Tuesday, December 30, 2008


On Monday, December 29th we arrived in Springfield, IL early enough to have lunch before going to Vital Records to deliver the letters written to Santa. Lunch at a Bennigan's might have resulted in luck of the Irish! We pulled into the parking lot for the building where Vital Records is housed about 20 minutes prior to the scheduled time. My sister spotted a WICS TV van parked nearby so it was decided that the driver should be approached to see if he was there to cover the delivery of the letters. He was and asked if he could interview me while we were waiting until 1:00 to arrive.

I felt that the interview went well. The reporter did ask me a lot of questions. I did stress that adoptees have been robbed of a civil right to not be able to legally obtain a copy of their OBC and that there are birth parents and adoptive parents who agree. Obtaining one's OBC does not automatically lead them to their birth mother's doorstep. I told him about the old story about birth mothers not wanting to be found but the majority do want to be. I stressed that the fight for open records is not about search and reunion. It is about the civil right that should be restored to adult adoptees. It is about the dignity that has been taken from them. The reporter did ask why we don't feel that the IL adoption registry and CI Program are efficient. They are not a replacement and we need an open records law with no conditions.

When it came time to enter the building that houses the Vital Records department, I found that I had to tell a lady behind a window as to why I was there. She knew why but we had called ahead in order to have permission for the media to film the event. She asked that I step around to a locked door. A man met me at the door and took the bag of letters. I later wondered why he could not have stepped out into the outer entry area. Was he just not interested in talking to me, was he camera shy, or did he fear that if I got started talking, I might go on forever about OBC's being sealed? I do realize that in this day and age there are many locked doors because there is fear about what might happen otherwise. I sure would have loved to have shoved past this man and grabbed all the OBC's! But we all knew that I would not walk away from Vital Records with them in my hand. I was kind and gave the man a candy cane along with my personal card that does clearly state, "All adoptees should have their OBC, restore their civil rights".

Those who saw me out in the parking lot being interviewed by the TV news reporter had to have wondered what was going on. How many times four days after Christmas do you see an elf with a large gift bag in their hand being interviewed outside the Vital Records office. The wind caused the bell on my hat to just keep jingling! The look that one lady gave me made me wonder if she might have muttered all the way home! I was more of a site as I opened the door to the building because my elf hat blew off. I managed to catch it but did not try to put it back on while being filmed.

The news reporter said that WICS would cover the story and thought that FOX would too. My cable does not cover WICS and I missed seeing it on FOX since the reporter did tell me an earlier time than when it was aired. But after making some phone calls today I did learn that I can order a DVD so an order for one is going out in tomorrow's mail.

We had hoped to raise public awareness that adult adoptees can not legally obtain a copy of their OBC. I feel that we did succeed with that and the more who become aware of it, the better. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who wrote letters. Each and every one did count! There were a total of 82 letters delivered. They were from people who live in 15 different states plus Canada.

We must continue to raise public awareness
and come out in numbers until OBC's are legally obtainable everywhere!


Attila The Mom said...

Good for you! Clapping and cheering!

Prad Nair said...

GREAT job, Aunt Mary! I really, really hope it helps. I strongly suggest once you get the dvd that you upload a copy of the report to YouTube......it will reach millions & millions of watchers! ;) Couldn't hurt, right? You can include a link to your website as well as the address to vital records & I bet letters continue to pour in!

Love ya~

triona said...

I would have wanted to shove past him too!

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do this on behalf of Illinois adoptees. The state needs to know that the registry and CI program are no substitute for open records.

Three cheers for the elves!

Mary Lynn Fuller said...

The order for the DVD is going out in today's mail since the private dub company only accepts checks. I should receive it within a week. More than one has suggested that I upload a copy to YouTube so I will do that.

Kimberly, you are right that on YouTube there could be millions of watchers. That could result in receiving more letters. We need more supporters living in IL too so that we can come out in numbers for any demonstrations that we can think of. We are in this fight for open records to win and we will do just that!

I do hope that other states follow with having public demonstrations because we do need open records in all states.

chynna girl said...

This was such an awesome idea! I am so glad it went well! I might have to order a copy of the DVD myself. I must see it!

Hey, putting it on UTube is VERY SMART!


Lisa Kay, Fla said...

Perhaps next time everybody should wear their BIRTHDAY SUITS, lol!!!

You know the political situation up there better than I, so take this "shoulda" with a grain of salt. I do not possess your even temperament and when asked by the reporter about the CI and registry, I would have HAD to bring up the state government's "colorful" reputation and voice my doubt as to
whether those programs have any credibility whatsoever. But it was no doubt better handled with your diplomacy and decorum.

I applaud you for having such an inspired idea and making it happen.

You have my admiration,
Lisa Kay
FL Adoptee

Sandy Young said...

Illinois Mother of Adoption Loss here. I applaud this effort! What a great idea! I would love to help, as my son was lost to adoption thru the BabyFold in Normal, IL. I am now in Texas, but salute this effort.

Sandy Young