Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lessons for Adoptive Parents (and others) from Kung Fu Panda 2

Three years ago this week I wrote a post called Lessons for Adoptive Parents (and others) from Kung Fu Panda. Several people have read it over the years and yesterday we went to see Kung Fu Panda 2. So as I sat through the movie I tried to remember everything I could. I know I've left out some stuff, but here are the ones I remember. (and I"m going to try hard and do this without spoiling the movie for those who haven't seen it).

1) Inner peace is only found when one recognizes that another person is not the issue and that we can only change ourselves. In the opening scene Shitsu talks about how hard it was for him to accept the idea that the Po was going to be the next Dragon Warrier. He tells Po that he had lots of trouble until he realized that Po was not the problem -- that he, himself was the issue.

2) There are many roads to inner peace and few of them are easy. Unfortunately, inner peace, that feeling of being comfortable with ones own self, isn't achieved quickly nor is it easy. And we don't always get to choose which road we want to be on that will lead us there.

3) One flashback can be debilitating. Our kids might be on a roll and conquering all kinds of things in their lives, but one memory can make them freeze momentarily and it may take them a long time to recover.

4) Many kids know they are adopted long before they are told, but they wait for the parents to take the initiative to talk to them about it. Po was a Panda being raised by a goose -- so it was kind of obvious -- but they never talked about it. And his Dad told him that he was waiting for his son to bring it up. Ridiculous? Of course. Happening often in adoptive homes, probably.

5) Sometimes a "happy ending" isn't enough. Sometimes I think we figure that if someone's life turns out ok -- that their bad beginning ceases to impact them. When we do this, we diminish them and their story. And we are wrong to even suggest that a person doesn't need to know their beginning simply because they have a happy ending.

6) Even if we claim our children as our children, they may not be emotionally healthy enough to claim us as parents until they resolve some issues in their lives. Helping them achieve this inner peace that comes from having their puzzle pieces fit together may be the only way for them to claim us as parents.

7) Fear and hopelessness are chains that bind us and prisons that keep us from being able to move forward. We have to remain confident and hold on to hope.

8) The harder you try to achieve inner peace fast, the more it eludes you. Doing the work that it takes inside to work through emotions, etc. is where the focus should be -- and then inner peace can be found.

9) When you have inner peace, it doesn't matter what life throws at you, you can grab it and throw it right back.

10) A person's beginnings do not bind them or destine them in any direction. They may throw up roadblocks and make life more difficult, but each of us has the power to choose who we are going to be.

and of course....

11) The birth parents are still out there (which is very necessary if you want to make a Kung Fu Panda III movie)

And, as far as a quick movie review, I felt like the whole subject of adoption was treated very well in this movie and would enjoy hearing your feedback.

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