NPR

Letters: Adoption, UAW, 'Harry Potter'

This week we've be reporting on Adoption in America, sharing the experiences of people like Judy Stigger and her adopted son Aaron.

Judy is white, Aaron is mixed race, and they've heard a lot of rude comments over the years:

"People would say, 'Do you have any real children?'" Judy said. "I would just turn to him and say, 'No, I just have this plastic one.' And Aaron would hold his arms out and say ta-da.".

"We almost were going to take that show on the road," adds Aaron:

Marijke Annis of San Jose, Calif., writes:

"I am a single, white woman who adopted a black son. Your story on Judy and Aaron Stigger was a delight to hear. I loved Judy's plastic-child comment and have officially added it to my repertoire of pithy responses to strangers who are clearly speaking without thinking when they address my son and me."

But David de Boer of Chicago, Ill., felt something was missing. He writes:

"Conspicuously and disappointingly absent from your excellent series on adoption was a segment on the gay baby boom — surely one of the biggest trends in contemporary adoption today."

Several of you also wrote in about our story on the labor talks between the United Auto Workers and the automobile industry, and specifically this line from reporter Frank Langfitt:

In earlier decades when Detroit dominated the market, the United Auto workers got great benefits for their members and built a virtual welfare state.

Jane Owen, of Arlington, Texas, writes:

"I don't think that characterizing health benefits and pension plans for people who are working full-time, or have retired from working full-time all their lives, as 'welfare' is balanced reporting. Decent pay, health insurance and pensions should be available for full-time workers, period. If the companies are failing, they should look at their products, their management, and their CEO bonuses."

Finally, lots of you responded to our stories about the Harry Potter phenomenon. Some of you said we gave the boy wizard far too much airtime.

Others said our review of the last book in the series gave away too many plot details.

Jennifer Hendricks of Brookfield, Ill. writes:

"After stating at the start of this review that there would be no spoilers, the review went on to tell me what page the first person dies, and talk about the main character's trip around the English countryside (the part I was working on!). Great job, NPR. You didn't tell us who dies. Unfortunately, you gave away some major plot points and disappointed readers who wanted to take their time and read it!"

Whether our stories disappoint you or delight you, let us know. Just go to www.NPR.org and click "Contact Us."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And it's time now to hear some of your mail.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: This week, we've been reporting on adoption in America, sharing the experiences of people like Judy Stigger and her adopted son Aaron. Judy is white, Aaron is of mixed-race, and they've heard a lot of rude comments over the years.

Ms. JUDY STIGGER: People would say, do you have any real children? I would just turn to him and say, no, I just have this plastic one. And Aaron would hold his arms out and ta-da.

MR. AARON STIGGER (Son of Judy Stigger): We almost were going to take that show on the road.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Marijke Annis(ph) writes from San Jose, California. I am a single, white woman who adopted a black son. I loved Judy's plastic-child comment, and have officially added it to my repertoire of pithy responses to strangers who are clearly speaking without thinking when they address my son and me.

INSKEEP: David de Boer(ph) of Chicago, Illinois has been listening to our series and thinks something's missing. He wishes there was a segment on the gay baby boom, which he calls surely one of the biggest trends in contemporary adoption today.

MONTAGNE: Several of you wrote in about our story on the labor talks between the United Auto Workers and the automobile industry, and specifically this line from reporter Frank Langfitt.

(Soundbite of previous NPR broadcast)

FRANK LANGFITT: In earlier decades, when Detroit dominated the market, the United Auto Workers got great benefits for their members and built a virtual welfare state.

INSKEEP: Jane Owen(ph) of Arlington, Texas, writes: I don't think that characterizing health benefits and pension plans for people who are working fulltime, or who have retired from working fulltime all their lives, as welfare is balanced reporting.

Decent pay, health insurance and pension, she writes, should be available for full-time workers, period. And if the companies are failing, they should look at their products, their management and their CEO bonuses.

MONTAGNE: Lots of you responded to our stories about the Harry Potter phenomenon. Some of you said we gave the boy wizard far too much airtime.

INSKEEP: Others said our review of the last book in the series gave away too much of the plot.

(Soundbite of previous NPR broadcast)

JJ SUTHERLAND: It is now 2:34 in the morning. I just made it home. Seven hundred and thirty nine pages, and so it begins. Chapter one, The Dark Lord Ascending. The two men appeared out of nowhere…

INSKEEP: Jennifer Hendricks of Brookfield, Illinois writes: After stating at the start of this review that there would be no spoilers, the review went on to tell me what page the first person dies and talk about the main character's trip around the English countryside - the part I was working on. Great job, NPR. You didn't tell us who dies. Unfortunately, you gave away some major plot points and disappointed readers who wanted to take their time.

MONTAGNE: Whether our stories disappoint you or delight you, let us know. Just go to npr.org and click Contact Us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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