Sunday, May 29, 2011

Like Dandelion Dust

Some good friends of ours are going through a painful situation right now.  After a protracted court battle, they are being required to return their 6-year-old adopted son, who has been a part of their family since infancy, to the custody of his biological father.  It's ugly and unjust and there's no telling what kind of impact this will have on his little mind and spirit.

The story of Like Dandelion Dust dramatizes a situation much like theirs.  Rip Porter beats his wife and is an all-around, no good loser.  He ends up in jail for 7 years.  When he gets out, a changed man, his wife confesses she gave up their baby for adoption.  He didn't even know she had been pregnant.  Her mother forged his signature on the adoption papers.  Rip doesn't even hesitate: he's going to get their baby back.

Meanwhile, Joey's a happy little boy living an idyllic existence as the only child of a couple who has a big house by the ocean, a big sailboat, lots of money, and apparently no job.  They are shocked to get the call saying that Joey is going back to his birth parents.  They fight it, of course, but since dad can prove that he didn't give up his parental rights, it's a clear case.  Joey has to go with him.
A tender moment with his birth mother.
I don't know about the legalities here, but anyone can relate to the emotions involved.  Both the birth parents and biological parents are willing to sacrifice everything to keep Joey, but one of them has to give.  This was painful to watch as an adoptive parent.  I am SO thankful for having such a flawless adoption and a relationship with Zippy's birth mom.  In fact, Kelly is taking him to see his birth mom next week.  I just wish our friends had a different adoption experience.

This is a great, emotional story, which brings up important issues, perhaps even an impetus to reexamine adoption law.  However, as much as I want to love this movie, it loses points for being, at times, a weakly acted movie, almost teetering into the Lifetime made-for-TV genre.  Thankfully, the story is strong enough to help me overlook the acting.

Bottom line, 2 1/2 stars.

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