The Struggles of Adoption Portrayed through the Parent’s Perspective vs. the Child’s
by shannonnye1 on November 20, 2013 - 5:35pm
In the movie Somewhere Between (Linda Goldstein Knowlton, 2011) Linda Goldstein Knowlton portrays the life of adoption through the eyes of four teenage girls struggling to know their past. As Haley searches for her parents Linda follows her experience to understand each and every struggle she faces and how she will overcome them, in order to provide answers for her daughter Ruby who will eventually face the same struggles. I feel that as Haley’s struggle is the major focus point it is important to experience the struggles portrayed through the eyes of both the adoptive parents and the birth parents.
When Haley first found her birth parents both sets of parents may have felt a sense of pressure. The adoptive parents may have felt that they were in a way losing their daughter because she will have all of these connections with her birth parents that they cannot share with her. However the birth parents may have felt as though they have no meaning to her because they are not in fact the parents that have sacrificed so much to have raised her, and they also are not the parents that have made Haley who she truly is. Haley expresses how she does not want either set of parents to feel a sense of unwantedness, however, as much as she tries to prevent this, the parents may still have this sense of feeling. When Haley first meets her father he reacts much different towards her than she does towards him. Her father is constantly holding her hand and touching her. Portrayed through the eyes of Haley there is a sense of uncomfortableness because she does not feel as if she really knows her father. Portrayed through the eyes of the father however, it is much different. He feels as though this is a normal reaction upon meeting his daughter for the first time. It would be interesting to know how he felt when he realized she was not comfortable yet with his reaction. There was a very similar instance with Halley's birth mother. When Haley first met her birth mother the mother cried of happiness however Haley expressed happiness but did not seem as overjoyed. This reaction may have caused the mother to feel a sense of unwantedness.
Haley’s adoptive mother expresses how even though it was hard for her to ask many of the questions she did, she felt it was her responsibility to ask them for Haley. She recognized that her daughter may have felt uncomfortable asking why she was abandoned and in order for her mother to protect her she asked the question for Haley. Haley’s birth mother appeared to be comfortable with expressing why they made the decision to give her up however it would be interesting to see whether or not that question offended her or if she felt it was her responsibility to give Haley answers. During this time Haley’s birth father did not give much of a response. Haley’s mother expressed how she had been the one to make the decision to give Haley up and how her father was not consulted. I feel that this must have been a very great struggle for Haley’s father to deal with especially since when he went searching for her he found out she was in an orphanage. However the video does not express the pain that he must have felt.
Throughout the movie the word abandonment really seemed to stick out. There was a point during an interview when one of the girls cried because it was an emotional topic while another one of the girls expressed how she simply corrected the word to placed. Throughout these four girls lives they all have at some point felt they were abandoned and even though they try to say they were placed there is always that 1% of them that still feels they were abandon. The video shows abandonment portrayed through the girls eyes however one might wonder whether this would be the word used through the perspective of the parents. The adoptive parents may feel it is a blessing they were given this child and therefor might say it is not abandonment but more being placed into a better home. However it would be interesting to see how the birth parents feel towards this word. One of the girls decided that she may not have an interest in finding her birth parents. Some adopted children find their birth parents however do not want to have a relationship with them. I feel it would be different to understand how this may cause the birth parents to feel and whether they would feel a sense of abandonment also.
Knowlton, L. (Director). (2011). Somewhere Between. [Motion Picture] Long Shot Factory Ladylike Films: United States