DAY 30. If a Hollywood agent were to come knocking on your door with an offer to turn your book into a movie and told you that you could call all the shots, who would you have direct and star in it?
Why, just last Tuesday I had a call from such an agent.
The son of the executive producer of the 1990s TV hit show Touched by an Angel is developing a new series for television. He wants to use adoption stories in the new version (Some of the most popular stories from Touched by an Angel were adoption stories, he assures me.) Someone gave him my book, Adoption: More Than By Chance, and he was impressed with the wide variety of stories – international adoption, older child adoption, infant adoption, step-parent adoption, interfamily adoption; the variety of characters from birth parents to adoptive parents and extended family members. He particularly mentioned reunion stories.
The agent was calling with some questions. Do I have other stories about adoption that weren’t in the first book? Would I be interested in sending some material ‘on spec’ for consideration? He hinted that if things worked out, I might be hired as a script consultant, to ‘keep the characters honest.’
This producer is particularly interested in the issue of guilt, and how people adjust to living with guilt for decisions made long ago. That, say, a member of an infertile couple suspects earlier careless sexual experiences caused infertility, but suffers in silence rather than speak of it to a spouse. How, long term, people who start off feeling good about their choices but are guilted by society’s changing mores. He gave the example of a woman who was forced by her parents to relinquish a baby for adoption but now she feels she could have kept her child because it’s acceptable to be a single parent, raising a baby with or without family support in this day and age.
I couldn’t sleep that night. What possibilities this might be! To explore transracial adoption – a family who doesn’t care about the ethnicity of the child but has no understanding of the issues the child will face in school. A family adopts a child from foster care believing ‘love is enough’ and finds out it’s really not enough. An adoptive mother cannot sleep because her five year old cries herself to sleep every night longing for the missing parent that she’s never known.
Well, OK. This is only a fantasy; it didn’t happen. But look what could happen if given a chance!