Blindsided…

Did you see The Blindside?  It has gotten rave reviews.  I liked it okay.  I enjoy a feel good sports story.  Something about it irks me though and I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I liked the adoptive mom, she was sweet in a tough kind of way, my kind of gal.  But, when it came to all the adoption stuff, it left a bad taste in my mouth.  I tried for a long time to put my finger on the reason that I feel like I can’t let my boys see this movie.  I think it all goes back to an incident that happened last summer at our local swim club.  Yes, we belong to a swim club.  It’s not a country club, it’s just a local swimming pool where you buy a membership.

I was sitting on the deck of the kiddie pool chatting with some other moms while our kids splashed.  GigantoBaby was splashing away.  One of the other moms asked about him.  I told her how old he was, she was astonished.  Yeah, yeah, he’s big.  She asked if he would play for the NFL.  I rolled my eyes toward my biracial friend sitting next to me.  She is mom of three and gets asked the same thing about her African-American/Caucasian son.  I told the mom that I couldn’t possibly know if he would even enjoy athletics… he’s three.  I told her we always joke that because people ALWAYS ask me about football, we think it would be funny if he ended up hating all athletics and playing the piccolo in the marching band.  He can if he wants to, I don’t care at all.  She looked at me and told me she had always “thought of adopting”.  I usually give an “mmmm hmmm” to that one, because it’s usually followed by “but I could never do what you do”.  I always want to ask “what is it that I do…be a mom?”.  She keeps pushing more, even though I’m giving her EVERY sign to please just stop.  She goes on to say “I told my husband that adopting a black child would be the only way he would get an athlete”.  Ahhh…and there it is.  The stereotype to rule ALL stereotypes.  If you’re black, you’re made to play football or basketball.  I abhor that stereotype.    

I also detest the white family “saving” a black child theme.  I understand that the family probably felt lucky to have Michael in their lives, but there is still this overshadowing theme of “saving” him.  Especially at the end, when she’s reading from the newspaper.  I don’t EVER want my boys to think that our adopting them was in some way an attempt to do the world a good.  Can you imagine that?  If you felt that you were brought into a family simply because no one else wanted you.  I tell my kids, as often as humanly possible, that there would have been families lined up around the block to adopt them had God not put in in their birthmom’s hearts or led us to them first.  I tell them that finding them was like winning the lottery.  One in a million odds with us holding the winning ticket.  Don’t get me wrong, I tell them how lucky we all are.  I make sure they know that having a strong, happy family is one of God’s greatest gifts.  But, it wasn’t just a gift that God gave to them.  It was a gift that God gave to me as well.

So, tell me…did you see this movie?  Will you let your kids see it?  What did you think?

–FullPlateMom,
who did get the strong urge to dress better now.  Sandra Bullock sure did look awesome.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Shannan says:

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but this was a great post. Well said.

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  2. I DID See it….TWICE! I went with my older kids…a MUST SEE for older adopted children…and their parents and tutors. 🙂 I took my mom to see it when I was in Texas. It was an awesome movie! Next in line…I wanna see Invictus!

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  3. For me I liked it because I HAVE older adopted children and I wanted them to see the “other side” of American life…it’s not all what they see. The fact it was a true story inspired Kekeli. I also liked the fact that she could see him work hard and become successful in what he chose. I liked the part when the rich ladies said “Wow…you are doing a wonderful thing, changing his life…” and the Bullock replied “No…he’s changing mine.” For younger kids I wouldn’t recommend it. I come from a west texas football family 🙂 so that is another reason I liked it.

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  4. waitingarms says:

    I like the movie because I like feel good movies and also liked the tough questions at the end re: the family’s motivations. However, like, you, something did not quite feel right and I think both you and my husband put your finger on it. The perennial hollywood story of a white family/teacher you name it going to save/rescue the hopeless/helpless inner city kid/school. Though my husband liked the movie, he did wonder out loud if it would have gotten as rave reviews as it did if the roles were reversed – a successful black family (without all the attendant stereotypes) rescuing/saving a poor white kid? Don’t know. If this was a unique story line, then yes, it would be a phenomenal movie, but it seems to be yet another in a long line of movies depicting a good hearted white do gooder out to save a helpless/hopeless innercity black child.

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