My mom and I went to see this movie recently because well, it’s about an interracial adoption which we obviously appreciate, but it also seemed almost too unbelievable to be true. I wanted to see the characters for ourselves. This movie does not disappoint. It was so beautiful. I cried through a lot of it. You see this incredible deep love between this little boy and his biological mother. And yet even through all of his tragedy and loss, you see his precious heart still love his adopted family with as much intensity as he did his family in India. In fact, his capacity for love seems to even grow.
The movie Lion is an awesome story about a young Indian boy named Saroo, who comes from a close knit family in rural India. His family was very poor so Saroo and his older brother would try to do odd jobs around town to make money for their mom and younger sister. One night, Saroo begged his brother to take him with him on one of his night jobs that involved taking a train. Unfortunately, Saroo fell asleep while en route and he ends up getting lost on a train. He didn’t wake up until he was already many miles away from home, alone. It was a 2 day journey that ended with Saroo in a city where he didn’t speak the language and has a few near misses with children kidnappers. Ultimately, he ends up getting adopted by a couple in Tasmania, John and Sue Brierley (played by Nicole Kidman) where he grew up as a healthy adolescent. As a young adult, he begins to remember parts of his early childhood and longs to find his biological family back in India. His only tools to track down the name of his hometown are his memories and Google Earth. It’s an incredible story. And it’s all true.
You see this story unfold and it’s as if this little boy’s life is guided and destined to become intertwined with the Brierleys. And while many adoption stories aren’t as adventurous, I believe many still carry that same feeling of destiny. A sense of the circumstances working out just right for a child to be brought home to a family.
It poignantly demonstrates how children have the capacity to love immensely and sometimes the dynamic duality of being grateful for your family while longing for your roots. It pulled all of my heart strings watching Saroo battle the highs and lows of his search for his biological family. How do you balance living in the present, when there are so many questions about your past? I struggled with this a lot as a child. I had so many questions about what my birth mom was like and why she gave me up. I felt rejected in the midst of being surrounded by a loving family. I was confused and curious about my past but so grateful for my present. My perspective about my birth mom’s choices has changed as I’ve matured and grown up but many questions still remain for me.
Every couple of months, I too, will binge search online (sometimes for hours) armed with the very few facts that I have about my birth family. Each time hoping to reveal another clue, to find another connection, to one day even find my birth mom. The truth is I’m scared and hopeful about the process at the same time. And the movie Lion has just tipped the scale a little bit more in favor of hope.
My mom had this to say about the film…
The true story was engrossing and extremely touching. I was captivated by the similarities
I have with the adoptive mother in the film; her emotions, her behavior, even down to her eighties style. I think I had the exact same perm when I adopted my kids. I felt very connected to her experience. Her love and concern for her children are very evident. This quickly took me back in time to the adoption of Liz when she was an infant. I remember experiencing the simultaneous joy of bringing her home and the wave of concern that we would be the best option for her because we were white parents responsible for this little biracial girl. It was very important to us to give her enough connection to her cultural roots. I wondered, “Could we do it?”
In the movie, Saroo struggled with his own identity, and his mom’s thoughts and prayers were with him. I was moved that she tried not to interfere with his search. Instead she yearned to help him find his past. This is a scary situation for adoptive parents. No matter how much you love your child, you must recognize that he has a past and a history without you.
By this time, the movie resonated with me so much that I was in the midst of our memories of our own situation and how it related to Saroo. It was so overwhelming that I grabbed Liz’s hand.
Nicole Kidman said it well. She stated that the film was about the “simplicity of love”. Love is so incredibly strong and enduring. People have questioned if we love our children as much as they love their natural children. We could only look at them blankly. Love is a powerful and mysterious force. Our children are everything to us.
Mom and daughter agree, the movie, Lion, is an excellent film that poignantly conveys the many dynamic emotions of adoptive parent and child. We’d love to hear you thoughts and stories in the comments below. What did you like the most about the film? Was there something special that you connected with? Let us know!
Liz is a forever optimistic, creative, & intelligent woman. She credits her Christian faith for so much joy in her life. She loves her family and is excited about creating a family of her own with her husband (biological and otherwise). Liz is also a NY Giants fan and award winning ice-cream eating champion!