October 31, 2012
I’m a crier. Ask my husband, my mom, anyone really. I’ve been known to tear up at a Hallmark commercial, the series finale to a great show (Lost anyone?), and since I’ve started my adoption journey just about anything to do with adoption brings on the waterworks (I mean, really, who didn’t cry when Meredith and Derek opened the door to find social worker Janet holding baby Zola on Grey’s Anatomy?) So when my hair stylist told me to go see the film Stuck, which focuses on international adoption, featured at the Heartland Film Festival, I went with bells on and a large wad of tissues in my purse. I expected to cry, to laugh, to feel, to love. I was not disappointed.
Stuck focuses largely on the Leroy family, Indianapolis natives, who work fervently to bring their son, Nate, home from Vietnam. Due to Vietnam’s decision to become a Hague Accredited country as well as paperwork misunderstandings, the Leroys faced what looked like an insurmountable battle to bring Nate home. Already in love with the son they barely knew, they found legal counsel and took on the governments in both Vietnam and the United States in order to bring home the child they knew to be theirs. Their tenacity persevered and after a three year journey the Leroys traveled to Vietnam to bring Nate at last to the U.S. The film lovingly captures the moment where Nick Leroy holds his son for the first time. I can think of no other words to describe this moment other than hauntingly beautiful. It is a moment that as an adoptive mother I long for, and one that I am so glad that I got to bear witness to in this wonderful film.
This film also outlines very clearly what orphanage life is like for all those precious souls waiting for a family. I truly feel like this film is the truest picture I can have of orphanage life without having seen it with my own eyes. The conditions portrayed in Stuck make me all the more thankful that MLJ Adoptions puts such an emphasis on finding interim care for children matched with their forever families. As a mother, my heart is put at ease knowing that my own child is in a safe, nurturing environment, where he or she has some opportunities to form an attachment bond with his or her caregiver.
Like many adoptive mothers to be, I am in love with a child I haven’t met yet. I love his or her smile, laugh, eyes, voice. I can’t wait to hold my child in my arms, tickle his belly, comb her hair. Some people may not understand how I can love someone so much that I haven’t met, someone who may not even yet be born, someone who will never share my DNA. To them, I say, go see Stuck, go see what the adoption journey is like, and then tell me that the love I have for my child is any different than any other mother’s. After seeing the film, I have a feeling they may be rendered speechless.
Photo Credit: Vinoth Chandar
For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.