Dear Woman with the Needle,
You were just doing your job today. You don't know the path my child and I have taken to get to you - you don't know about his two surgeries, you don't know about the trauma of international adoption, about how hard it was for him to leave everything familiar, even if it was an orphanage, and come to live with a family in the US. You don't know that earlier, in the waiting room, his big sister sat with worried eyes, asking if this meant he had to have surgery again. She brought a special bunny hoping it would help her baby brother not cry.
You just had the piece of paper with the orders to draw blood. You didn't have to, but you listened. You listened as I told you about his adoption, about his surgeries, about how desperately we want to minimize traumatic experiences for him. You listened as I told you about the last time we sat in front of a Woman with a Needle. How she didn't listen. How my baby screamed in his father's arms and how she made a choice in spite of his dad's questioning that resulted in more pain for my child and not-enough blood drawn anyway. How, because of the traumatic experience my precious child had at the end of her needle, we have waited almost an entire year before trying again, delaying some important medical care. You even listened as I asked if you could use his non-thumb-sucking hand so he could suck his thumb if he needed.
And today, you drew my son's blood and he shed no tears. A whimper and an "ouch ouch!" then he sucked his thumb (that you allowed him to have access to) and it was all done. I told you you were my hero and I think you didn't know what to do with that. You were just doing your job today. But you listened.
And I am so grateful.
Mom of the Child in Your Chair