Adoptism, Racism, Attornies, and Love

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I have learned that parenthood is beyond exhausting, frustrating, emotional, and life-changing. I have also learned that parenthood is a miracle. Watching my son grow, experiencing every moment for the first time, and the intensive love I feel for him makes every minute of exhaustion worthwhile.
Another thing learned for me is how marriage changes when parenthood emerges. My husband and I are soul mates. I have never had any doubts regarding the love we feel for one another. Our bond is one which cannot be broken. What I have learned is that our bond is able to change. There are times when we feel disconnected, when we let our frustrations affect our partnership, and when we are just too exhausted and/or busy to make time for one another. I believe these changes in our relationship will not disintegrate it, but we will learn to assimilate to our new union as a family of three instead of a bond of just two.
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On the update front…we have visited with our adoption attorney. Our filing should occur this week, which will give us a court date for finalization. We have heard that there is a new judge working on adoption cases who has decided to see less finalization court cases each month. This means that we will most likely not have our finalization court date until sometime in October of this year. This is definitely not the news we wanted to hear, as our six month supervision is over at the end of July. Waiting is the name of the game in adoption, so we know this is just part of the process and we must remain patient.
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Finally, I wanted to share an unfortunate, yet eye opening, experience that Harper and I had about a week ago. Harper suffers from eczema. I have been treating it the best I know how with limited gain, so I made an appointment with an African-American dermatologist. I sought out this dermatologist due to the fact that she is African-American, and because I thought she could give me insight into any situation where I may still need clarification. However, this is not to say that I am uneducated on African-American skincare. I have researched and read more than you can imagine, but I also believe there is always room for growth and education (on any topic).

Harper and I had to wait a month to get into this dermatologist. Well, the day had finally arrived for our appointment. I was very much looking forward to meeting with the dermatologist, and coming up with a solution together to treat Harper’s itchy and irritating eczema. It all started with the physician’s assistant who was not only condescending, but downright rude. She asked me if mom and dad had allergies. I assumed she was speaking about Jason and I, as we are his mom and dad. The conversation was strange, and upon reflection, I realized she was speaking about his birth parents. This is a perfect example of adoptism (when the adoptive family is treated as less-than, second-class, or inauthentic). This office needs to be aware of all types of families, and the ways in which families of divergent beings (racially, culturally, etc.) become united as one. Adoption is very common, and this physician’s office is seemingly ignorant and uneducated on the realities of adoption and the proper adoption language one should use. When the doctor came into the room, I had high hopes that this awkward feeling would subside, and I would get the service I had come for. Unfortunately, the doctor rarely spoke directly to me, preferring instead to speak about me to the physician’s assistant. She said I needed a handout on skin of color when I asked questions about Harper’s skin and hair. This woman was racist; possibly not racist in the sense that she is against people of different color, but racist in the regard that “a white woman should not be raising a black child”. She was beyond unprofessional, unhelpful to me as a parent, and acted as though I was a babysitter instead of my child’s mother.

Looking back on this situation, I wish I would have been able to stick up for myself and my child, but I was so taken aback and upset that I could not see past what was happening in front of me. I left the office in tears. I have never felt less like Harper’s mom than at that moment. I should not have let anyone make me feel this way, but this situation affected me on a heart level. Since then, my feelings about this situation have gone from being hurt, to a combination of extremely angry and shocked. I share this story as an example that we never know what lies ahead. We should not assume that just because someone is a professional that they will act professionally. These women may be educated, but they are ignorant on the ways of the world, who prove that racism is alive in our daily lives.  I do not have patience or tolerance for this type of behavior.

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2 thoughts on “Adoptism, Racism, Attornies, and Love

  1. Wow, I’m really sorry. What a traumatic experience. I guess you can work on your response for next time, because I’m sadly sure that this won’t be the last time you get this attitude. Hopefully your finalization won’t drag on forever as well.

  2. Well that just sucks! I’m sorry the office treated you that way. I’d find a reviews website and leave thoughtful feedback for other parents/patients who may be considering using this doctor.

    On another note, my sister’s son has eczema too (though he’s not African-American); her pediatrician told her it was likely a milk allergy. My nephew’s isn’t too bad so she just limits his dairy and that seems to work, but perhaps Harper is dealing with the same thing? My sister’s ped said that’s the most common source of eczema. She also told her to use the gentlest soap she could find (she recommended Cetaphil).

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