Yesterday I was conducting an intake with a new client; part of those sessions involve a brief review of their medical history.
"Is there any significant medical history within your family that should be noted"? I asked, poised, ready to note his response, already looking ahead to the next question.
"I'm not sure. I didn't know my parents. I was adopted, so I really have no idea of anything that runs in the families of them. I'm assuming diabetes, since they say the form that I have is most likely genetic".
I wasn't ready for that. I wasn't ready for the feeling in my stomach that accompanied his words, and while I always carry a picture of the Queens with me in my mind when I'm working, I wasn't ready for the picture of Little A that surfaced in that moment.
"Breathe. Then write. Then go onto the next question", said the person in me that pushes away the girl inside and reminds her that, actually, she is a woman, and she must act as such.
I finished his meeting and dictated my notes and then drove to a visitation for the father of one of my friends that had passed away unexpectedly. They had made a video of him, showing him throughout the years with his family, in the light that you'd expect a father to be cast.
And for the first time, I didn't think, "Little A won't have that". Because actually, she will. She will know love and joy and what a family means. There will be pictures of her with her family at zoos and campgrounds and baseball games. She will know grandparents and siblings, just not necessarily her biological ones.
Recently there has been an ad on the television for the Daniel Day Lewis movie in which someone off camera yells, "Say it again", and Daniel's character yells, sobbing, "I deserted my child." Then quieter, "I deserted my child". I wonder who it is, forcing him to admit these things. I haven't seen the movie, but I think perhaps it is the child whom he deserted, somehow making him admit what he's done.
In the script that I wrote wrote in my mind based upon that commercial, the child lived a life of marked sadness and trial, due to the father's desertion. That will not be Little A.
Her life is full of love. I learned from my grandparents what parents are; she has that in her life. She also has "aunts" that dote on her and that would lay down their lives for her; that bring back Disney World to her when she cannot go there, that literally clothe her in the hand-me-downs from their twin girls. She has "grandparents" whose faces are awash with light when she enters the room.
She knows love. She knows family.
She will also, someday, need to know a medical history.
I have, at my disposal, medical history forms.
I have, in my life, a friend who knows where Little A's paternal grandfather works, and who has no qualms about walking in there with the forms.
I have, in my bathtub, a little girl awash in bubbles that one day will become a woman, who I hope will have children of her own, who will one day be asked for the medical history within her family.
I have, within my hopes, that she will pull out two forms, a bit torn on the edges, and hand them over and say, "I know the medical history of my family; I also have the history of my biological father". I have hope that that is all it will be; a fact of her life; a small, sad truth that the man that contributed to her making was not a man at all, but that in the end, it didn't matter in the least, for in addition to that sad truth, she also had bright, shining ones.