Television for Adoptees

One of the reasons I love the TV show, “This is Us” is because it’s an adoptee’s story. From the very first episode, I’ve been accessing emotions about adoption and the meaning of family and I’m eagerly waiting for the new season to start.

There just aren’t enough shows or movies where adoption is a central theme and whenever a new one comes out I  have to check my emotions and figure out how I feel before I commit to seeing it. (Philomena and Lion come to mind – I haven’t seen either yet because I didn’t fancy sitting in a theater and bawling my eyes out surrounded by strangers.)

Although This is Us is fiction and about “triplets” and trans-racial adoption, it still feels like my story. While my mother is not a wanna be singer who is demonstratively affectionate, this family is one I can relate to.

The pilot begins with the finding of a birth father and watching how the relationship grows and expands and contracts throughout the course of each episode is, while fiction, still deeply personal. Sterling K Brown and Ron Cephas Jones stand out as Randall and his long-lost father, William. (I’m so glad that Sterling K. Brown won an Emmy this past week, but I sure wish Ron Cephas Jones had as well – he deserved it!)

This is Us shows us the depth of feeling that comes when you are trying to fit in, even when you don’t. Every week I feel for the character of Randall, and look to him to see ways that I’ve acted and reacted as an adoptee. The writers are obviously familiar with the nuances of adopted life – because this is not an over-the-top portrayal or storyline – it’s human and raw and very real.

Not a very deep post here today – but I wanted to give a shout out to my favorite show and the two men who drove the story-line for me last season.

What are your favorite shows, movies, and books that address the realities of adoption?


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