The first "wow" moment was after I'd written a few Yellow Rose books. If you haven't read any, they are about an "adoption P.I." Now, this was before there was a reality show about just such a person on cable TV. Anyway, a woman wrote to me, a woman who lived in Texas and not very far from me. I do research for my books (yes, even for a cozy!!) and this woman read what I had written about the Texas Adoption Registry. Texas is a closed adoption state--one of the few left in the country, I might add. Adoption records can only be unsealed by court order. You need lawyers and you need money if you want to find birth parents. The registry was created to make things a little bit easier for folks on a birth family quest. A person who gave up a child can register, give as much information about the adoption as they want. But they can only be reunited IF the child also registers. In other words, a reunion has to be by mutual agreement and lots of paperwork.
This woman who wrote had been searching for her mother for years, but didn't have the money or the resources to find her. She learned about the registry through one of my books and immediately sent in her information. I wish this was happy-happy story. It's a happy-bittersweet story. The woman's mother had registered and she, too, had been searching for her daughter for years. She died before the woman who wrote to me could find her. But this woman did find some peace. Her mother had wanted to find her--and that meant so much to this reader.
What about you? What have books done for you in some unexpected way?