Sunday 15 March 2015

Letter to the Editor Published as Feature Article

The first article I ever had published in a newspaper came about by accident.  In July of 1998, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Brantford Expositor about the trials and tribulations of the adoption process.  He was so pleased with its contents, he published it as a feature article.

I wrote the letter in the how to format, comparing the adoption process to an emotional roller coaster. I talked about the pain of infertility, something we had been battling for six years.  I talked about how Rob and I had come to the decision we wanted to adopt a baby.  How we completed a home study conducted by a social worker to prepare for adoption.  How we scrubbed the house clean.  How we spent hours talking over our potential responses to the questions posed by the social worker.  I talked about the difference between a public adoption, a free procedure conducted through Children's Aid, and a private one, a procedure that required a fee, done through a private adoption agency.  I outlined the difference between a domestic adoption, one conducted here in Canada, and an international adoption, one that takes place overseas.  I pointed out the emotional turmoil potential adoptive parents can experience:  the heart-wrenching moment when  a birth mother changes her mind and takes the baby back.  I mentioned a woman's biological clock, something most of us are familiar with, and her "adoption clock", something most of us are unfamiliar with.  A teenage birth mom thinks that anyone over 30 is ancient.  Ideally she wants her child placed with a young couple, not one that look like grandparents, rather than parents.

Unfortunately, I never kept a copy of the article.  But the Brantford Expositor did do a follow up story six years later.  They sent a reporter to our house to interview us, along with a photographer who took a family photo.  By this point, our son Thomas, whom we adopted through Beginnings Adoption Agency, was five years old, and our daughter Jacqueline, whom I gave birth to, was one. Thomas took the article to school for his show and tell.  His classmates couldn't believe that he was so famous, he'd gotten his picture in the paper.

I share this story with you to inspire you to grab a pen and paper, or your laptop, and write a letter to the editor.  Let your heart do the writing.  Your local newspaper's editor may be so impressed, he runs it as a feature article!

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