Ah, yes. The funny looks.
I’ve been hearing about this movie Instant Family for quite some time now. Everyone kept saying, “You need to see it.”
I certainly don’t love going to the movie theater, and even getting me to watch a movie at home is challenging. I maybe watch a handful each year. But when my friend Julie Mama Coug told me, “You will love it. It’s about a couple who fosters three children,” I was in.
The movie was inspired by a real family, and to be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t dug much yet into who decided to produce the movie and why.
What I will tell you, though, is that is so accurate. I think even the “real” media oftentimes portrays foster and foster-to-adoption incorrectly. This movie did a great job; humor mixed with real-life. Ryan and I related to so many things from it.
I have a couple favorite (and relatable) scenes from the movie. I’m sharing one today.
Instant Family Scene
Married couple Pete and Ellie Wagner are sitting down with the two social workers, Karen and Sharon. They have already seen a teenager they want to foster, but upon telling the social workers, find out she has two younger siblings as well. This, of course, was unexpected.
They panic a little.
Karen says, “Over a half million children are currently in foster care.”
To which Pete responds with his concerns about two White parents raising three Latino children.
The conversation plays out like this….
Sharon: Pete, I appreciate your cultural sensitivity, but we have every color of kid in the system. And we have every color of parent.
Karen: Every color.
Sharon: Just not nearly enough.
Karen: Not nearly enough parents.
[to Pete and Ellie]
Karen: And listen, you’re going to get some funny looks. And people are going to say some stupid shit. But if you’re willing to love these kids, who need a mom and dad, and somebody has a problem with that, you just ask them how many goddamn kids they’ve adopted.
p.s. Have you ever seen One Mississippi? So good, and Tig Notaro is Sharon (dry, hilarious humor); Karen is Octavia Spencer (stunning, btw).
I love that scene so hard. Why? Because I personally can’t understand it, and yet I have had multiple people tell me they couldn’t adopt due to the chance that the child(ren) might be another race.
To each is own. Everyone knows what they can and cannot handle. To be perfectly honest, you can tell the social workers you only want a 5-year-old Caucasian girl with no siblings and advanced intelligence.
Literally. You can. (In fact, in the movie a woman tries doing that — stating she only wants a teenage, athletic, African American boy. Ha.)
But here’s the deal, if adopting a child for all the right reasons is why we’re all in this, then remember that there are over half a million children in foster care.
There is a a story about the child I envisioned in my mind prior to adopting. I had this child planned. If I could have asked the courts to only place us with this child, I would have.
But I set that all aside because what I wanted most was a child — one that we could love and raise.
So when the social worker gave us our first call and said, “A little Caucasian girl was ready for us,” though I was filled with the greatest joy of my life, that wasn’t really what I was expecting.
To this day, I believe that when I first saw Samarah, it all made perfect sense.
Someday I’ll tell that story. Not yet.
What I will say right now is that Karen was spot on.
And listen, you’re going to get some funny looks. And people are going to say some stupid shit. But if you’re willing to love these kids, who need a mom and dad, and somebody has a problem with that, you just ask them how many goddamn kids they’ve adopted.
We have three. Ugh, they are beautiful, little humans.
Have you ever seen the movie?
Join the magic and chaos, right where you need to be, HERE.
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