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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Adoption Movie: October Baby

It’s rare that a thoughtful adoption movie hits the big screen.  Often, adoptees are portrayed as demon-possessed psychos, so maybe I tune it all out.  Perhaps for this reason, I hadn’t heard of the great film, “October Baby”, which is now out on DVD.

The storyline involves a college freshman, Hannah, who goes through multiple health issues which lead her to discover/ be told that she was adopted.  The young lady’s feelings of hurt and betrayal that her parents never revealed that she had been adopted are understandable.  The fact that her birth was the result of an abortion gone wrong adds a huge layer and subcontext to the story.

Mix in a wacky road trip in a VW bus, a good childhood friend, and parents who are trying so hard to ensure that Hannah not be hurt, and the emotions can be felt in every frame of the film.

Should she track down her birthmother and find out why she was rejected?  Why does she have these feelings of drowning and of being unwanted, even before she learns the truth?  Has her entire life been a lie?

Exploring the issues of honesty, forgiveness, abortion, and morality, we viewed “October Baby” at home with our kids ranging from 12 to 16.  It was not graphic, heavy, nor preachy.  Hannah does grapple with the idea of forgiveness and happens into a conversation with a priest about some of the challenges she’s facing.  Rated PG-13, we would not normally see a picture with this rating, however, there was no nudity, profanity, sex, nor violence.  It simply dealt with the aftermath of an abortion gone awry:  a premature birth and a baby put up for adoption.  Again, there are issues which are alluded to without hammering on and on about them.

For some moments, we had not a dry eye in the house.  Other moments, we were  laughing.  But all of our kids truly empathized with the adopted girl and her feelings.  It resonated and gave us food for discussion:  after being adopted as an infant, she grows up to become attractive, accomplished, in university, with loving parents… so how can she possibly believe that her life is terrible, apart from some health concerns?

The family dynamics alone are worth the watch.  Abortion is the subtext, but how to move on in life is the main storyline, particularly for a teen who has hurts in her life.  Beautiful cinematography, and an excellent film for adoptees ready to tackle some of their tougher  questions.  We were pleasantly surprised.

The fact that the adoptive dad actor, John Schneider, is actually an adoptive father in real life is just icing on the cake.




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