Decisions about the Newspaper Article... Page 13
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Denise's Story, Con't.....

Decisions about the Newspaper Article...


While I was at work on Wednesday, three days after I found Kevin, one of the reporters, Jim Heil, had heard about my reunion and came over and congratulated me. He thought it was just wonderful! I took some time away from my work and went over to his desk to give him more details about how I located my son. He asked me a couple of questions and I told him briefly about the phone call, and talking to Ruth and Dave and then a little about when Kevin and I first saw each other. Jim said, "Denise, this would really make a great human interest story for the newspaper, how about it?" I told him that I'd have to ask Kevin and Ruth & Dave first because I'd never consider doing it without their approval and I needed to know how they felt about it. This was going to be a group decision.

I emailed Ruth about Jim's suggestion to have an article in our local paper here in Petoskey and she thought because it was such an important story to tell and such a happy one, that it should be shared. I mentioned to Ruth that Jim wanted the article to appear in the newspaper before our re-reunion on the 27th of September. She said, "There is so much negative publicity about adoption reunions and I think it would be a great opportunity for us to tell about a positive outcome". She said that she and Dave wanted me to check with Kevin, but as far as they were concerned, interviewing for an article was fine with them.

I emailed Kevin and told him about Jim Heil's news story proposal and that his Mom and Dad were in agreement about being interviewed. I then told Kevin my take on the whole idea...

"I don't mind doing the story. I, too, think it's important to let people know that a reunion between a child and a birthparent can be a wonderful, exciting and non-threatening experience. There are so many parents and children that want to seek and find, but they are so scared. The "fear of the unknown" is a very powerful force. That can be the one thing that will stop someone from continuing their search. I figure that God gives us trials, to not only make us stronger, but to give us a compassion and an understanding to help other people. If, by telling our story, we can help someone else find the strength to start their search, then I think this becomes a very important challenge that we should consider doing".

"The ONLY thing that is important, tho', is that I want you to be comfortable with this, too. The reporter will want to do a telephone interview with you to get your input of the whole thing. He would ask some really leading questions that might possibly be difficult to answer, knowing they would be read by the public. So, what do you think about all of this"?

Kevin responded as I thought he would... Kevin wrote, "As for the interview. I'm game. What could be better than sharing our positive experience!? There is usually more bad news than good news so I'd be happy to contribute to some of the good news. If there is a question I don't like I just won't answer it".

With the decision made, the next challenge was for Jim to make connections with four very busy people. Jim called Ruth & Dave and got their interviews within a few days time. He interviewed me three different times to get all the details and a complete understanding on the sequence of the events. It was after the interviews that I had some intense 'second thoughts' about putting the article in a paper. I'd been so silent about this part of my life for so long, it appeared absolutely 'foolish' for me to set myself up for scrutiny by others after reading the events that were such a private part of my life. I was very skeptical about how others would interpret the decisions I made about searching for my son. Would there be any negative comments? Would I be made to feel 'ashamed' again after all these years? I weighed the pros and cons and decided, firmly, that if this article helped just ONE person give them the courage to seek out their birth family member, then it would be worth any negative feedback I might receive. The decision was made.

Finally on Tuesday evening, the 24th of September, Jim was able to reach Kevin for his interview. By this time, the re-reunion was only four days away and with the anticipation of the article's appearance in the paper, I became very nervous about both. Oh, I knew Jim would write a terrific interpretation of our interviews, but when you've lived through an experience and someone else is re-telling it, you want it to be completely correct.

I went to work on Wednesday morning, the 25th of September, and was informed that our article would appear in that day's paper. I was dumbfounded at the announcement and immediately went over to the news department to find out 'where' it was to be placed in the paper. Two hours later I was told it was to be the major front page story. wow!, I thought. front page! For three solid hours I went about doing my work with the biggest, silliest grin spread clear across my face. front page! I could hardly wait to read it and it was going to be on the front page... front page!

At lunchtime, I went home to fire off an email to Ruth to tell her the article would be in today's paper. I wrote:

Dear Ruth,
"Our story is in today's paper, FRONT PAGE!!! When I get a copy of it, I'll call you and read it to you over the phone. I was going to write it all on the computer and send it but I thought that would take too long. If you're like me, you want to read it right away. If you're not there when I call, I'll write it all out and send it to you by email.
Once I was told, this morning, that it was going to be in today's paper, I became a NERVOUS WRECK! I wasn't fit to be around. I tried to get some work done, but it was a pretty pathetic sight.
Anyway, the presses will be running quite soon and right after lunch, I'll go down and get a copy and call you". Love, Denise

I went back down to work and when I heard the presses start to run, I went back to the pressroom and took one of the first copies back to my desk to read it. About half way through, I started to 'cloud up' at the marvelous story that Jim had written. He had accomplished something that I didn't think was possible... Jim had written our story in an informative, heart-warming and touching style and had blended our interviews just right. I had placed a tremendous amount of trust in Jim's capabilities to convey to the News-Review readership that the search I had undertaken was from the love that I had for my son. He wrote such an endearing article that it took my breath away. how do i thank you, jim, for this article in the paper that shows that a reunion between a birthparent and their child can be a wonderful, positive experience? you've captured our thoughts and feelings perfectly... thank you for your skill in writing this... i will always be grateful to you...

Continue to the next page to read the newspaper article

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