The family featured in this excellent documentary were later featured on Extreme Makeover:Home Edition. But, this is not a “feel-good” tear-jerker in that vein.
As a parent of a child with disabilities, I watched this film with interest. It was described as disturbing in some of the reviews. Possibly due to my perspective, I did not find it in any way disturbing. The film follows one family for one year. The family is Susan and her children. Eleven children in all although the oldest two (and only two born to Susan) are grown and mentioned only in passing. Susan has adopted eight children with special needs. Some of the children have profound physical disabilites, others have terminal medical conditions, one is developmentally delayed.
The director uses a strong narrative approach to film. The film focuses primarily on Susan and three of the children. We see conflict, tension, mental illness, lonliness, isolation, anger, sadness, loss and yes love and hope and life.
Susan is a remarkable person. Initially, I questioned the appropriateness of her being allowed to adopt so many children and how she could possibly give each the attention they need, but after watching the movie and seeing how she feels about the children and the amazing way she deals with the struggles, I have decided to leave that issue up to Susan and her God.
I sometimes feel like life is too difficult and can fall into self-pity all to easily. raising children is not easy under the best of circumstances… but this film presents a very moving, very real peak at a life which I cannot even begin to imagine.
The film is heart-breaking at times… I won’t give anything away. And, parents should be warned that there is some strong language, but the language is real…
The secret that people who have the opportunity to get to know children with disabilities share is that they have much more to offer us than we have to offer them. That is made abundantly clear in this film.
One last note: as a fan of film, I was pleased with the style the director used in telling this story. The use of home movies, old photographs, and the way the movie is shot and edited make it interesting to watch from a film-making perspective.
Yeah… THUMBSWAYYYYY UP…