Saturday, March 22, 2014

Watch "Removed": An Award Winning Short Film About a Foster Child

A friend posted to my Facebook page earlier this week a link to the award-winning movie "Removed"; the story of what it's like to be a foster child in America. It's only 12 minutes long so I do recommend if you have some time to watch this. The end literally made me cry. Tears and everything.

The story was very realistic. It showed the abuse that this little girl and her brother endured, which caused them to be removed from the mother's custody and placed into separate foster homes. You could see the sadness and confusion on this little girl's face and she was moved from home to home, carrying all her belongings in a garbage bag.  I'll never forget that Christopher's clothes were handed to me in three drawstring garbage bags so this is very true and accurate to real life.

The movie also shows the little girl's anger and the behavioral issues that emerge because she feels she has no control over her life. And it shows the lack of trust these children learn to have. Oh how I can relate to that! For the first year and a half I had him, Christopher didn't trust me and didn't trust his pre-school teachers. He had been taken away before so why get close to these people if they were only going to hurt him? He used to act out in defiance, just willing us to give up on him. The screaming tantrums, the "you're not my favorite mommy" comments, and just acting out, that happened all the time. It was exhausting. Truly exhausting.

The little girl had flashbacks from her old life which shows she probably should have a diagnosis of PTSD. She started screaming when she got a new dress from her foster mom that reminded her of the domestic violence she witnessed at her mom's home. This of course confused the foster mom as she had no idea what caused the outburst.

Christopher has a diagnosis of PTSD and would freak out over thunderstorms, smoke alarms and swimming over the drain at the YMCA pool. I was of course confused as well and his therapists would tell me that there are a lot of experiences this little boy had that I just don't know about. So when he would scream and cry like that over what seems silly to me, I would just comfort him and let him know he was safe.

The movie also showed the conflicted emotions that these children have over visits with their birth mom. In the movie you see the little girl refusing to interact with the mom during a visit. She's angry at her and for good reason. Mom failed to keep her safe.

Christopher's last visit with his birth mom resulted in a screaming tantrum when we got home and a punch in my eye. For a three year old, he has a remarkable strong right hook, let me tell you. He was angry though because his mother had told him out of spite that he was going to be given away again and that this wasn't his forever home. She was angry that she couldn't have her child so she wanted to hurt him, which of course is a big reason why she couldn't have her child. I mean seriously, who does that? That one comment messed with his head for months, by the way. It was probably the single worst thing she could have said to him at the time.

Like the little girl in this movie though, Christopher eventually began to heal and to trust. We still have our struggles and I still often have to remind Christopher that this is his forever home but at least now he believes me when I tell him.

I don't want to give away the end of the movie but I do want to made me tear up. You need to see it for yourself.

To watch "ReMoved", please click here.

1 comment:

  1. very interesting. you have really opened my eyes to foster care system. :D