Mom-of-three Jesica Ryzynski learned an important lesson in life from a most unlikely source: her 10-year-old daughter.
It all happened when Jesica took her daughter to their pediatrician. While at the clinic, the doctor asked the girl who her family members were. The first obvious member was her mom, then she listed her dad (who was actually her step-father), her brother who is younger than her by three years, and finally, her baby brother. But then the pediatrician suddenly corrected her, commenting that her baby brother was actually her half-brother.
Jesica was so shocked and says that even today, she felt ashamed that she didn’t have the courage to speak up. But she also felt pride because her daughter was the one who stood up for their family.
Speaking sternly to the doctor as only a 10-year-old can, the little girl said: “He is my brother. Not my half-brother. My brother! And that is what you will call him.”
Jesica added that even if the pediatrician had been a skilled one, which he wasn’t, the fact that he referred to her baby as a half-something made her lose any respect she had for him. For her, it stung to hear the word “half” as if the other half was something empty or not worthwhile.
Even from the start, Jesica was getting some bad vibes from the doctor. “He had a terrible bedside manner,” she said. “Both my daughter and I never felt that we were being heard and often even felt that he was being dismissive. He was very condescending.”
This is why her daughter’s stand has also made her more proud and reinforces her perception that her daughter is the strongest person she knows. “She is smart and very hard working. And she loves her siblings fiercely.”
Jesica’s first marriage was “extremely toxic and unhealthy” which is why she left it even though she already had two kids by her first husband. Luckily, her current husband had unconditionally accepted her children from the previous marriage and for this family, he was their dad and they were all his kids, regardless of genetics.
She believes that this unconditional love from her second husband is one reason why her daughter is so resilient.
“He is very involved with the children, both at home and coaching their sporting teams.He goes on most of the school trips. Their emotional and physical well-being is his absolute priority. It sounds a bit mushy I realize, but I consider myself very lucky to have found such a wonderful partner to go through life with.
Jesica adds that anyone can become family in so many ways, not just through genetics. For her, there is only one instance where genetics becomes important and that’s when determining one’s medical history. That’s it.
It’s definitely a poignant reminder for everyone that being related by blood is not everything. Otherwise, those who adopt children can’t be considered true families at all but we know that isn’t true at all.