E-Net News

Alex Trice ’12 recounts reunion with birth mother in first-person article

In her professional life, the Pace web video writer creates online content for her clients and their audiences. Recently, the Elon University alumna’s work became deeply personal, penning a story about how technology connected her with her estranged mother.

In her online article, "Oceans Apart: A Tearful Reunion with My Mom,” Alex Trice ’12 details how tablets, video chat apps and social media helped her reconnect with her biological mother, a process she called “a crazy miracle.”

​As a web video writer at Pace, a Greensboro, North Carolina-based marketing content company, Alex Trice ’12 and her colleagues are charged with creating compelling online content for their clients, which include the wireless telecommunications giant Verizon.

In the months leading up to Mother’s Day, the Pace staff solicited topical ideas from each other for the Verizon Mobile Living website, a “digital lifestyle magazine with tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your mobile technology,” explained Trice.

The media arts and entertainment major had just the right story in mind – her own. Adopted as an infant, Trice has used tablets, video chat apps and social media in recent years to reconnect with her biological mother living in England.

“I suggested my own story of meeting my birth mother because mobile technology is a big factor in how we stay connected,” she said. “And if it hadn't been for video chat and tablets, etc., I have no idea how I could have reunited with her like I did.”  

A week before this year’s celebration of mothers everywhere, Trice’s article, written in first person, was published online. It is titled “Oceans Apart: A Tearful Reunion with My Mom” and includes images of Trice video chatting with her birth mother and biological sisters, as well as an adorable picture of Trice as a toddler, complete with pigtails.

Trice’s story recounts how an unexpected Facebook message from her long-lost half sister facilitated the connection with her estranged mother. She also discussed how technology helped foster the budding relationship, and the many emotions surrounding the mother and daughter’s first face-to-face meeting in nearly two decades.

The story fit perfectly into the Verizon Mobile Living website’s Home & Family section, which highlights ways to utilize technology in the home and when interacting with family members. 

Trice (bottom left) video chats with her mother (center) and sisters, Rowena (left) and Rachel. Photo courtesy of www.verizonwireless.com

​Asked what she enjoyed most about writing the article, Trice noted the creativity the topic provided her. “It was fun to write about something that was so personal and real to me because I was able to bring a bit of myself into the writing and be creative with it,” she said. “Anyone who reads it will get a very honest glimpse into my life and who I am.”

While the article provided an avenue to express herself, Trice found rehashing the memories of adoption to be deeply emotional. Predictably, she was tentative at first to share a draft with her birth mother.

“I was pretty nervous about showing it to my biological mother because it's told from such a personal point of view that I worried she wouldn't like it. But she loved it, so that was a big relief,” Trice said. “My adoptive family really liked the article too, which meant a lot to me.”

Outside of Trice’s family, the reaction to the article has been overwhelmingly positive as well, which the author called humbling.

​“A lot of people told me they found it touching, which is basically the ultimate compliment when you're a writer; to know that someone was affected in some way because of your words,” she said. “I feel very lucky to get to do this for a living, and I know a big part of that is because I got such a strong foundation in professional skills while at Elon.” 

Tommy Kopetskie,
6/10/2015 11:50 AM