Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Orphan Movie

I'm sure many of you have heard of the new movie "The Orphan" by Warner Brothers. The adoption community is up in arms over this negative portrayal of orphans and adoption. While I, too, like to focus on the positive side of adoption, I understand it's just a movie and for entertainment purposes. But I like the idea one blogger had to get 500 adoptive family bloggers
to tell their "orphan" story in hopes of flooding the google search with positive stories. So I'm adding mine.

First of all, my kids are not orphans. I know their birthmom and am beginning to have somewhat of a relationship with her. But I interpreted the idea to include adoption stories as well. My son is adopted from the foster care system and my daughter is in the process of being adopted from foster care. My last post included a lot of negative feelings and struggles we're experiencing but this post is going to focus on the positive. Because despite all the frustration and pain, there are heaps and heaps of wonderful memories filled with joy. And most of all, there is love.

I'll be the first to tell you, love just isn't enough to heal, change, or "fix" our children who've suffered great loss and trauma. But it is important. Because we love our son with all our hearts, we are able to accept who he is, who he will become, and stick with him, no matter what. You canread our story from the beginning here. Part 2 is here. Stage 2 - Grieving is here. Stage 3 - Anger is here. And the last part is here.

But now I'm going to tell you my TRUE "orphan" story. Mateo and Maya are the light of our lives. From the first glimpse we saw of Mateo, we've loved him. I still remember one of the first days we had him in our lives. My mom came to visit and Mateo (15 months old at the time but really more like a baby) clung to me like a little baby monkey on his mama. His little hands grabbed onto my shirt as he hid his face in my chest. I had to fight to hold back the tears. I can say, really truly, without a doubt, that I loved that little boy just as much as someone who had just given birth to their baby in a hospital. Even though he looked very different from us, even though he came with his own history and his own personality we didn't know or understand, and even though it took him much longer to love us, we loved him because we knew he was ours. We claimed him from the moment his social worker came to our house with his file and picture. He was meant to be ours, always and forever. He's not old enough to understand adoption and his past right now. But I tell him everyday that he's my favorite boy. And if I ask him, "who's my favorite boy?" he says with great pride, "me!" He makes me laugh everyday. He makes me cry some days. But mostly, we feel like the luckiest people alive. We had to work (hard) for his love and trust, but it was worth it. Hearing his little voice from the backseat of my car everyday when I pick him up from preschool say, "mommy, wha-jew (love you)" makes it worth every drop of sweat and every tear we've shed the last two years. My orphan story has a happy ending. Because we choose to love, every day.

Maya's story is different. I grew attached to Maya the moment I knew she was born. Because she is my son's biological sister, I thought of her as mine too. When we first got the call that she had been born I couldn't wait to hold her, to kiss her, to love and nurture her just like her brother. Unfortunately, we had to wait a whole month before we could even see her or know more about her. It was torture. But the day we picked her from the hospital, when I saw her laying in the little bassinet, she was so tiny and fragile and vulnerable. She was sleeping rolled over to one side facing away from us. I rolled her over and, I swear, her face was the most beautiful I've ever seen. And that's not because I was biased, I usually think all newborns are kind of funny looking. But she was beautiful since the day she was born and I get comments everywhere I go reiterating the same thing. She is just a gorgeous girl, inside and out. And she melts my heart every day.

My son is three and my daughter is five months and I can't imagine my life without them. I can't imagine that our house would be filled with as much joy, laughter, sometimes frustration, and love if they were not here. A day doesn't go by that I'm not thankful for them, what they've taught me, and how I've grown. Big hugs and slimy kisses are the only reward I need.

Love you Bubba and Munchkin.

So if you want to participate in defending orphans, post this on your own blog so that when people search for the movie, they are flooded with positive messages about adoption and orphan care.

Just finish this sentence: "Warner Bros. new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life..."

1. Write a "positive protest post" on your blog that references the movie, Orphan.
2. Focus on your orphan care or adoption story that is positive, redeeming, and full of love.
3. Link your post here via a trackback or comment.
4. Send out an e-mail, Facebook message, or tweet to get others to do the same on their blogs.


JonesEthiopia said...

Love this post. Nuff said.

jyotsna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.