Friday, November 09, 2012

Adoption Onscreen: Change of Plans

"Sweet" is the first word that comes to mind in reference to Change of Plans, a film originally presented by Walmart and P&G on network television and later released to DVD. I would have known nothing of the story had my mom not stumbled upon it and purchased it, but I'm glad she did. I have since watched it twice; once with my teenaged nephew who joined our family through foster care adoption as a preschooler, and again with my seven- and ten- year old son and daughter who joined our family through domestic, transracial, infant adoption.

Both times I paid attention to the kids' faces, hoping for a glimpse of their thoughts. Overall it seemed that they simply enjoyed the storyline of four siblings - from the US, China, Guatemala, and Uganda - who entered the care of their mom's childhood best friend following the death of their parents. While the movie touches upon the process of grief and the transition which the children experience, its focus is more on the transformation of the wife and husband who are unexpectedly forced to detour from their previously organized lives and high-powered careers into the challenges of parenthood.

In some ways, you can't read too deeply into this film (for instance, when the social worker speaks the words "your case is closed" and viewers are to believe that's all it takes for a successful adoption culmination) but in other ways it does lead to self-examination and reflection about what is most important in life: money? success? admiration? or relationships??

The actors are credible and the characters are likeable; the protagonists' marriage relationship is committed and loving (so refreshing!); the siblings love one another (and did I mention this is a transracial family? whoo-hoo!); and all is well in the end. 

Indeed, what's not to like?

So, no deep meaning in today's post ... but if in this National Adoption Awareness Month you are looking for a movie that the whole family can enjoy and discuss, this may be the one for you!

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