Friday night my sweet friend Dawn and I decided to go on a little adventure.
We hopped in my ’98 CRV and drove 2+ hours for the premier of STUCK, a new award-winning documentary produced by the non-profit organization Both Ends Burning.
Before you hear what I thought about it, please take 1 minute and 58 seconds to watch the trailer:
STUCK “uncovers the personal, real-life stories of children and parents navigating a rollercoaster of bureaucracy on their journeys through the international adoption system, each filled with hope, elation – and sometimes heartbreak.”
While I’ve spent most of my adult life being mom, my professional background is social work and most recently in therapeutic foster care in the US. Sometimes I get wind of folks getting worked up about international vs domestic adoption, and I just want to kindly ask that we don’t have that argument/conversation here. I don’t think that’s what this movie is about.
Let’s be clear: God calls us to care for orphans. Orphans in your neighborhood. Orphans in the foster care system. Orphans in Ethiopia. Orphans in Vietnam.
Defend the weak & the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor & the oppressed.
Rescue the weak & the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
– Psalm 82:3-4
That call does not have to mean adoption, so, no matter whether you feel called to adoption or not, I believe this documentary is important because of the truths exposed on orphan care around the globe. For that reason alone, you should see this movie.
# of orphans worldwide: The conservative estimate of orphans worldwide is 132 million, according to UNICEF. Many authorities estimate actual numbers to be upwards of 150 million.
# of international adoptions into the US over the past 12 years, according to the US Department of State:
The big picture is that international adoptions into the US are declining at a staggering rate (60% decrease over the past 10 years), while the number of orphans worldwide is growing at an even more staggering rate:
– – – – – – – – – –
I’m not saying STUCK will give you all the answers. We’re talking overwhelmingly huge, systemic issues on government level. We’re also talking the simple reality that third-world countries do not have the resources or infrastructure to adequately meet the massive need.
In fact, the movie may leave you asking more questions than you had before. It very well
may will mess with your heart, make you mad, make you shake your fist at a busted up system that leaves children at the bottom of the barrel.
But you know what?
Sometimes those “whys?!”, those aching cries inside that something is very, very wrong, are exactly what we need to move us. Sometimes, maybe all the time, that cry moves us from complacency to action. It creates movements. It creates change.
If the documentary is coming to your city, I highly recommend attending. The movie is 82 minutes long and, if you attend in theater, is followed up by an invaluable Q&A with the audience that will help you begin to process the questions, the whys, the what nexts.
Where STUCK will be showing over the next few months:
If you can’t make one of the showings, you can purchase the documentary and stream it right to your computer // buy here to watch the movie now (all proceeds benefit Both Ends Burning, a 501(c)3) //
The Bottom Line
No doubt millions of children growing up outside of the love of families presents issues, to put it lightly. Big massive issues that affect generations and alter the social landscape of nations. The bottom line for me is that as a human being with a breath in my lungs, a voice in my throat, and a heart in my chest, I have no choice but to be compelled to act in the face of 147 million orphans.
Regardless of what you may think about international adoption, regardless of whether you feel called to adoption, this movie is important because children matter.
My prayer is that you will watch the documentary and leave whatever preconceived ideas or opinions about international adoption aside in order to see the much bigger picture and need: millions of children growing up on the streets and in institutions is not OK.
And while this is not a faith-based film, if we claim to follow Jesus, the issue concerns us.
It is our business.
It is our responsibility.
linking up today with some of these blogging communities //
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
let’s connect + keep this conversation going
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –