Yesterday we took our family to see “Meet the Robinsons”, the new Disney movie (released yesterday) based on the book “A Day with Wilbur Robinson” by William Joyce. Although I had seen eight million commercials for the movie before we went to see it, I had somehow missed the part about it having such a huge, central adoption theme.
While it is not a movie about transracial adoption, it has issues that are central to any adoptive family.
Here is my review of the movie as an adoptive parent (and warning… I will be giving away big parts of the plot, so if you don’t want to know, don’t read. )
Very early on in the movie, the main character (Lewis) is shown as a very young infant, being left on an orphanage door step by his birth mother. The mother (whose face you do not see)clearly seems to care about the child…she holds him close, hugs him tenderly, places him down and runs off. At this point, I was really concerned with how all of the adoption stuff would go, especially since I was there with all 10 of our kids, seven of which were adopted.
The story flashes-forward to Lewis being 12 years old, and still living in the orphanage. He is a super smart but quirky kid with a love for science and is always inventing things (although they often don’t turn out as he has planned). He has had some 124 adoption interviews with perspective adoptive couples, none of them working out. He is sad and depressed…feeling like a failure and very unwanted. Again, I was a bit worried with how all of this would play out.
He has a pointed conversation with the woman who runs the orphanage…Lewis says something along the lines of (all quotes are paraphrased), “Even my own mom didn’t want me.” The orphanage director points out that maybe his mom did want him, but was unable to care for him, and placed him with them so he could have the care he needed and deserved. Lewis smiles and says, “oh, I never thought of it like that”.
I like that the orphanage director didn’t gush about being sure that Lewis’s birth mother loved him, etc., because as is the case with many adopted children, nothing is known about Lewis’s birth mother. But I also like that she let him know (and the audience) that there are many reasons a mother can give up a child other than “not wanting him”, and that orphaned children are often loved and wanted by their first parents. That was “good adoption message number one” for me.
*photo from Yahoo! Movies