Guest Post by Bryan Tucker
“I’ve got this idea for a documentary,” I say to my friend. “What’s it about?” he asks. I reply, “My wife, Angela, being a trans-racial adoptee searching for her birth family.”
This conversation never actually occurred with said friend, or with anyone for that matter, but it’s happened in my head many times. In my mind, I understand my imaginary friend’s reservations. First off, the relationship between documentary filmmaker and subject can be an intimate one, depending on the film and the story. Now add to that relationship the fact that your main subject (and wife) sleeps one room over from the office where you’ll be editing this film for the next two years. Things could get complicated.
Furthermore, how could I -- a Caucasian male-- objectively tell a story about trans-racial adoption centered around three female characters? Despite all this, I pressed forward.
Before meeting Angela, I never knew anyone who was adopted. We started dating in college, and I went to meet her family so they could approve of her new boyfriend. Angela had been reluctant to tell me much about her family beforehand, so as not to “scare me off”. But rather than scare me, I was intrigued, and felt right at home in their presence.
I was amazed to learn that her parents adopted seven children, all with special needs, over the course of a decade, with five of them being of a different race. With trans-racial adoption being such a hot topic among American society today, I knew that someone had to tell their story – someday. I did not know that someday would be five years later, and that someone would be me.
It began with Angela asking me to film our trips from Seattle to Chattanooga to capture the priceless moments of meeting her birth family. Fearing she would never meet them again, Angela wanted video footage of these encounters so that she could hear their voices and see their faces for the rest of her life via video. Understandable – considering that she had been using her imagination for twenty-six years.
Even after watching the footage thousands of times I still find myself in tears, sometimes in the same moments, sometimes in new ones. Some of this footage can be seen in a two-minute trailer:
My life has changed for the better since meeting my wife and her family. Aside from loving Angela for being the beautiful woman that she is (inside and out), I’m thankful for what I know about adoption because of her.
I went from being unaware to becoming a passionate student of all the cultural and societal effects that originate with adoption. I’m proud to offer a documentary that features a dramatic and beautiful story told from the strength of three women who are each strong for different reasons: birth mother, adoptive mother, and adoptee.
If you’d like to support the film and help us finish it and get it ready for audiences, please visit our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
CLOSURE is Bryan's first film. He grew up in Northern California but now calls Seattle home. He enjoys indie coffee shops, creative collaboration, and he and Angela hope to get their first dog soon.
Portrait of an Adoption is hosted by Carrie Goldman, the author of Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear.
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