Wednesday, September 4, 2013

MeLisa and Ryun: Adoption Movie Night - Yours Mine and Ours

MeLisa and Ryun are a foster-adoptive family in the process of creating a new reality show. Their trailer reached over 1.2 million views on YouTube (you can see it here). I'm excited about a new show that can portray foster-adoption in a positive light. Between MeLisa and Ryun and The Fosters, there are a couple good options out there. MeLisa agreed to share her family's adoption movie night with Adoption at the Movies.

This week was full on total meltdown mornings and evenings. Yelling, accusing, harsh words and hurt feelings. It’s been 6 months now since the girls moved in. Ryun and I are completely adjusted to the new normal. It’s hard to remember life before they were here. Life with the little girls has been good for everyone overall. For the big girls however (aka the “Suddenly Sisters”) adjustment is not coming as easy. It’s a recipe for disaster. 4 parts possessiveness, 5 parts jealousy mixed with 1 part forgiveness.

You can add this item to the pro list of why we choose not to have biological kids. No one can claim parental favoritism. I like to laugh at the approach my dad took when my siblings and I were growing up. We’d ask “who is your favorite?” He’d reply, “I dislike all of you equally.” My father is extremely loving which made it all the funnier. I’ve done my own take on his saying when the kids ask me that same question, I reply “daddy.”

It’s a tough thing when two siblings close in age live together especially in the same bedroom. It’s even harder when you love them both and you know that they’re each hurting and confused with all the changes to their little worlds. How can you broach the topic without making it seem like you’re pointing fingers?

Time for a sibling intervention.

I’ve only seen one episode of the TV show “Intervention” when I was forced to watch it in my TV History class in college. I’m not a big fan of airing people’s pain for ratings, but it did give me an idea of how to try to fix our “suddenly sister’s” dilemma.

Since we’re talking about tweens and not adults (and since I’m a film school dork) I decided that we would use a movie as the catalyst for the intervention discussion. I picked one of my family favorites “Yours, Mine and Ours” starring Rene Russo and Dennis Quaid. [Film Dork Trivia : This movie is actually a remake of the 1968 film starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda]

I chose “Yours Mine and Ours” because it not only deals with family blending, but it also promotes a healthy view of foster care and adoption. Not many movies accomplish that.

The Plan

Watch the film while we all stuffed our faces with popcorn.

Afterward discuss how the film mirrors our family life.

Ask the girls if they can relate to how the characters felt.

Everyone cries, says they’re sorry then hugs and makes up.

What Actually Happened

We did watch the film and ate gross amounts of popcorn.

The girls felt like a deer in headlights when they realized we were going to have a “talk” after the movie.

The girls started out hostile, but then began to see things from the other person’s point of view.

I mentioned how they had both had prayed for a sister close to their age and how they had each gotten what they wanted.

We let them know how “hard we know this is”, but how they need to show love first. (and if they can’t then “fake it til they feel it”)

Each of the girls said sorry and that they would try harder followed by a (forced) hug.

The Aftermath

It’s been noticeably better since we had the sibling intervention. There has been a lot more kindness and a lot less jealously. It reminds me how import it is to get to the root of the problem and talk it out. (even if you don’t think they’re listening). I know we have a long way to go with these two, but I also see where they can be headed. A sister is an amazing gift. One that I hope these two will treasure for a lifetime.


Learn more about MeLisa and Ryun

Want to do your own family movie night? Try starting with Meet the Robinsons or Despicable Me 2, or browse all of our Adoption Movie Guides

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