10:05 AM

Adopted - the movie

Last night we watched Adopted, a documentary movie about a 32 year old Korean adoptee and an American couple who are waiting for their adopted daughter from China.
My husband is not much of a planner and has been moving along this process by getting, "the coles notes" (as he calls it) of all the things I have been reading. This movie is a good snap shot of lots of adoption issues, especially inter racial parenting strategies.
At 32 Jennifer, a Korean adoptee, finds herself facing an identity crisis as her mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. She feels the need to connect with her mother and to be honest with her about her feelings growing up adopted in white America. Her mothers approaching death wells up feelings of re-abandonment and a longing for a closer more "authentic" relationship with her parents.
Intermixed in her story are an infertile couple waiting to adopt a daughter from China. We see them prepare for her and see what they do in that adoption to try to address the situations and feelings that Jennifer says caused so much pain for her in her childhood.
At the end of the movie, the viewer is left questioning if the "modern" couple who adopt from China are really that much more prepared then Jennifer's parents were in the 70's. They seem to be blissful parents who can not stop proclaiming how perfect and easy their child is. Though out the whole movie, Jennifer warns how an adopted child learns how to be perfect and easy from a very early age. "we adapt, you adopt." she says.
Although I had done a lot of blog reading from adult adoptees and heard many of these same statements and feelings, it was very different to see it unfold first hand, to hear the pain in her voice. It was also amazing and interesting to see the real "gotcha day" unfold live, even though I must have read and seen pictures of over a hundred of them by now.
For coles-notes-husband, I think the film left him feeling rater deflated, hopeless and a bit depressed.

I really feel though that we who are waiting today have so many great resources available to us today, the Korean adoptees experience is so invaluable to me. Their experience mimics what my child will experience and I am so glad that they are of an age now where they have processed their experiences and are trying to teach adoptive parents how to make it better for our children. I also feel so lucky to have a multi-racial family to bring Elora home to, her cousins are every shade of the rainbow. I also value the fact that Elora will have a lot more information about her birth family, and maybe even the opportunity to meet them if she chooses to when she is older. We will not need to create a fairy tale of how she came to us, we will not need to cover up the hole in her past. I hope these things can help make her a more complete and rounded person.

You see, we were meant to adopt. It may be the one thing I am most qualified to do. I am not saying that I can not improve my skills, but we come to her with the most selfless intentions. We do not adopt in order to save her, nor to follow a commandment from above, nor to fill a void with in ourselves. We adopt her because we want to be her parents, and we have the willingness and the resources available to us to make sure we are the best parents to her that we can possibly be. I vow that she will never be made to feel, rescued, or a last resort by our family.

At the end of the movie I gave coles-notes-husband the above speech and we went to bed peacefully dreaming of our daughter to be.