Monday, August 30, 2010

PBS Shows 3 Documentaries on International Adoption

Those of us interested in international adoption have an exciting couple of weeks ahead of us on PBS, with three documentaries about IA showing:

August 31:  Wo Ai Ni Mommy
What is it like to be torn from your Chinese foster family, put on a plane with strangers and wake up in a new country, family and culture? Stephanie Wang-Breal’s Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy is the story of Fang Sui Yong, an 8-year-old orphan, and the Sadowskys, the Long Island Jewish family that travels to China to adopt her. Sui Yong is one of 70,000 Chinese children now being raised in the United States. Through her eyes, we witness her struggle with a new identity as she transforms from a timid child into someone that no one — neither her new family nor she — could have imagined.
I reviewed Wo Ai Ni Mommy here.  I encourage everyone to watch it and let me know what  you think.

September 7:  Off and Running
Off and Running tells the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians. Her older brother is black and Puerto Rican and her younger brother is Korean. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems as if her life is unraveling, Avery decides to pick up the pieces and make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.
September 15: In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee
Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the United States in 1966. Told to keep her true identity secret from her new American family, the 8-year-old girl quickly forgot she had ever been anyone else. But why had her identity been switched? And who was the real Cha Jung Hee? In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is the search to find the answers, as acclaimed filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem (First Person Plural, POV 2000) returns to her native Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America.
If you go to this page, you can put in your zip code and find out when these documentaries are showing in your area.  You can also watch the documentaries online at the PBS website after each one has aired.


Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

I am so excited about these. My DVR is fired up and ready to go!
PS--Scott Simon on Diane Rehm this morning. He told about an incident where some men did the Chinese Eyes thing to his daughter. Her mother told her it was stupid but she insisted it was funny. He said maybe her reaction was the healthiest of all. Yikes.

Dee said...

Right now and until Sept. 15, you can also watch Deann Borshay's first documentary "First Person Plural" on the PBS video website (online for free). I watched it the other day and was blown away.

Bukimom said...

I just watched "First Personal Plural" and was blown away as well. Mainly I was shocked at some of the things that came from Deann's adoptive parents' mouths. I know they adopted in a different time, but still, some of their comments just sounded so insensitive to her feelings. For example, when they were driving down a street in Korea and her mother said, "You don't really belong here. You belong at home with us." Still, I could tell the a-mom really loved her daughter and was trying. But to me, it seemed like too little too late.

It really made me realize more than ever the importance of speaking up with our adopted kids, initiating discussion about first families and birth cultures. Our kids will never feel it's okay if we act the way Deann's parents did. At one point her a-dad actually sounded like he was blaming her for wondering why her parents never brought up these issues. Well, she tried a few times as a child but was told she was just adjusting to her new life.

Victoria said...

Thank you so much for mentioning that we can watch these online! I kept hearing about them airing and lamenting that I couldn't see them (no TV). I'm also excited for First Person Plural, so thank you to the commenters that mentioned it.