Adopted: A night at the Movies

Adopted, the film by Barb Lee, see it.

I organized a viewing of this film, in the school library this evening.

Twelve families from the adoption community here that I am connected with were represented.

All of us have adopted transracially.

Although none of us had adopted from Korea, or China, where the two featured adopted children were born, (one now in her thirties, the other nearing two) it spoke to everyone of us in deep and gut crushing ways. When I turned on the lights at the end, there was not a peep in the room, and most all the eyes in the place were blurry and red.

What ensued was a conversation where strangers and acquaintances and friends alike shared their awe, their grief, their worries, the work they see before them.

Jennifer, the thirty-two year old Korean woman, living in New Hampshire says to her now dieing mother; (I am summarizing here) “But if you would just see me for who I am, a Korean woman, a woman of color, who came from another mother you would have more of me, not less of me as your daughter.” That line split through my head. It was such a powerful reminder of what I am doing well with Sam, and how much more I have to do, throughout his life. Her trauma, as she puts it, manifests itself in horribly destructive ways.  The opportunity that I have to help Sammy not suffer like that could not have been more poignantly stated.

There was nothing easy about this film. There shouldn’t be. This is hard work. As our children’s parents, family, extended family, teachers, and caregivers of all callings we are up for it. We have no choice.

Huge gratitude to those who attended tonight. The support, and connection we established in three hours together was palpable.


  1. Wow, this sounds like an important film. I told Yunhee about it and we’re going to try to watch it together. (She says she’ll bring tissues for me because she expects me to cry through the entire thing; she knows her mother well.)

    Where is it available?


    • Annie-we ordered it online. But another reader just said they have it on Netflix! We have a copy to circulate too. Contact me and we can figure out how to get it to you if you don’t do the Neflix! Or buy a copy for the island library!

  2. Wow, it sounds like an amazing movie, and I so wish I could have somewhere to go, like the viewing you hosted. I am literally terrified as I get ready to be an adoptive mom. Some days, I’m not sure I’m up to it! I’m not going into this blind, but I so wish I was sometimes:). I’d like to be blissfully ignorant at times, but I know that that will not serve my child well. Thanks for posting this, I’ve added it to my Netflix list:).


  3. I can could feel the emotions that must have moved through the room, just by reading your recap. On the list of must-see vids. That statement you highlighted was incredibly poignant! Goose-bumps.

    Btw – do you have an open transracial adoption with Sam’s birth parent(s)? I’m just noticing the open adoption badge and ironically this week I wrote about my family’s open adoption (

    • Thank you for this thoughtful feedback. Yes, We have a very open relationship. I talk about my coomunication with his birth mother often in this blog. I’d be happy to tell you more about it at any time. I look forward to reading your post too!

  4. I think I’ve seen this film about 5 or 6 times and it still moves me to tears. It’s such an important film. The other part of the DVD entitled “We can do better” is fantastic as well. Hopefully that dvd is available on netflix also. It’s not to be missed!

  5. My husband and I just watched this last night. We’re in the early stages of adopting, hopefully trans-racially (is that a word?). This movie was such a reminder of the importance of our whole life being trans-racial, not just our nuclear family. I’m thankful for the wonderful advice from adoptive friends and also people I’ve met on the internet. I’ve really enjoyed you blog.

    • Congrats on beginning your journey–and how thrilled I am to hear that you are watching movies like this now. You are ahead of the important work. Another great resource for all things (books and movies) is the site Harlow’s Monkey. I have a link to it on my links. I just saw an amazing post recently with an exhaustive list. I am pleased that you commented–and hope that you keep us posted on your journey!

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