The adoption community is abuzz over the new horror movie “Orphan,” which (in its trailer) raises the question of whether adoptive parents can love their children as much as biological parents do. Here’s an article about it.
Personally, I have a hard time getting worked up about this one. While I’m not into horror flicks, I understand the appeal for some: the opportunity to face one’s deepest fears in order to get a thrill in a “safe” environment. Frankly, anyone who has ever dealt with a child with attachment issues is not going to see this movie: They’ve already lived the nightmare. For them, “Orphan” would not be the least bit entertaining.
Reading over the comments following the CBS article, it seemed to me that most comments fell in one of two categories, both of which needed a bit of balance. The “get over it, it’s just a movie” camp, on one hand, missed or ignored altogether the fact that there really are people out there for whom adoption has turned out to be something less than the rosy scenario they’d thought it would be. Many of these people do, in fact, wonder if they will ever LIKE — much less love — the little monsters who are draining them of every last bit of energy and goodwill. I hear from these parents more often than I’d like to admit.
And yet, the “OMG, my children are going to be scarred for life” variety, I thought, also needed a bit of balance. As for the idea that it might dissuade a potential couple from adopting, I’d say this: foster care and adoption is not for the weak of heart. If a simple movie — or movie trailer — is enough to turn a couple off to the process, it’s probably better that way.
I liked this post. I have been reading a lot of foster and foster to adopt and social worker blogs. I hope to adopt 2 kids from foster care at some point. The blogs are helpful, but I usually leave feeling a bit like a soldier preparing for war. Dedicated to my cause and what I have to do, but scared to death of being able to handle it. I am trying to build myself and my faithfor this. Knowing this is the path God has for me, I must have been given the strength to do it.
I’m not sure what it was about this post exactly, but it gave me hope that it will all be ok.
Melissa in Durham, NC
Dear Melissa: Thanks so much for taking time to write! I like to say that adoptive parents (especially foster-adopts of older kids) go through labor and delivery, just as bio moms do — we just do it in reverse order. The mess, the chaos, the pain — it’s all there, and it’s all part of the bonding process.
In the words of John Paul the Great: “Be not afraid! Open your hearts!”
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Blessings, Heidi Saxton