Friday, May 27, 2011

Adoption and Kung Fu Panda 2

I have written before about the life lessons from the original Kung Fu Panda and the second one did not disappoint.  Interestingly enough, the focus on the second edition was Po, the panda, trying to find out who he "really was".  If you don't know, Po is a large panda bear raised by a goose who makes noodles.  He finally realizes that he is not the "actual" birth son of his father, the goose.  His mission: find out who he really is.  He asks Dad how he (Po) came to live with him (dad).  Well, the dad explains as much of the story as he knows....and Po is not completely satisfied with the story and even has flashbacks of what happened when he left his parents.  He discovers at the end of the movie that his birth parents, his panda family, really loved him and that is why they spared his life.... he returns to his dad who ask him what he learned while away, and Po explained, "I learned that YOU are my dad.".....but the real lesson throughout the movie, that the writers precipitated throughout the search for Po's birth family and heritage was this:

"The beginning of your story may not be happy but the end does not have to be unhappy. The only thing that matters is who you choose to be now."

How much does this message speak to the heart of adoption?  I admit, for some children struggling with their identity as an adopted child, the movie may need to previewed first by their parents.  However, Tedi is not quite there yet.  As an adoptive parent the movie resonated with me..... I could identify with Dad, the goose.  At what point will Tedi look at us and realize we are not brown skinned with dark curls?  When will he want to seek more information on his birth family only to find we have little more to offer than love?  Will he realize that who he chooses to be is more important than the life he had before us or even more, while with us....that choosing to be happy is inside of him? How do we, as adoptive parents, empower our children to WANT to know and seek information on the birth family without being hurt while also inspiring them to grow into independent, God loving men and women? I pray for answers to these tough questions.  I pray for support from friends and family.  I pray God strengths us as parents for each phase we will go through with Tedi and our future adoptive children. 

I highly recommend the movie....despite some of the fighting and search for family, the message from these movies are always superb, but heed the warning of previewing if you have any concerns. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Natalie! This is such great information. I think it will be fine for our boys. I was concerned when I read one of the reviews, and their only comment was something like, "Po searches for his real dad so that he can truly know who he is." Red flags were raised high. But it is great to read your review....flags lowered. :)