Tuesday, February 2, 2016
My Identity Adoption Short Review
In My Identity, Ashley Wolford shares the journey she went through to create herself. Ashley is a young, Native American woman. My Identity is the latest short film from foster care-focused filmmaker Yasmin Mistry, and is a beautiful and powerful retelling of Ashley’s story. After growing up with an absent father and a drug-addicted mother, Ashley was placed in Kinship Care – a foster care placement with her relatives. Even then, Ashley did not immediately find stability, as she was moved from home to home and was ultimately separated from her brother. Even in adulthood, she was estranged from her brother when he refused to accept her conversion to Islam. In spite of this, Ashley has managed to thrive, and although she grieves some of the lost relationships in her life, she maintains a sense of positivity and reaches out to help others.
The Adoption / Foster Connection
Ashley spent much of her childhood in kinship care, which is foster care placement with relatives. She was separated from her brother, and worked with around 30 caseworkers. She also expressed an understanding that many Native American children in foster care do not have access to their culture.
Ashley maintains a desire for positivity in spite of the challenges and pain she has experienced.
Challenges and Weak Points
No concerns with this one. It would be interesting to revisit Ashley in a decade or so to see what her identity looks like in the future. A second-edition ten years later would perhaps be even more valuable, but as it is, it’s already insightful.
My Identity is a very short film that seems most likely to appeal to teens and adults. It would be valuable viewing for prospective foster and adoptive parents who are considering taking placement of grade-school or older kids. The film would also be helpful to any prospective parents as it could help them consider the place of culture in the life of their future children; Ashley’s point about Native children not having access to their culture is an important and clearly-stated fact.
Questions for Discussion
What elements make up your identity? How did they each shape you as you formed your identity?
How do you feel about Ashley’s statement that Native children in foster care are often not able to be connected to their culture? Apply this to other cultures a well. Is it a big deal? If so, what can foster parents do to rectify this?
Catch the trailer here; http://www.fostercarefilm.com/my-identity