Monday, February 11, 2008


By now, you’ve probably had a chance to see the movie “Juno”, or at least heard about it.  I just thought I’d give you an amateur review from a future adoptive mom.  J

“Juno” was the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.  It was pure, honest, heart wrenching, and fun all at the same time.  The movie had a very youthful feel with such great musical selections—the album was number one on iTunes the first week the movie came out!

I do think the producers pushed the PG13 rating a bit, however.  There were several children in the theatre under age 13, which surprised us and made me uncomfortable during a couple of scenes.  So, I recommend that if you go see it, make sure you go with someone you’re very comfortable with, or rent it and watch it at home.

The writers did a great job of bringing us both sides of an adoption story.  With a rapid fire of youth slang, “Juno” starts out by shedding light on the thought processes that lead a 15-year-old girl into having sex.  As the story progresses, we see how a crisis situation matures her quickly as she begins to realize the depravity of the human race.  By the end, we learn that no matter the age or circumstance, making an adoption plan is a painful sacrifice for both the mother and her family. 

I must say, they also nailed the adoptive couple in many ways.  If I hadn’t been sitting in a theatre full of teenagers who laughed at all the wrong times, I probably would have cried…a lot.  Instead, I was annoyed at their disrespect and tried to remind myself that they hadn’t yet experienced anything close to this in their lives and therefore don’t have the capacity to understand.  Despite that, I understood as the adoptive couple straightened the towels in an attempt to present a perfect house to the birthmother.  I grinned when they were standing in the future nursery and she was quoting “What to Expect the First Year.”  As she and her husband debated over whether to paint the nursery green or yellow, Andy and I laughed because we had that conversation just that week!  My heart leapt as the adoptive mom felt the baby kick from inside the birthmother’s stomach.  I could easily imagine how she must have been feeling at that very moment.

The independent/private adoption process modeled in “Juno” seemed to follow current practices for the most part.  It did bother me that the first meeting between the birthmother and the adoptive couple was at the home of the adoptive couple with the lawyer present.  That would never happen, at least not in our state.  Typically it would be done at the lawyer’s office or some other public place.  But, the writers qualified this meeting by throwing in a one liner about how the adoptive couple is interested in an open adoption.  It still didn’t satisfy me, but it wasn’t enough to turn me off either.

I would highly recommend this movie.  Just remember that I warned you about the five or six quick moments that will make you blush and look around to see if everyone else is blushing too.

The Blessing of Community

Sunday, February 3rd was an incredible day, not because the Giants upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but because it was our first baby shower!  Our church family threw us a co-ed baby shower!  I was so happy to have Andy there to share the experience with, and we had a great turn out.

Before the shower I wondered how the tradition of wedding and baby showers came to be.  When you stop to think about it, it just makes sense.  Purchasing all the supplies necessary for a baby would create an overwhelming financial burden for most people.  But, when a community of people pitch in, what is impossible for one person becomes possible through the community.  The idea is that each member of the community will pitch in for the others at the appropriate time.  What a beautiful picture of an Acts 2 (verses 44-46) community.  This is one thing our society does right.

Then there are those who go above and beyond to send the invitations, make the cake, arrange the food, or decorate.  How can you really thank them?  I could never accurately express my feelings towards those who planned and attended our shower.  And the gifts—each had it’s own personal touch.  It was one of the greatest displays of love and care I can remember.

In the movie “Juno”, the adoptive mom comes home after work one day with some baby supplies she had just purchased.  Juno happened to be there when she came home and saw the pile of things the couple had bought in preparation for the baby.  When she asked why they didn’t have a baby shower, the adoptive mom told her that people don’t really know how to react to an adoptive couple.  She said that people probably wouldn’t give her a baby shower since she’s not pregnant.  Unfortunately, this is reality for a lot of adoptive couples.  The community wants a definite due date before they’ll plan or participate in a baby shower.  They want to be sure the money they spend won’t go to waste. 

Andy and I have found the opposite to be true of our community of friends and family.  We thank God that everyone has been so incredibly supportive and excited for us.  Before we opened our gifts, Andy thanked everyone for not hesitating to give us the baby shower and talked about how other adoptive couples are not supported like we have been.  Many of the people in our community were stunned to know that there are people out there who wouldn’t participate in a baby shower unless they knew when the baby was coming.  That’s the kind of community we’re blessed to be a part of.


In preparation for baby, I have been doing a lot of research on parenting techniques.  I’m reading all about attachment parenting, demand feeding, hyper scheduling, the Baby Wise way, etc.  I like to compare the different schools of thought, realizing that I won’t know what will work best until I meet my baby. 

I walked into the YMCA with “Baby Wise” under my arm.  I intentionally put the cover page close to my body so no one passing by me could see it.  When I climbed onto the elliptical I placed the book face down, again so no one could see it.  I started pedaling, folding the book back, cover touching cover. 

After about 20 minutes, the lady on the machine next to me said, “I’m impressed that you’re able to read and pedal at the same time!”  Then she asked the dreaded question, “What are you reading?”

“Baby Wise,” I said.  She looked at my stomach and said, “But, you’re not pregnant.”

I laughed, “No, I’m not.  But, my husband and I are adopting.”

A great conversation on parenting ensued.  In the end I was glad she asked.  I would rather someone ask than for people to wonder and make up their own stories in their heads.

Even though people who know us don’t think it’s weird, I can’t help but feel a little like an alien around people who don’t.  I’m having baby showers, reading baby books, buying baby things…but no big belly and no due date.  It doesn’t make me sad.  In fact, I haven’t been sad over not being able to get pregnant one time since we started the adoption process.  But, I find myself sneaking around in public when there’s baby stuff involved.

Just before our baby shower at the church, one of the guys in our worship band did the greatest thing.  He walked up to me, patted my belly and said, “Girl, you’re about to pop!”  That made my day!  It made me feel so “normal!”   I’ve laughed every time I’ve thought about it since.  I hope that everyone around us will feel that comfortable and not feel like they have to tiptoe around the issue.  It helps us not feel so weird.