Adoption STAR Staff Responses to This Month’s Film Clip

Here are some Adoption STAR staff responses to the latest film clip we watched as apart of our TV/Film clip viewing project. See our Facebook post on 6/2/14 for more information (or to view the clip yourself). The clip in question is the second clip we’ve watched/commented on from the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.


“There is more to the story that what is in this clip and knowing this helps you to understand the emotions and reactions of Derek and Meredith. Meredith does a great job of providing information to the social worker so that the social worker knows what Zola’s needs are. Derek appears to be angry but again, there is more to the story. I think that Meredith is not only reassuring Zola that she will be back but is reassuring Derek and herself of this as well. Having to face a child being taken away without knowing where that child is going and if they will be returned must be one of the most gut wrenching moments you can experience. The thought that comes to me is that there is an connection from this to the process of adoptive parents being matched with a birth mother and then the birth mother choosing to parent. Huge grief and loss. While the difference is obviously that adoptive parents who are matched have not physically had the child, there is no doubt that they begin to become attached to the idea of the child. It makes me aware that we need to always be cognizant of the grief and loss of a failed match. As a Grey’s fan, I know there is a happy ending to this story but that is not always the case.”

– Kathy Crissey, Director of Adoption

“This clip does a great job of showing how parents can discuss adoption with their children at any age. Talking with children about their adoption story is important to help them understand the process, appreciate their story and normalize the adoption experience at a young age. It is best practice to begin talking about a child’s adoption story early on, even when we think they cannot fully comprehend what adoption entails. Children are more cognizant than we think. Starting these discussions early on will only make it easier for both the child and parent to feel comfortable discussing tougher issues in the future.”

– Senovia Cuevas, Administrative Assistant/Intake Worker

“From just watching this clip alone, without any back story, I think it depicts social workers and the adoption process in a very bad light. You see an obviously upset woman and man saying goodbye to a young child, possibly forever, and the social worker stands there unapologetic and unemotional. The social worker clearly plays the ‘antagonist’ of the clip, which I feel undermines the entire adoption process. However, Meredith’s line at the end of the clip, where she says, ‘…a thing that can take your life and light it up, or destroy it; become a mother,’ does do the adoption process some justice. The words Meredith used don’t draw a distinction between ‘adoptive motherhood’ and ‘biological motherhood’ (notice the quotes, as we all know that motherhood is motherhood), and that was so nice to see! No matter what, becoming and being a mother can be the greatest thing in the world or one of the most difficult experiences, and that applies to all mothers (regardless of how they became mothers). While I believe the phrasing could have been a little different, this statement truly made this clip worthwhile.”

– Christopher Fancher, Post Correspondence/Administrative Support

“The rollercoaster that accompanies the adoption process is what I feel this clip mainly highlights. We had previously seen Meredith and Derek has they quickly made the decision to adopt Zola, and all seemed wonderful in their world. The clip at hand displays an emotional time when it looks like the adoption may not continue successfully. I could easily feel the pain throughout the clip, and the actors provided realistic portrayals of reactions to what is going on. Meredith takes the lead with her interactions with the social worker, and by physically handing Zola to her. Derek, on the other hand, stays pretty distant, and appears to not be able to verbalize his inner emotions. Often times one member of a couple handles situations involved with adoption (and life!) differently than the other. This is normal and okay. Looking at this clip as an isolated adoption moment, it can certainly give the impression that all adoption stories have a similar story, to those who do not have much experience with adoption. When looking at this in context to the bigger picture, it shows viewers that while there are an immense amount of joys throughout the adoption journey, there can be moments of stress as well.”

– Zachary Fried, Client Relationship Manager

“When I saw this clip these were my reactions:
• Supporting each other during grief can be difficult for parents because we all grieve and process things differently.
• I thought it was great that Meredith had explained to the child what was happening as a way to comfort her – we often forget to talk to our children and explain things that are happening to them.
• This clip also seemed more realistic of the adoption process (things don’t always go smoothly) compared to the previous clip we had watched.”

– Meg Montgomery, International Adoption Coordinator