#62 Philomena

December 5, 2013 at 9:25 am | Posted in adoption issues, adoption loss, Identity issues, Is this forever? | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

I recently saw the film “Philomena” and would recommend it to all sides of the adoption triangle, all the adults that is.  Oddly enough, I noticed on the billboard as we left that it’s labeled a comedy.  It is hardly a comedy for any one of us involved in the adoption world.  There is a lightness about it thanks to the wonderful acting of Judi Dench who plays a birth mother searching for the son she lost 50 years earlier and the journalist who helps her search.  The contrast between Martin, the journalist, and Philomena is what provides the comedy.  Actually, this keeps a poignant story from getting heavy.  I think it is beautifully balanced.

I say Philomena lost her son rather than she gave her son up for adoption or she made an adoption plan for her son, all politically correct these days.  I won’t give away the movie plot and spoil it for anyone, but if you see the movie you’ll agree she lost her son.  It portrays a system in Ireland years ago and to say it was cruel is an understatement.

I was moved because it brought back memories of the many birth mothers I met a few years back in a support group for searchers where I was the only adoptive parent.  I didn’t know I’d be the only adoptive mother to attend these groups, but once there I had to keep going because there were so many misconceptions about adoptive parents.  I had to tell both birth parents and adoptees how we felt and what we were going through, in other words, our side of the story.

The movie reminded me of the lingering, and sometimes overwhelming, guilt that some birth mothers feel.  Today is a whole different story, but those who gave birth prior to the 1980’s were all too often considered unworthy human beings.  In the support group it was obvious that many could never get rid of that stigma.  Even though as they went through life, people didn’t know they’d given birth and relinquished their child, they still felt inferior.  Too often, their lives reflected this attitude.

The bottom line is if we could see, really see, all sides of the triad and as best we can, empathize with all positions, we’d have an even deeper appreciation for our children.  This movie provides insight into the emotions and feelings of one birth mother.  As she says, she thinks of her child every day and wonders if he ever thinks of her.  The thing that stood out for me is how the movie (Judi Dench) portrayed the feelings so prevalent in those days that she, and only she, was to blame for her loss.  She rationalized away every other person’s involvement as ‘they were just doing their job’.   It showed how effectively adults brainwashed these young girls.  It burned into their psyche just how disgraceful society thought they were.

It’s not a tear jerker and it doesn’t favor the position of birth mothers. Philomena says her son lived a life she never could have given him. The movie tells one woman’s story and with Judi Dench doing the job, it’s really a beautiful film.

Oh, and BTW, it’s a true story.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: