We made it to Kansas City in time to realize there was no way we could wait two hours for Cheesecake Factory, and instead, headed across the street to PF Changs where we strengthened our bond by eating our meal family style.
Once our dinner was over, we drove the rest of the way to the Screenland Armour Theatre where we experienced the Stuck Documentary and the "Town Hall" style meeting that occurred after the showing.
Left to Right: Lauren Walker, Audrey Ritter, STUCK Producer Craig Juntunen (adoptive father of three children from Haiti), Me, Hannah Montee, Keri Dougless
The Documentary itself was moving and heartbreaking and uplifting and humorous and inspiring. The movie follows three families through their journey to bring their internationally adopted children home and highlights the struggles, joys, and heartache that make up International Adoption. These families' stories are used throughout the film to show the differences between (and yet similar struggles of) adoption from Haiti, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.
The movie also explains the adoption process in general, from the amount of time averaged to adopt a child, to the cost of adoption, to the steps a family has to take to adopt a child. The movie is well researched and the cinematography is amazing. Here's a preview (grab your tissue;)):
At the end of the film, two families from the Kansas City area came to the front of the theatre to speak. One of them journeyed alongside the family in the movie who fought hard for their son and, together, after YEARS of fighting while their children were STUCK in a Vietnamese orphanage, both families were able to bring their children home. Sadly, however, there are over 100 children who have families (they share their last names) who are still STUCK in these Vietnam orphanages years after Vietnam closed its door to International Adoption. And this is just one country.
Another aspect of the film focuses on the two things that are a huge barrier to adoption: the time it takes to adopt and finances. In our experience, both of these things are hard pills to swallow and both were significant for our process.
I could go on and on about this film and still not address everything I'd like to say about it. So, here are some main points (and things you can do!! :))...
- Click on this link to learn more about the film and the struggles that are happening in the international adoption community.
- Go see the film when the tour is in a city near you.
- Buy or Download the film and hold a Stuck viewing party at your home.
- Sign the petition asking members of congress to prioritize streamlining the adoption process (while maintaining ethics). This petition also helps to give voice to the families and children who have been placed on the back burner because of bureaucracy and congressional apathy towards inter country adoption in general.
- For those of you in the Washington D.C. area, participate in the Step Forward for Orphans March on May 17th.
- PRAY for the leaders of our country to understand that orphaned children are human beings and should be prioritized as such. We are not talking about animals in a shelter, we are praying for real life humans who, when they are STUCK, are deprived of the life of love many many people so desperately want to provide to them.
- Share this post on your facebook, like the STUCK tour FB page, be a social media guru, leading others to fight for change along with you. :)
- Pray for my friends pictured above...three of them are waiting families and our prayer is that they will see their children's faces and bring them home soon!
P.S. When you watch the movie, notice the Ethiopian judge...she was OUR judge last April.