Dear Ira,

I have tons of This American Life episodes on my iPod; when I’m cooking or cleaning or riding the bus, I like to listen to people telling stories, and there’s nothing better for that than TAL. I was listening to the episode titled “Go Ask Your Father,” which is about confronting your parents—about wanting to sort out the rubbish from your childhood with them, but that the person you’re mad at doesn’t exist anymore. Whether your parents are dead or just decades older, they aren’t the parents you want to confront; those parents, younger and less experienced, are gone. It’s the first time I’ve listened to this one since before I was pregnant, before the adoption, and it is infinitely sadder than it was a couple of years ago.

I don’t at all think that adoptee rage is unjustified, or inappropriate, or that adoptees need my permission to be angry—I mention this just to provide context for the embarrassing half of this thought. I tend to avoid adoptee blogs and adoptee sections of mixed-triad forums, don’t go to the mixed-triad group therapy offered by my social worker. I would really like to be able to let go of this fear of Cricket’s possible future rage. I think the odds are good that he won’t be particularly angry, as his parents are super adoring and attentive and thoughtful—and of course I am coming to birthday parties, bringing presents, letting him know that I’m thinking of him with love throughout the year.

A part of me wants to write to This American Life and talk about my changing perspective on that episode—what could be more in the spirit of TAL than talking about your experience of their stories?—I know that they once did short piece on an expectant mother making an adoption plan, but I think that they still might be interested to read my fan mail. But then, if no one I’ve heard of read the letter—if an intern read it and threw it out, or just threw it out, period—I’d be embarrassed. I am perhaps a little strange.

6 thoughts on “Dear Ira,

  1. I don’t want to be on the radio…but I would like to tell them what I think. I’m the kind of person who wants to write fan letters but then decides not to bother people. 😛

  2. You should tell them — they will care. Also if you ever were interested in their prompts (you or Alissa), shoot me an email (dawnfriedman AT gmail DOT com) and I’ll forward one to you. Then you just write the woman and she adds you to the big list for when she sends out what they’re working on. Even if you never pitch them, it’s interesting to see what they’re thinking and sometimes then you hear the show later and it’s come out very different than what they planned and it’s just fun to be a tiny little itsy-bitsy bit in on the process.

    • I emailed you. 😉 Well, maybe I will tell them, then–I remember reading about that story in process on your blog back quite some time ago, and I heard the finished story only recently.

  3. I also love Ira and TAL and sent them a letter months ago. I know it’s weird, but I kept waiting for some kind of acknowledgement — even a form letter saying “Thanks for the mail” — and when one never came I felt silly for having written in the first place. But my letter was basically just a funny anecdote about seeing TAL Encore at the movie theatre; I think they’d be much more interested in your perspective on the “Father” episode!

    • I actually did email them, and got a “Thanks, I passed this around” email in return; maybe they’re just lazier about snail mail? Lord knows I am.

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