Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Flesh and Blood

Another adoption find at the library. This documentary "My Flesh and Blood" about Susan Tom and her family was amazing. She was the mother of 2 biological boys when she and her husband adopted a girl from Korea and then another girl domestically. Even though her 13 year old marriage ended, she continued to add to her family by adopting 9 more children all with special needs.

I think what is so amazing about Susan and her family is just how ordinary Susan is. She doesn't have any special skills or training to help her deal with her unusual family. In fact, during the documentary you clearly see that she struggles with their needs and emotions and there's a particularly heart wrenching scene with her older daughter, Margaret, where you just think, "Oh... she's totally blowing this. Why doesn't she just sit down and talk with Margaret and validate her feelings? Margaret is giving so much to her younger siblings. Do more for her." At least that was going through my mind.

But Susan Tom has the most amazing spirit and is raising her children to have dreams and work to fulfill them. 2 of the girls were born without legs and they are still so physically active... skating, swimming and jumping rope to just name a few activities. The Tom family has also had to deal with the premature deaths of 3 of the children. A harsh reality that most of us will never face and yet the family loves and grieves and remembers and carries on.

After I finished watching this, I had to look them up. If any family deserved an extreme home makeover, it was this family and sure enough... in 2005 they were blessed with a new home. We can't watch the shows in Canada but the 2 hour special is posted on Youtube.

However, I would recommend "My Flesh and Blood" over EHM. The documentary doesn't fall down the sappy, over the top emotionally wringing hole. It is straight forward because the real life inspiration in the Tom family is more than compelling.

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