I recently read the article “Your Mother Would Know” by Carol Barbieri that originally ran in the NY Times on November 29, 2005. (Thank you Lori and Elaine at Adoption Education for pointing me to it.)
It’s all about medical records and adoptees. You know, life and death issues – the kinds of things I never thought through at 19 when I relinquished you for adoption. I thought (and was told) that love would be enough. Love would always be enough. It all about love, isn’t it? Turns out, it isn’t. At least not if the doctors think your 14-year old son might have Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. Or an number of other countless diseases and disorders that are inherited or genetically related.
Turns out all the love in the world can’t compensate for not having a first-hand knowledge of your roots.
You don’t have any of that information. Well, you have the sketchy bits that I could give at 19 years old. But do you know that heart disease runs in your family (thanks ex-dad!)? PCOS? Diabetes? Alcoholism? Hepatic cysts? Depression? Gout? Rheumatoid arthritis? How about chronic hypotension? Fortunately there isn’t anything too out-of-the-ordinary that we know of other than rampant stupidity for those who possess a Y chromosome, but since you are a girl, I think you are safe.
So this got me to thinking: Should I write up a detailed medical history dossier and send it too you? Or should I just wait for you to ask for it? If I write it up and don’t send it in the hopes that your need for it will someday motivate you to contact me, then am I holding that information hostage? The Book of Melynda dictates that it is rightfully yours, so would I be going against my personal moral code to not send it to you?
This whole adoption thing…I think I have it all figured out and then whammo kablammo, as the Professor says, yet another curve ball is pitched at my head.
I guess I just have to think this one through a bit more carefully. What would I want if I were in your situation?