They tell us, on the activism groups, if you write letters to newspapers, other media, congress-people, senators, etc., that, even if your letter is not acknowledged or printed, SOMEONE still reads it. I would guess that, out of every 7 letters I send to newspapers or online media, 1 or 2 are published. I hit the big time with USA Today, yesterday. Many others that I have sent have not been published but someone had to read them to reject them.
USA Today had a wonderful editorial about how the movie "Juno" stopped short of telling the entire story. It was written by Jean Strauss, entitled "In 'Juno' Adoption Pain Is Left On The Cutting Room Floor" and can be read at this link: http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/03/post.html
I agreed to the fact that "Juno" is misleading and makes a mockery out of what is many women's greatest tragedy. Plus the NCFA is taking that specious bit of unrealistic cinema and running with it. I wrote about my own feelings and agreed with Strauss and it was printed, both in yesterday's USA Today newspaper where it was the lead letter and online! Yay for our side! http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/03/juno-out-of-tou.html#more
There are guides that can be found online about how to write letters to the editor. The papers and online publications usually give you their own guidelines, but I have found that, if you are passionate, eloquent and determined to make your point, you have a good chance of seeing your letter put out there for others to read and ponder. The industry had PR people that keep their spiel running and their misleading messages about heroism and good beemommies spinning away to reel in our younger sisters. We have ourselves, our keyboards and our passion. Our voices, votes and opinions COUNT. And it's easier than voting for your favorite on "Dancing With The Stars." (C'mon Kristy!)
To get to the more ridiculous letters that have been written in recent days...have any of you seen the McDonald's commercial where the different dishes that Mickey Dee's offers are sitting around a conference table, talking, and the parfait insinuates that the fries were adopted? Well, that has the adopters and their loyal adoptees up in arms. My reunited daughter and I have had a ball with it. She is my little French Fry and I am her "Spudmother" and we both agree that her father is kinda oily.
For all of those who told us to "lighten up" over "Juno" because it is just a movie and a comedy at that, may I say to those who get worked up over those poor fries, Hey, it's just a commercial. LIGHTEN UP. There. How do you like it?
My point is that if they can treat the tragedy of having to surrender a child to adoption in a comic manner, then the (un)holy institution of adoption can get the same treatment. The idea that adoptive situations have been treated unfairly is a total figment of someone's insecure imagination. THEY are the heroic ones, the saints, the (yuck) "forever families" and we are the brood mares that got kicked to the curb.
Only we didn't go down the drain and disappear the way they wanted us to and that has scared them all. GOOD. Now lets keep up the pressure. Write your letters. You don't have to be Emily Bronte or Stephen King...just write what you would say. Use a dictionary, spell-check, grammar-check and a thesaurus if you think you need help. Don't worry about dangling participles or ending a sentence with a preposition...that's not important. But write, write, write. Because, whether or not you are published, whether or not the recipient replies, you are reaching someone. Hopefully, somewhere, a young woman who is unexpectedly pregnant might read and reconsider contacting that adoption agency.
I know so many of you who have a powerful story to tell. Reach out and tell that story.