natural picture of adoption. I can tell in your stories and words that you don’t think in terms of “blood-” or “step-” or “half-” or any of that. Really neat!

      Reply

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