Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ignorance is Unacceptable - A Rant

I've just returned from that special yearly trip that all women love. Every year since she delivered my 13 year old, my gynecologist has asked how she is. Since we've adopted as well she's taken to asking first about "my daughter" and then about "the rest." I'm done correcting her. After 15 years, I'm finding a new gynecologist because this well educated woman can not wrap her mind around the concept that THEY ARE ALL MY KIDS!!!!

Let me clarify for anyone else who might be confused, adoptive parents think of all their children, whether they joined the family by birth or adoption, as their children. There is no distinction. When any of my kids are sick, I take them to the doctor. When any of my kids are hungry, I feed them. When any of my kids outgrow their shoes, I buy them new ones.

There, I feel better now!


sadie said...

You go, Veggie Mama!! Rock on. Sooo true. I remember my cousin, my grandmother always refered to him as her adopted grandchild. She didn't get it either. Are you going to tell the doc why you are switching??

Ruthie said...

I can't believe the ignorance of that woman.

Katie said...

I have a friend who has two biological kids and two adopted kids. If you put them in age order it would be biological, adopted, biological, adopted. On her Christmas card, year after year, she signs biological, biological, adopted, adopted. No matter how many times you explain it, she still doesn't get it. And she's someone who chose to adopt, go figure.

As for the doc, I may tell her when I have my records transfered. I suspect the whole adoption thing befuddles her because she, of all people, is aware that I wasn't having fertility problems. I simply chose to adopt rather than get pregnant.

It is sad though, all those degrees and no common sense.

Anonymous said...

Oh, now I totally read her comment differently. I figured 'the rest' meant the ones she hadn't delivered, not any slight about them not being completely your children also. I can sort of see if she delivered your first child, she would view your children as "the one she delivered + the others she didn't deliver." I don't think she meant any harm in these special circumstances, honestly. If you are positive a slight was meant, perhaps you should ask her about it. Anyway -- I enjoy your blog, read it daily. :-)

Katie said...

Hi Ellen,
While I suspect you're right, that she truly meant no harm, I have to stand my ground. It is emotionally damaging for an adopted child to hear his or herself differentiated from other children in the family. Trust me when I tell you, kids hear everything! Granted none of my kids were with me but you'd be amazed what people say even when they are. In case your curious, both of my daughters came to me seperately to complain about my friend and her Christmas card. Kids notice a lot.

Adoption really isn't a special circumstance, its just another way to create a family. I didn't adopt so I could hear what a great person I was for taking those "poor unfortunate children" but I do expect certain things from the masses. People say an amazing array of thoughtless things when a circumstance doesn't touch them directly, the good doctor's choice of wording is an example. (Some other examples include asking really personal info about the child and the circumstances surrounding his/her entry into foster care.)

I'm sure my reaction may seem somewhat extreme to some but think of me as a momma bear just trying to protect her precious cubs.

Glad you enjoy the blog!

monstergirl said...

I work at a school, and one of my students stated she was "adopted". Since my thesis (finishing up my MSW this spring!) is with older kids in the foster care system, I asked when s/he was adopted. S/he said, "When I was 3 months old." (s/he is a high school senior now). I told her/him, "Oh, so they're just your parents, not your 'adopted' parents." The student smiled and agreed.

I'm always amazed at the attitude that non-bio kids are not 'your' kids. Heh, I take psychological ownership of ALL the kids I work with, I consider them all "my" kids. And they don't even live with me!

Good for you for making that stand. I'm continually impressed with your blog...I caught that you have adopted (mentioned somewhere back in your blog) but the way you talk about your kids, it's obviously not an issue who/when you adopted. And I think that's great.

p.s. I left you a comment a couple months ago about a gardening article I have...but don't know how to contact you (outside your blog). Would you prefer a scanned/emailed copy, or hard copy snailmailed to you? You can email me at monstergirl72(at)hotmail(dot)com.


Anonymous said...

Glad you weren't offended at my comments. And I am sorry that there are people out there who do make out that adopted children aren't as much a part of the family as biological children. My favorite adoption comment is from Marie Osmond: Whenever someone asks her which children are her own and which ones are adopted, she always replies, "I can't remember." :-)

Anonymous said...

er, make that "I don't remember" -- that sounds better.

Katie said...

Thanks Vanessa, I just emailed you about the gardening article. I really would love to see it.

I'd never heard that quote from Marie Osmond before. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I may have to borrow it.

AnnMarie said...

Unless you have some specific issues, did you know you don't need to see a gynecologist? My primary care person (a nurse practioner) does my Pap smear and such at my annual physical. I was delighted when she told me I didn't have to go to an Ob/gyn. I mean, what's the point of another, separate appointment that you don't really need? (And even w/ specific issues, the primary care person may be just fine. I do have some "female problems" and it hasn't caused any problems. I haven't seen the ob/gyn since I stopped trying to get pregnant. And, actually, I only did see her while we were trying to get pregnant.)

Katie said...


Thanks for the tip, I didn't know that.

Anonymous said...

I am adopted and was told by my family 'you are ours'. They took me to the doctors, fed me, clothed me and just plain loved me. I would have never known the difference if I wasn't taller and lighter skinned than they are. My sister is 18 years older and about 6 inches shorter so I love it when she introduces me as her 'little' sister - LOL!!

I am proud I was adopted - I was chosen!!


Katie said...

Thank for your comments Tanya. Its always great to hear perspectives from an adult adoptee, someones who's lived it already.