Bracelets for Our Brothers
Help Us Bring Our Brothers Home
An Open Letter to Our General Physician
Posted on December 9th, 2016

An Open Letter to Dr. William Scott Dacus of Lexington Family Practice in Lexington, SC:

This letter could be about how aggravated I am that, over the past several years, I have watched your practice steadily decline in terms of how it treats patients. It could be about how I don’t appreciate having my time wasted while I wait for at least two hours in your lobby every time I have an appointment. It could also be about how your staff never returns phone calls, and does not reauthorize prescriptions in a timely manner, forcing the pharmacy to extend a couple of pills at a time to me and other members of my family while I wait for you to respond to my multiple calls. It could be about how our pharmacy says that your practice is notoriously one of the worst about calling in prescription refills, and has referred to your practice off the record to me on the phone as “unresponsive.” 

This letter could be about how, in our first adoption, you were negligent and took weeks to fill out paperwork required for our adoption, and when you finally did fill it out, you did it incorrectly to spite our clear instructions. When we pointed out the error, you took weeks again to rectify it. It could be about how, when we determined we were adopting again, we searched for a new physician in our area, but your staff was difficult about releasing our records so we were forced to remain in your practice to expedite this portion of our current adoption paperwork. I could even write about the weeks you took to fill out our paperwork for our current adoption even though you knew how important it was that we finalize it quickly because our daughters are waiting for their biological brothers to be home with us. 

I could go on to elaborate about the many phone calls my husband and I made to your office this week begging you to please sign the paperwork. I could outline how our calls became more frantic as we saw our agency complete everything for our home study minus the paperwork they needed from you. I could talk about the messages you didn’t return, the lack of respect you extended to my family when we arrived at your practice today trying to get us to leave and come back later. I could write extensively about how abrasive, rude, condescending your staff was to me and to my children while we waited for hours for you to sign two pieces of paper. I could even go on a philosophical rant about the problems with doctors and how we, as patients feel that you view us as lesser than, that we feel our time is wasted and disrespected, and the obligations we have to ourselves and to our families are treated as trivial by those in the medical field.

I could write about how our daughters, home 8 months, will suffer damage from their traumatic pasts for the rest of their lives, and that every day your practice took to fill out two pieces of paperwork adds to this damage for their brothers who are still stuck there. I could write about the countless news articles I’ve had translated that outline the human rights violations that are occurring daily in the orphanage our girls languished in for 5 years—the one their brothers are still trapped in. I could ask for empathy from you even though you and your staff showed none to my family today. 

I could write for paragraphs about these things. But I won’t. 

Because what you need to know is this: you made my family stronger today.
So, consider this a letter of gratitude and not of complaint.

My daughters, ages 10 and 13, adopted from Bulgaria earlier this year (you probably forgot these details, so I am reminding you that we are real people) have had nothing but constant disappointment in their lives. Every adult in their lives prior to their adoption has let them down. Today I was not going to disappoint them. Although your office staff tried to get me to leave and “come back later” multiple times, I stayed. Your office staff also told me that I was "in the way of paying patients with appointments in the lobby" and needed to “sit down out of the way." I stood. Your office manager told me that you were “too busy to see to my paperwork because you were with actual ‘patients’”, but I guess you have forgotten that we are paying patients, too and have already paid you to complete this paperwork. So, I waited in line to be your last patient today. I was not leaving your office today because, if I had, I would have been like all the other adults who have let my children down-- time and time again.

Today I got to be a hero and a role model to my two daughters. They are learning what it means to be in a family. They aren’t quite sure how a mother is supposed to act. You afforded me the opportunity today to show them that a mother is to love them fiercely, unconditionally, and will fight to the end to protect their best interests. They saw that I am willing to do this for their brothers who are not yet home, and that this must have been what we went through to bring them home. I will protect all of my children, whether they are here or still trapped in an orphanage overseas. I did not back down. I did not leave when you told me. And my children were watching.

You also afforded me the opportunity to show them how to resolve conflict. Their whole lives they have been taught that conflict is resolved with violence. But, today, they got to see strength in peaceful confrontation, refusal to quit, and a fervent quest for what is right. I did not leave. I did not sit down. And their little eyes were watching closely.
My daughters are also learning what it means to be a woman and a female. Prior to their adoption, they had a very warped sense of what their value was. Because of their ethnicity, because of their gender, because they were orphans, my children learned to believe they were lesser than. My daughters saw and heard how you treated me and treated them. They saw, through your actions and words today, that you lack a true understanding of the value of their lives and the lives of their brothers. Today you afforded mommy the opportunity to demonstrate the power and strength of a woman and a mother, without ever raising a voice or a fist. I was not silenced. I was not put down. And their eyes and ears were watching and listening.

My children are raising money to bring their brothers home. They work tirelessly each night after school to create bracelets to sell to bring them home. They are deeply invested in this process. Today they made 54 bracelets while you had us wait in your lobby until you decided you had “time to deal with us.” (Believe me, we know that’s how you felt because my children heard your staff talking about our family). Perhaps you thought that by putting us off we’d just leave. We didn’t. Perhaps you thought that if you made us wait that would somehow punish my family for speaking out against what your practice is doing. But, today you afforded me to show my girls how to turn their anger into productivity, and to not allow someone else to control their time and destiny.

Maybe you will buy one of the bracelets they made today while you had us wait in your dark lobby for hours after your staff went home?

If you’re interested, our website is:

With sincere gratitude and thanks,
Genny, Neil, Evvie, and Stella

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