Growing Up Different
by Ckay1 on November 18, 2013 - 11:52pm
Linda Goldstein directed a very touching documentary called Somewhere Between, which touches on many social issues we see around the world today. This documentary focuses on adopted Chinese girls who were put into orphanages because their parents could not take care of them. This film shows the struggles of being an adopted child in American culture. The girls in the documentary face many emotional struggles; they all know they were adopted because their family could not afford to take care of them, they wanted only sons, and China has a one-child policy, which makes it even harder for their parents to keep them. The girls face many feelings of abandonment, confusion, and identity issues.
One of the key things this film portrays is the social issues that these girls must over come. It has to be difficult knowing that your mother is not you biological mother and you can see that every day. These girls wake up each morning wondering what their life would be like if they were never given up for adoption. How confusing is that? When the girls are interview you can see on their faces that they are determined to find answers about their family and where they truly came from. Not knowing who you really are is something that no girls should ever have to face.
Feeling abandoned is one of the worst feelings ever. Being so young and not knowing truly why you were left is very hard to understand. Even though these girls have very caring and nurturing families now, it is difficult to overcome feelings of abandonment. This can cause these girls problems mentally, emotionally and sometimes socially. Social issues come into play here because the girls know their families didn’t want them and it is hard for them because people of different ethnicities are not always accepted. Feeling abandoned comes into play once again.
This documentary also portrays social interactions. There is a very heart wrenching, yet touching scene when 13-year-old Haley goes to China and is reunited with her birth family. This is a lot to handle at once, especially because she is so young. You can see the struggle on all of their faces when they meet due to language barriers and cultural differences. The pain and struggles in this scene are truly heart breaking, but it gives us a real-life example of how hard this can be on adopted children. Plus, on top of that the translator was not giving Haley and her parents the full truthful story on how Haley made it to the orphanage. On the Brightside of this segment, there is still joy in their eyes, and a sense of hope in the air. Haley finds out she has sisters and a brother, and is treated to a feast that her family made just for her. Seeing this happen for the first time brings a tear to your eye knowing that she hasn’t known any of this for thirteen years. Some of us don’t realize how lucky we are to know who are parents are, and that we are with our biological family. My seven year old cousin was adopted from China when she was a baby and I can see that she struggles with this issues. The thing that breaks my heart the most when I see her is that she always asks me this, “Were you born in your family? Because I wasn’t, I don’t know my real mommy and daddy. Are yours your real mommy and daddy?” It kills me inside to hear her say that. I can only imagine what these girls are dealing with the same things.
Somewhere Between is an excellent documentary that does a wonderful job at showing the issues that young adopted girls face regularly. Viewers get a first hand viewing experience on what it is like to be adopted. These four girls managed to stay positive through a situation that is very difficult through many, while keeping close with their adopted families and reaching out to the ones that abandoned them, even though it my be difficult.
Goldstein, L. (Director). 2011. Somewhere Between (DVD).
United States: Ladylike Films