The Inner World of Adoptees
This isn't a movie review.
But some thoughts about adoption.
First, even though it's about the writer's family life...the actor who plays the adopted son got left out of the movie poster. I mean, there's only four people in the family and the dad, mom and bio daughter - or the actors who play them - are featured prominently. What happened to the adopted kid?
Leelee got most of the dialogue and action while the actor who played her adopted brother struggled with inner turmoil. This is hard to show on film. Which means he hardly talks and looks stricken or mortified half the time. Once, he threw himself on his adoptive mother's stomach after she had a miscarriage when he was a teenager. He mumbled his few lines so I have no idea what he said.
So my point is...that's the trouble. Or the challenge.
Being adopted is an inner struggle. A lifelong inner struggle. Just like characters in the movie, nobody seems to take much notice of the adopted kid and how he's reacting or coping. At least in the first half of the movie. Maybe he spontaneously combusts at the end. I have no idea.
But back to the the whole inner struggle. If you're adopted, you know what I'm talking about. Trying to explain what it's like is a frustrating experience because you're likely to hear that it's no big deal and you should just move past it, like it's a big piece of ugly furniture. On the outside, we look okay, seem fairly normal, if we're not trying to commit suicide or hittin' the bottle too hard. I'm not talking about how adoptive parents respond - or not - to their kids. I'm talking about the way society does. All those people in the U.S. who seem to think adoption is so wonderful and a blessing and a great way to raise a family, when many of adoptees say, wait, it ain't so great and let me tell you why. But because we don't look or present like failed social experiments that many of us feel like inside, well, we're dismissed. This is usually where people say how normal we seem, etc., when we feel like three eyed spotted aliens.
The whole inner struggle aspect is nearly impossible to explain.
But this is it.
To me. It just doesn't seem right. There's something not normal about the way I feel or connect to the world, probably because a primary connection was broken off shortly after I was born. And then there's that whole disorienting experience of being raised by genetic strangers aspect to adoption, as if Barbies and Beanie Babies were interchangeable when we know they are not. There's something...off.