Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Faith, Movies, and Infertility

The Adoption at the Movies contest generated many helpful recommendations. Mary Clare Evans is an author and illustrator working on a child’s book about adoption. Look for more on that later. She shared about a film that can help make sense of infertility.

My favorite is "The Odd Life of Timothy Green".  Hands down. It is a fantasy- themed movie, but the emotions surrounding the themes of infertility and adoption are very real. It's a funny, smart and heartfelt look at how adoption changes lives.

Timothy Green hits a personal note with me because my husband and I (like so many others) sat where Jim and Cindy were at the beginning of the movie (we weren't going to be able to conceive a child).  I did not realize it at the time, but what I thought was the worst day of our lives turned out to be the beginning of a chapter that is more wonderful and more amazing than we could have ever imagined. If not for infertility, we would not be the parents of our youngest son whom we adopted as a newborn. And to imagine our lives without this incredible young man would be unthinkable. He is the son we were meant to have. 

The most powerful theme in Timothy Green is the idea that God's plans are better than ours if we only open ourselves to that possibility. He writes straight with a crooked line. Although infertility is deeply painful and doesn't make sense to us, it is a vehicle that opens hearts to adopting, creating a beautiful family that is truly meant to be. The movie doesn't specifically mention God, but the theme is there nonetheless. (Obviously some families adopt for other reasons, but infertility and adoption are often two sides of the same coin).
The humor of Jim and Cindy trying to be the best parents possible and working out their own childhood issues is a secondary theme I think most of us can relate to. We have all been there.  Adoptive parents have all dealt with the Brenda Bests of the world (Cindy's well meaning, but obnoxious sister), those who undermine our families with insensitive and caustic comments. We learn to take these people in stride and try to educate them on what our families are really about. But their remarks are painful and live deep inside us.  Every adoptive parent I know has a litany of ugly things people have said about their children. We all become adoption educators by default. The plus side of positive adoption movies is when the media joins us in portraying what adoption actually is: a healthy, natural and wonderful way to create a family.

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