On Orphan…

When I have an actor, or actress, that I really like- I tend to follow the projects they are working on. Because I really like Peter Sarsgaard, I first heard about Orphan quite some time ago. It wasn’t until the facebook warnings and petitions about this film began surfacing, that I really paid much attention to it though.
I am not a “bandwagon” kind of girl. It isn’t until I feel very, personally, convicted about something before I take a stand. And yet I found myself surrounded by people warning me of this movie. Warning the world of the damage this film could do to adoption, specifically adoption of older children.

I don’t know, I guess the theory (based solely on the trailer) was panic that people everywhere would see that adopting an older child comes with risks, and therefore these kids would be even harder to place.

I have to admit, based solely on my perspective of the trailer (prior to seeing the film) I sort of felt the opposite. Adoption is an AMAZING thing. It is truly extraordinary. Parenting any child is difficult, so please know that I am in no way undermining this at all. HOWEVER, parenting a child who suffers from an attachment disorder is beyond anything imaginable. I had read the books, done the clinical work and heard the minimal positive stories right along with the garishly nightmarish ones. I believed I was prepared.
I was a fool.
There are not enough adjectives, in the world, to explain what parenting a child with an attachment disorder is like. And it really doesn’t improve, it simply changes. There are different severities, multiple extremes. Manipulation is, at all times, the main agenda.

And I am sorry, but all too often people are entering into these adoptions believing that the child “just needs a loving family,” or “will be so grateful for a forever home.” These are myths. Although a child may need a loving family, or deeply aches for a forever home, he or she NEEDS so much more. Therapeutically. Psychologically. And my belief is, that because the system is so crowded with these kids- these details tend to be sugar coated to push adoptions through. The tragic result is often criminal. The middle result is that these kids end up in multiple adoptions or growing up in a group home specifically for unhealthy children who can’t function in a family.

It doesn’t have to be that. it is, more often then not, hell- to bond with a child who has an attachment disorder. Sometimes, that never happens. At any rate- I feel the warnings for this movie (yes, back to the movie) were ridiculous. They were, suffice it to say, based in ignorance. Most likely, someone with a voice sent out an email warning of this “horrible” movie. It probably said something like “Tell everyone! Do what we can to stop movies like this from trying to ruin adoption.” Because the people, who heard it from someone else, who heard it from someone else-else, just kept passing the word- people probably started to believe that someone, somewhere, must know what they were talking about.
They didn’t.
The first 1/2 of this film were flawless. (technologically speaking they were really well shot and edited, etc…) but adoption wise, they could have been the PERFECT parable of an attachment disorder kid. All of the girls wrong choices seemed to stem from an understandable place. You wanted her new family to work, you sympathized with her fears of failing or being found unloveable.
Maybe not everyone did, but we did. We understood. We saw the root of her “behavior” because we’ve been there.

Then the movie gets really stupid and suffice it to say ends up not having one thing to do with adopting an older child, or the risks involved. (and in a really stupid way, as well)

So, bottom line- not my favorite movie and not worth watching. HOWEVER, Not worth everyone boycotting it either. I beg of you, if you HAVE TO take a stand for something because you are personally convicted- fine. But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t do it just because someone said you should…

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7 thoughts on “On Orphan…

  1. LOVE IT. What a great post, and a great, honest, open-minded message. Because I live under a rock, I hadn't heard any of the hype about the movie or the boycotting. I love how you approached it. I have a friend who adopted not one, but 5 attachment disorder kids, and I have watched as her life has become unraveled, and tied back up with a messy sort of bow. How she loves those kids, and how dedicated she is! But not one step has been easy. You're right, there's no sugar coating it. But bless you all you take on these kids and love them. It is my belief that one day they will be healed by the Savior, and the love and gratitude they feel will be your reward.

  2. I am almost always in agreement with you. That said, I don't think the ending was THAT bad. Despite the slight letdown, I was still held in suspense until the very end. I really didn't like Peter Saarsgard in this movie either. But I thought that the children actors were all great (especially the youngest girl with the hearing impairment) and I liked the woman who played the wife, whoever she is.

  3. OMG Misty – I could NOT agree with you more on the last two sentences of this post. Bravo. FAR too many people take a stand on things these days everywhere – real life, social networks and blogs – because they're sheep following the crowds. Seriously, nothing annoys me more. So thank you for this. THANK YOU. It was brilliant. I've actually never heard of this movie – I live under a big rock you know ;) – but I really enjoyed this post.

  4. A-freakin-men. If people would do what you did and research something before acting like a sheep and being mad about a few lines from a forwarded email, a lot more energy could be spent worrying about things that really do matter. I am SO fed up with people spreading propaganda without having looked at the facts for themselves.

  5. I'm glad to hear your opinion on Orphan. I have a friend that had a failed adoption with a 5-year-old boy with an attachment disorder, and then later went on to adopt a younger child. I have been meaning to ask her what her feelings were about the movie but haven't seen her much lately. Now I am even more interested to see if she shares your opinion.

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