I never thought I’d experience discrimination. Sure, I’ve been teased, picked on, all that but discrimination?
Let me start from the beginning. Many of you know that we are friends with some Chinese people who own a few restaurants here in town. They are great people and and we enjoy their company. Recently his brother sent his two kids over from China. An 11 year boy and a 9 year old girl. They are very sweet kids and are trying their best to get used to America. Can you imagine being thrust into a school where you don’t even speak the language? They started school a few days after they arrived. How brave is that??
Anyway, Pan brought the boy over to my house on Friday and said that he hurt his elbow, had no strength in it. The poor kid just looked at me and I could tell he was miserable. Instead of taking them to the hospital I took them to my pediatrician. When we went up to the receptionist she asked if we had an appointment and I said no and explained to her what happened.
Here’s the conversation:
Snotty Receptionist (SR): Have we seen him before?
Me: No, he will be a new patient.
SR: We need his records from his other doctor.
Me: We don’t have any of his records. They are in China.
SR: You mean you don’t have any records for him, even from where he was born? Has he NEVER seen a doctor before?
Me: Not here in the US. He is from China and all of his records are there.
SR: Well, I don’t think we will be able to see him without his records.
Me: Why not?
SR: Well…do they have insurance?
Me: By “they” do you mean his dad? No, he does not but he will pay cash today.
SR: They have no insurance?
Me: No, but he will pay cash today.
SR: Well…I can’t believe they don’t even keep records!
Me: Yes, his parents have records but they are in China.
SR: Can’t you call over there and have them faxed here?
Me: No, sorry, its not that easy.
Finally an angel in the back said it was okay that we don’t have his records and for us to have a seat and someone would be with us shortly. The doctor was extremely nice as was his nurse. Their receptionist needs to take some lessons on manners! I was shocked at her attitude towards Pan and this sweet boy. I can’t imagine how they would have felt if I wasn’t there. When I told Big T about the incident he said that he was glad I was with him to help out. By the way, after x-rays we were told that nothing was broke and we needed to get his shirt back on so they could put his arm in a sling. When trying to manipulate his shirt Pan grabbed his arm and kind of pulled it back and we heard a “pop” and then a loud scream (heh…boy…can he scream!). After that he was fine! The doctor ran back him and we told him what happened and he said that obviously the elbow was out of joint and we popped it back in. Jeez…. :)
Later that evening I started thinking about the whole thing. Is this something that Little T is going to experience or will she have it easier because she speaks English? What if she never talks and has to use sign language? Will she be looked down on like the SR did to Pan? Is this what he faces everyday because he is different? How do I protect her from the ugliness that is abound in this world?
That’s a hard question and I’m not sure I can protect her. I can prepare her though. I can teach her that everyone deserves respect no matter who they are or where they come from. I can help her grow up to love herself for who she is. I can teach her about God and his love for her and then, I can pray that the lessons I’ve tried to teach her will help her handle the difficult times.