May 20, 2011
I wrote you a letter once. It was a long time ago. It may have been way back when you were just starting out. You did a show about adoption. Maybe it was one of your early reunion shows.
Whatever aspect of adoption you talked about on that show, it made me decide to write to you.
I remember I chose my writing paper carefully. It was a lovely, cream-coloured note card, embossed with my name. I think I picked it because I wanted to look well – classy.
I picked up my favourite pen and I began to write. And Oprah, once I started to write to you about adoption, I couldn’t seem to stop. I filled the card’s inside space and then I started writing on the back. When the back was full, I started writing on the front where the embossing was. When the front was full I started writing in the margins.
Now I am a lawyer and I have been the recipient of lots of correspondence in my professional life, both on paper and electronically. I was well aware as I was writing to you that a letter with little or no white space usually means trouble. It usually means the writer is perhaps less reasoned than one would like them to be And yet I couldn’t stop myself. I just kept writing and writing. And when I finally stopped, I mailed it to you.
I didn’t keep a copy of my letter but I can imagine what it said.
It probably said I am a person who gave up a child for adoption. It probably talked about how that felt – not knowing if your child was alive or dead or happy or sad. Well-loved? It probably said I never forgot. It probably talked about how I always knew I would find my son one day.
It was the first step in reclaiming who I really was back from that other person, the one other people, for reasons of their own, wanted me to be.
Many years have passed since I wrote that letter – like Paul Simon sings “Twenty-five years, come and gone.” Twenty-four years ago this spring, my son and I met.
Deciding to write that letter to you was a very important step in fighting my way out of the adoption closet. I could tell immediately it felt a lot better being “out” and breathing the fresh air.
For some reason, (Maybe all that missing white space) you never acknowledged my letter. It doesn’t matter, Oprah. I want you to know that it’s alright. I don’t mind.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand, I wasn’t really writing that letter to you. I was writing to myself.
Thank you for being my catalyst. I wish you all the best.
a.k.a. Unsigned Masterpiece