Letters: Tragic Events, Adoption And Filling Time

Guest host John Donvan reads listener comments from past shows about witnessing tragic events, adoption in the Internet age and how to fill time while you wait.

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JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

It is Tuesday and time to read from some of your comments. Last Tuesday, we talked about the effects of witnessing tragic events. Doug in San Francisco wrote in afterwards: I witnessed a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia in 2004. The message I'd like to convey after seeing such a shocking, deadly incident firsthand is perhaps one of hope. The incident is a milestone of sorts in my life after which I appreciate every day, every kindness, every simple pleasure, and it has made me a more giving person in my day to day life.

Mary wrote in to say: I witnessed a horrific car wreck in 2005. A young man deliberately drove his car at a high speed through a red light and hit a pickup truck driving through the intersection. I heard the vehicle barrel down the street, looked at the intersection and saw that the truck would be hit. Once the impact happened, I knew in my heart that both drivers were dead. I felt so helpless knowing it was going to happen and unable to stop this. To this day, I still have difficulty at that intersection and whenever I see or hear near misses in traffic.

Last Wednesday, we discussed how the Internet is changing the practice of adoption. Clare wrote in to say: We have two adopted children, ages 21 and 16. Our son was adopted from where were live, and our daughter was adopted internationally. I would caution against a very rosy picture of fast, perfect adoptions that don't reflect most parents' experiences. Indeed, I think this could mislead prospective parents. We used local agencies for both adoptions and their support and education was invaluable. Also, it is important to talk honestly about the costs of adoption, which can be expensive.

Jerry in Sebastopol, California, wrote: One of the factors to be considered in adoption comes many years later, when the child finds he or she was adopted and wants to know about their birth parents. One of the concerns about online adoption is the availability of records and access to the birth parent.

Finally, last Thursday we talked with Robert Krulwich about different ways to fill time while waiting for the train or bus or pretty much anything. Cassidy wrote: As a mom of three, I'm constantly waiting in a good old minivan, dropping kids off, picking them up. You get the idea. The way I find solace in those moments is by knitting socks, hats, sweaters, et cetera. As a 29-year-old mom, I get funny looks now and then, but the wonderful handmade gifts I end up with as a finished product are well worth the smirks.

Debbie from Mooresville, North Carolina, wrote: As a child I had a horrible problem with patience. When I learned to lower my standards for entertainment and look around, waiting was easy. There are so many directions thought can go and so many things to see. If something as simple as a pipe or a rock can occupy your mind, you'll never be bored. Focus on the wonderful small things in our world.

Trish wrote: We are driving from Wisconsin to Kentucky to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday. He was born on Christmas Day. I decided several days ago to write 80 haikus about him to commemorate the occasion, so I will spend much of the 10-hour ride coming up with the remaining 60 poems. Wish me luck. Good luck to you, Trish.

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