I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, not quite sure how I wanted to talk about it.
A couple months ago, Brae’s birthmom informed us that her daughter, Brae’s biological half sister, was recently diagnosed with a medical condition. In the interest and respect for their privacy, I won’t name the condition or discuss details. I will say, however, that this is a commonly diagnosed medical condition, but one that will nonetheless change her life. My heart goes out to Brae’s birthmom as she is dealing with the imports of this diagnosis.
Hearing of the diagnosis spawned a host of concerns for Brae. Could he also have it? If so, what will that mean for his life?
One should never do medical research on the internet. I’m just sayin’.
After dousing myself in armchair diagnostics, I marched to the doctor’s office.
I told the doctor about Brae’s biological half-sister’s diagnosis, and listed a litany of possible reasons why Brae may also have the condition.
The doctor laughed in my face. But, to amuse me I suppose, he examined Brae and poked and prodded.
“No,” he said. “Brae does not have it.”
I left the doctor’s office feeling relieved. But not so much that Brae didn’t have the condition (for which I am thankful), but relief that I have the kind of open adoption where Brae’s birthmom not only has the courage and willingness to share this information with me, but she actually has the access to me to do so.
And that kind of access to key pieces of information, like medical information that has already come in handy on more than one occasion, is just one of the many reasons why we chose open adoption.
And it goes farther than just Brae. We also have an open adoption with Sienna’s genetic family. I’m grateful for the access we have to not only medical history on a piece of paper, but medical information from the mouthpiece of the people who lived through it, and are still. Medical information that is current and up to date. Our donor’s daughter, 10 years older than Sienna, has lived through 10+ years of life, of which I get the benefit. She and Sienna have already shared several medical similarities for which I am so grateful that I can discuss with our donors. Everything ranging from “Soooo, how did you get your daughter to stop gagging on her food?” to “Whoa, Sienna has torticollis. Your daughter did, too. How did you get through it?”
I also so appreciate, that with Brae and Sienna, having an open adoption gives me a crystal ball, of sorts, into their future. Brae’s biological half-sister is a few years older than he is; Sienna’s genetic siblings are 10+ years older. In both cases, I already see a ton of similarities. I also see a ton of differences. But it is really neat to get a glimpse into what your child may look like and be like when they get older.
I recently heard of a medical study that determined that who we are is 99% a product of our environment. Brae and Sienna are products of me and Tygh. However, that 1% genetic blueprint variable is an unknown. I am grateful that, with open adoption (for us), the unknown is a little more knowable.
And on a related medical note, Little Miss is getting ear tubes this week. Eeekk!