Last night, Kevin and I went to see Juno. We both loved it. Most of the reviews I've read focus on the fact that this movie is about teenage pregnancy. That is true, I guess. To me, it was more about adoption. I'm sure being an adoptive parent has something to do with it.
I've found, since our adoption journey began in August 2005, that those who have no experience with adoption or haven't been personally touched by it (whether birthmom/father/sibling, adoptive parent/sibling, or family member) truly can't relate. It's not that they don't want to. On the contrary, they try wholeheartedly. They just can't relate...to either side of adoption. For me, despite the fact that Jack is loved as much as any other child in our family, even our own relatives stuggle to understand the relationship that exists between Kevin and me and Jack's birthmom.
People often ask, "How could she do that?" They don't understand that the decision she made isn't about herself. It's about Jack, too. She didn't "give him away." She gave him a life, one that is filled with opportunity. She struggled with abortion. I don't know how easy or difficult that would be, because I can't relate. I do know that someone I barely knew walked around public places, like Juno did the mall, and was scrutinized for being pregnant out of wedlock. She was in the grocery store every week. I'm sure people would ask, "When are you due? Boy or girl? Picked out a name? How exciting!" Can you imagine the pain, the guilt, the strength and courage? If you've ever been pregnant, consider the times you were oooooed and aaaaaahhhed over. Now imagine reaping none of the benefits, nothing to hold, rock, feed, or show off when you get home, no trophy. I missed out on all the physical pregnancy attention with Jack, but I have the most beautiful prize to show for it napping in the next room. So, to answer the how could she question...I have absolutely no idea how someone could be so strong and selfless and publicly admit such a mistake, but I am eternally grateful she did.
Jennifer Garner did an excellent job of portraying a woman who wants to be a mother more than anything in the whole world. I can identify with her on so many levels. I know the hurt she felt when having to explain that an adoption had fallen through for them, the "how sure are you" question...80%. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to ask that, to measure it somehow. You can't measure love. My version of the question ended up sounding more like, "Are you sure you're not going to have any regrets about this?" In the movie, Garner wants to paint the nursery. Hubby tells her it's too early, yet. While his motive was different than my own husband's motive, I heard that many times. I just wanted something tangible. Something I could touch that would say, "Hey world, I'm going to be a mommy, too. I'm worthy, too. Stop feeling sorry for me. This thing is going to happen." Kevin didn't want me to be heartbroken. I, too, had to wait to paint the nursery.
The reason I really love this movie, is because Ellen Page shows incite to the struggles a birthmother faces. The struggles aren't necessarily the same, but they are difficult nonetheless. I couldn't help but notice in the movie that Juno was walking against the current of students in the hallways at school, against the grain. She was amazed at this little life inside of her, cared about it, nurtured it. She's a real person, with real feelings, not some inferior human being as many of the world, like the sonagram tech and the school secretary in the movie stereotype. Any female in the world who has ever had unprotected sex out of wedlock could be Juno. The next time you see a young pregnant mother in the grocery store, instead of thinking what a floozy she is, I hope you'll appreciate the difficult path she has chosen, whether she keeps the baby as her own or places it for adoption.
Kevin and I feel extremely protective of Jack's birthmom. She has given us the most precious gift anyone has ever given us. How could anyone think less of her? I appreciate that the ending of the movie shows how Juno's life goes on. That's what adoption should be, a solution for all. We learn from our mistakes, thankfully God has the grace to turn them into blessings.