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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In Which I Might Possibly Have Given Someone the TM Death Glare

Yesterday I took Squirt for a follow-up appointment at the pediatric neurologist's office.  The medical receptionist looked from me to Squirt, and back again.  Then she asked me, "is your daughter adopted?"  I answered, and the conversation continued...

MEDICAL RECEPTIONIST: Well, do you have proof that you adopted her?

TONGGU MOMMA: Yes.

MEDICAL RECEPTIONIST: I need to see it.

TONGGU MOMMA: She's listed on our insurance card, with our last name, as one of our dependents.  And we were referred here through (our local) hospital, back in December.  This is our second visit at this office.

MEDICAL RECEPTIONIST: (getting snippy now) Well, I need more proof than that.

TONGGU MOMMA: Oh, so you ask for the birth certificates of every pediatric patient you see here in this office?

MEDICAL RECEPTIONIST: Well... no...

And that's when I raised my eyebrow at her.  And then I waited, and waited, and waited some more, maybe possibly giving her the Tonggu Momma Death Glare during the stand-off.  Another receptionist stepped in and smooth things over.  And no, I did not need to show our adoption decree.

Has this ever happened to y'all?

And was I being unreasonable?

40 comments:

Sherri said...

Oh my lands! You were NOT being unreasonable! If your adopted child were Caucasian, she never would have known that you adopted her, and wouldn't have asked for proof of adoption. Good for you!

And I would complain to the Office Manager.

Aus said...

In a tiny little way I feel sorry for the receptionist...I wouldn't want to face the "TM death glare"... ;)

No, you were 100% correct in your behavior, I've encountered some of this at different times through our adoptions. It's just one of the 'things' that goes along with it. One of the joys we have is living in a small school district (our public high school numbers only about 500 students in all 4 years). As a result we have our kids birth and adoption records on file and because it's such a pain for them to attach 4 or 5 pages for a birth cert to the records, they don't even ask anymore! ;)

Y'all just keep up the "death stare", and remember that there are a bunch of folks out there who when confronted with something that requires the least little 'thought' just come completely derailed...it's not their fault they never learned to think! ;)

hugs - aus and co.

Shari said...

I do have to show a photo ID now at all doctors until they snap my picture and get it into my electronic file, but no one has asked for Amelia's adoption decree for proof that she's my daughter. Seriously, did she think you picked up a random kid and brought her in for service?

Dana said...

Wow! You know, you could just be married to a Chinese man. Never had this happen, but it's good to tuck it away under "things that might happen." I guess there's no chance you can do a little post on how to do the TM glare.

Mel said...

You were so NOT being unreasonable. She's lucky the death glare was all she got and not actual death. WTF?

LucisMomma said...

That is just nuts! You were not unreasonable--she was, and she was out of line, too.

TK said...

Oh my! How rude! I'm glad you asked her if she asked all patients for that information. If her name is on the insurance card, and she has your photo id, that is all she needs to have.

Kim O

Casa Bicicleta said...

Wow. That is unbelievable. I've had some rude things happen to me but never THAT rude. Good for you for putting her on the spot because she really totally crossed a line.

Johnny said...

Holy Smokes!

Anonymous said...

You were definately not unreasonable! That receptionist should be in trouble!
I don't get too many rude comments but yesterday a young boy asked me if I was babysitting. I said , "No this is my baby _____, you know ____'s little sister" He said that they did kind of looked alike (they don't AT ALL) I said ," Well, they're both Chinese. " To which he started laughing and making "Chinese eyes" saying OOh I'm Chinese. Goodness, what do I say to that?!

Lisa

Foxxy One said...

I think it's completely unreasonable.... that you didn't punch her in the throat. Please tell me you told the doctor, demanded a written apology from the twit and then had her fired. Gah I hate stupid people!

Mahmee said...

There's a time for tolerance and understanding of the less educated. And then there is a time for putting one's foot up someone else's backside. I'm just sayin.
M.

sara said...

you were only unreasonable in the fact that you didn't kick that stupid woman's butt! that would have been a completely reasonable response.

Meghan said...

Wow. Not unreasonable at all.

Shelly & Tim said...

When I read this my blood pressure started to rise. I tried to put myself in your place and I got angry. You were not unreasonable, by the sounds of it you handled it way better than I would have. I have not had this happen and thank you for posting about it. It makes me think more about how I will handle this kind of thing. I would definitely speak to the office manager. God Bless.

Shelly & Tim said...

When I read this my blood pressure started to rise. I tried to put myself in your place and I got angry. You were not unreasonable, by the sounds of it you handled it way better than I would have. I have not had this happen and thank you for posting about it. It makes me think more about how I will handle this kind of thing. I would definitely speak to the office manager. God Bless.

Beach Mama said...

Wow! I wish I could raise my eyebrow! But, I have been asked the same thing when I took my daughter to get her tonsils/adenoids removed. I replied the same, except I can't raise my eyebrow. My sister received that talent.

Felicia said...

Wow, I have never been asked that and my adopted children are of different ethnicities then I am.

LBC said...

You were polite and rational. (I can only hope to muster both in a similar situation.) And yeah, it would also be reasonable to make sure the receptionist's superior was informed of the situation so that the receptionist could be further schooled in hopes that she doesn't try that with any more adoptive families.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she doesn't work there. I would ask to see proof that she does. Haha. I think you handled it appropriately. Thanks for giving me a tip! :) P.S. I would like to see that death glare in a picture. Mrs Y.

Patty O. said...

No, you were absolutely not being unreasonable at all. I have never had to show my kids' birth certificates at a doctor's appointment, why should you need to prove your adoption? That is crazy! Plus, she wasn't very nice about any of it either! Good for you for not backing down. I think you were very reasonable!

Diva Maman said...

Not at all unreasonable. Makes my blood boil for you. Silly cow ought to know better without the TM death glare.

Reminds me of the resident who looked at my epileptic DD's health history and said "so her mother has seizures"...

Stupid people should not be allowed out until they pass a test.

Briana's Mom said...

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! That woman needs to be fired!!!

Anonymous said...

I have had this same thing happen to me. We on poop cup number 3 to the hospital lab for my Ethiopian son (I am white). I had my 3 children (2.5 yrs, 1.5 yrs and 1yr) in tow. The receptionist kept referring to him as my foster son. Which I corrected the first 5 times. then I said "He is mine, all mine, not a foster son." To which she replied "We need to see proof of adoption to call him that." WHAT!?
I, not so polity asked for someone else to check us in.

Sharon said...

Oh yeah, my husband was asked by a medical receptionist if he was her guardian. He politely told her that he was not her guardian, but her father! She still persisted with the question, but I need to know if you are her real father!!! Needless to say as patient and nice as my hubby is, he asked for a supervisor (after he sat out 4 year down with a book out of ear shot) and instructed them about adoption and how to treat families.

Nikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
heather said...

RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thewonderfulhappens said...

I have never heard of anything like this. EVER!!

Nikki said...

YES!!!! At a certain hospital in a large city in Pennsylvania while prepping for open heart surgery. This really had my blood churning. They wanted to turn us away because we didn't have the document that I tried to give to someone the day before at the pre-op testing. Also, the paper work that they send to you prior to surgery stated that if you are not the parent, provide documentation. Well, I was the legal parent of my daughter. We asked if she looked like us, would we have been asked and got a look and a nod. I complained to the International Adoption Medicine people. I felt that my role as the parent to my child was so minimized. Also, in the system there she is identified as the "adopted child" not just child. The TM death glare was more than appropriate.

prechrswife said...

I would have been furious. I think the death glare was very appropriate.

atherton2 said...

This happened to me when I was taking my daughter from Haiti for a heart catherization at our children's hospital. They wanted her birth certificate AND adoption papers! She had in the past had several hospitalizations there but this was a registration clerk on steriods. Like you I told her she was on our insurance card etc but it didn't matter. I also asked her if they asked for ALL childrens birth certificates...of course they did not! I told her she was basing her request on race, our daughters and mine and that was not right... anyway she finally backed off.

with Hope,
~ Chris A ~

the meaklims said...

Nice one TM!!!! I like it!

Jill

Molly said...

The thing that irks me is that it's only because she's a difference race that the woman asked. If a woman came in with a white adopted child, there wouldn't be any indication that the kid was adopted!

I'm glad you stood your ground. There's no reason to ask for the freaking birth certificate or adoption decree!

autumnesf said...

You know I've heard this several times so I'm prepared. But doesn't make you wonder? What the heck has happened somewhere that this would be necessary? Were people picking up sick poor kids off the street and providing surgeries on their insurance? People bringing in children from other countries? I mean really. What the?

Tracey said...

That was racist and discriminatory. If you can find time and energy to do so, I beg you to take this to the administration. I am the mother of a daughter from China and a son from Russia. When I tried to get my daughter's social security number, a clerk told me I might think adopted children have the same rights as those born in the U.S., but they do not-and she was not referring to the presidency.

cindy psbm said...

Man alive! that's about as bad as going to an appointment and the receptionist asking if you have one even though she is the one who supposedly called you to remind you about said appointment.
Some people don't have common sense.

Mary Beth said...

Oh heavens! You weren't unreasonable at all. If that ever happens to me, I hope I can live up to the response you gave and handle it so well.

Anonymous said...

I would say, "oh, her father is Chinese" (just don't mention which one :)). And don't bother to clarify if the person continues with followup questions, haha
-molly

Kerrie said...

Good for you. Maybe she'll think twice before doing it to the next adoptive family.

Carrie said...

Very irritating to say the least! On another blog I read, this sort of situation was brought up as well: http://theyreallmyown.blogspot.com/2011/11/whats-deal-with-black-kids.html

There are enough non-traditional families in the US, you'd think people would get over it. Glad to know you didn't kill her with the death stare, though she deserved it!