Posted by MissyHall | Posted in Adopting Mommy | Posted on 16-05-2012
Tags: adoption, foster care, Missy Hall, Oscar, The Blind Side
I used to hate to cry. I used to never want to cry in front of people, so I’d go take a shower, just because a wet face can hide the tears. But, since the moment I held my son for the first time (8 years ago from Thursday!), I have been like a faucet. I cry at commercials, listening to music in the car, whenever my kids are exceptionally sweet, and at pretty much all kids movies. Especially ones about adoption.
We are big time movie goers, and for Mother’s Day I took my kiddos out to see “Chimpanzee”…with a few tissues handy.
This Disneynature film did not disappoint. The jungle environment was breathtaking, the chimps playing and learning were adorable and the part where little “Oscar” is adopted by the leader of their pack, “Freddie” left my eyes misty. The film does a great job showing how his mommy provides everything he needs, teaches him at ‘homeschool’ how to use the ‘tools’ to open nuts, and lovingly grooms him. You know that there is little hope for him when he is left motherless. The other chimps won’t care for him and as a last resort he begins following the leader, who at first generously tolerates him hanging around. But then, this sweet relationship forms and the greatest of them lets the littlest of them ride upon his back (as only a mother would do), and takes over the role of providing for him. WAAAAAA….those are happy tears, of course, for an adoption advocate like me. Hope for a little guy who was vulnerable, confused, hungry and lonely.
Not long ago, I was reading on my couch and I overheard these lines from a movie:
“You’re changing that boy’s life.” Leigh Anne Tuohy: “No, he is changing mine.”
These were words, of course, from “The Blind Side” and if you haven’t seen it, go get it right now! (While you are at it, if you haven’t read the book, “The Hiding Place”, pick up that while you are out.) This is one of those movies that I will watch pretty much anytime it is on TV. (I also stop and watch “You’ve got mail” anytime its on, too…just thought you should know in light of full disclosure.) This touching story is about taking a chance on a young man who looks different than you, has lived different than you and has great potential, but never has had anyone help him find it. WAAAA….now, that’s me crying because usually people are so afraid to take in an older child from foster care. Older children need forever homes, need people to cheer them on in life, need support to realize how special and gifted each of them are in their own ways.
Last, I want to confess that kids movies ALWAYS make me cry- pretty much a 95% chance that a tear will escape at the end of every Disney animated feature ever created. From Bambi (obviously) to Despicable Me (my current favorite- mostly because the little girl loves the word “fluffy” about as much as I do!) Here’s my son’s blog contribution to illustrate my point:
“One big unicorn, strong and free, thought he was happy as he could be. Then three little kittens came around and turned his whole life upside down. They made him laugh, they made him cry. He never should have said goodbye. And now he knows he can never part from those three little kittens that changed his heart.” says Gru to the three little girls at the end
The big thing that makes me WAAAAA during this movie is seeing the power of a child (or children) to change who we are for the better. Even if it is hard to make changes (and I’m sure we will face difficult changes when future child joins us) it just makes us better people if we are willing to learn to live a little less selfishly for the sake of our children. I always say that the best “school” I have ever been in has been the “school of mothering”. Sometimes I plead to go back to get a Master’s degree because that actually seems easier than the things I have to learn at home (like how not to yell at my kids to not yell at each other….irony.) Gru takes in three little girls and his heart is softened to reading them stories and tucking them in at night. I sometimes wonder, “where do I need a softer heart?” and “what changes do I need to mature enough to make for the sake of my children?”
My hope is that there would be more soft hearts towards adoption, foster care and real needs of real children all around us. My hope is that I would cry over things that matter instead of the tears I waste having tantrums (much like my children do) because I didn’t get MY WAY. My hope is that more movies that champion adoption are made, and that we would all want to be a little more like Freddie, Leigh Anne and Gru.