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Ann’s daughter, Sheila, was getting married, and there were a million things to do before the wedding. There was a wedding cake to order, catering to set up, and lots of bridesmaid dresses to sew. The list went on and on, and there was only a week left to do it. So when Sheila approached her one morning with a simple request, it was almost overwhelming.
“Mom,” Sheila said, “I need to go to the doctor for a premarital exam. Dennis needs the car, so could you take me when you go to town?’
Ann looked at the sewing pile and sighed. The problem with doctor appointments is they are never predictable. A person might get right in, and they might be an hour or more—time that Ann didn’t have.
“I’ll tell you what,” Ann said, “I’ll take you to the doctor’s office and drop you off. I’ll run all of my errands, and then I’ll come back. Hopefully you will be done with your checkup, and I can just come in and pay the bill.”
Sheila thought that was a good idea, so after breakfast they both headed to town. Ann dropped Sheila off and then went to the catering store. She also picked up some more fabric and ordered the cake. She was gone long enough that she was sure Sheila would be done with her appointment. But when Ann walked into the doctor’s office, she found Sheila was waiting for her.
“Mom, I’m glad you’re here. I haven’t had my appointment yet because I’m supposed to fill out this paperwork first, and I don’t know all of the answers. I’ve filled out the stuff about me, but I need some family information.”
Ann looked at the papers that Sheila had and saw that there were about five pages. Sheila had done the first two, but the others were still blank.
“Has anyone in our family had any allergic reactions to painkillers?” Sheila asked.
Ann sighed as she took a seat and answered Sheila’s question. Sheila marked the answer and then asked another question and then another. It took almost ten minutes to finish one page, and there were still a couple of pages to go. Ann could feel her tension level rising as she thought about all of the things she had to do. Then suddenly, she had an interesting thought.
Ann got up and walked to the receptionist station. “Can you tell me what all of these questions on this form are for?”
“Sure,” the receptionist replied. “They are to help with genetic issues when she has children. It will make it possible for us to help her with any family medical traits she has and will pass on to her children.”
“This is just a big waste of time,” Ann said in frustration. “You need to just do the checkup and forget all of this.”
The receptionist didn’t seem to like that.
“We have our rules,” she said, “and everyone has to fill out the family history for the premarital checkup. Why do you think you should be exempt from having to do it?”
“Because she’s adopted and it’s useless to her,” Ann said.
Sheila was quickly ushered back for her checkup.
“Sorry, Mom,” Sheila said sheepishly. “I didn’t even think about that.”
Ann smiled and felt her heart calm and her tension lift slightly as she hugged her daughter. “It’s okay, and it’s actually a good thing. You have been our little girl for so long, it is like you have always been our daughter. And I needed to be reminded that you are more important than dresses or cakes or anything else.”