The Blind Side and how it Relates to Birth Mothers and Adoptive Mothers
Everyday we are blind to certain attributes: people’s negative or positive qualities, skin color, age, religion and politics, among various other things. However, just as often, we make conscious choices to see past those attributes, qualities and opinions in order to provide love and support to those who need it most. Birth mothers and adoptive mothers alike make choices beyond what the average person does, however the overall outcome or end goal is still the same – what is in the child’s best interest.
In the same fashion, Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy provided a loving and supportive home to Michael Oher without placing importance on prior circumstances or qualities or lack thereof in the reasoning, but rather provided opportunities because it was in Michael’s best interest. The 2009 biographical film, The Blind Side, is based on the 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. A story of a homeless, African-American teenager named Michael Oher and the people and learning experiences that came into his life at a pertinent time of coming of age.
Themes and Tones
This film, whether you are a birth parent or adoptive parents, not only warms your heart, but also articulates real-life scenarios that many children and parents face. These include, but are not limited to: racism and tolerance, different ways of life, generosity and hope.
For example, Michael lived in an area where it was only communities of color, homelessness and lower working class. Very unlike the Tuohy’s setting and household, one of privilege and wealth. However, Leigh-Anne Tuohy saw past Michael’s skin color and age and adopted him as her own, making sure he had food to eat and a warm place to stay.
Both came from opposite ways of life, but through generosity and seeing past specific attributes, Michael is given opportunities, a loving family and a safe place.
In regards to birth mothers and adoptive mothers, generosity and hope are two values both parent models identify with when it comes to doing what is best for the child. They provide what they can (physically, emotionally and financially) to the best of their abilities. For the birth mother, this is making the difficult choice to place their child for adoption. For the adoptive mother, to be on the receiving end and adopting for a child. Both types of mothers hope that their child will eventually grow into an independent adult who is happy, successful and healthy, no matter how that looks.
Another large theme that is presented halfway through the film when the main character, Michael Oher, is required to write an essay for a class. His adopted dad and him come across a poem that identifies symbols of courage and honor. Two important traits that he learns to embrace and grow in throughout the film.
In his essay, Michael states, “You should hope for courage and try for honor.” To us, this speaks to what birth mothers and adoptive parents do every day. Each mother stands in courage and chooses selflessness and keeping her child’s best interests at heart. What’s more, they do so humbly and never seek personal gain.
Early on in the film, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is introduced through a sequence of scenes showing what his current life was like as a teenager and the hardships he faced. His path soon intersects with Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), completely changing both of their lives.
Bullock’s character provides what Michael’s birth mother could not. She strives to be the best mother possible, to love and fight for her son as only a mother can, and to ensure that he has all the love and support he needs. She, along with the rest of the family, also provide him with a stable home environment that cultivates positive learning experiences and future opportunities. An amazing true example of the positives that come out of adoption, and how to overcome any challenge that the adoption triad may face in their journey together.
Due to the love and support and opportunities Michael is able to have through his adopted family, Michael eventually qualifies for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship at Ole Miss and later chosen. Later, Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft.
Identities and Learning Experiences
We all have different stories. Some may be very similar to Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy’s or Michael Oher’s. Whatever our circumstances, stories lead us down unique paths and experiences. For example, the Tuohy’s lived a very different life, had very different opportunities and outcomes than Michael Oher; but, because they welcomed him into their home through adoption, both of their lives merged together and were changed as did their experiences.
In the film, you’re given a glimpse of what being an adoptive parent, transracial adoptee and birth parent/family looks like. Especially when the main character Michael Oher does not know who/where their birth parent/family is, experiencing homelessness and other challenges; to then being a part of a community where you are the only person of color, and a part of an adoptive family that have very different opportunities and ways of life. Throughout the film the characters take you on a personal journey of instances where potential challenges a transracial adoptee or adoptive parent may face. In a previous blog, we delved into an autobiographical film about a transracial adoptee and her experiences with adoption and her birth mother and adoptive family.
How The Blind Side Relates to Birth and Adoptive Mothers
Mothers come from all different backgrounds, and are given choices, much like the main characters in the film. When you choose to place your child for adoption or to adopt a child, your life and identity morphes into something new. You have opened a door to allow change and a new adventure into your life. You also learn new things about yourself and your own way of life when you place your child for adoption or choose to adopt a child.
As an adoptive mother, everything changes for the better the moment you let a baby into your world. Especially one of a different culture. Transracial adoption comes with its own pros and cons, but is a beautiful way to grow your family and experience another culture. Yet, the most beautiful part is the common goal you share with your son or daughter’s birth mother. That is, loving your child with all your heart and giving him or her the best life possible.
The Blind Side explicitly describes those same outcomes, and how learning experiences can shape you when you choose to do the right thing. For information on how to choose adoption – as birth parents or adoptive parents, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado, your leading, licensed adoption agency! Call or text us 24/7 at 720-371-1099
The Blind Side. (2009, November 20). Retrieved May 13, 2020, from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0878804/
The blind side title significance. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2020, from https://lakshyablog.weebly.com/the-blind-side/the-blind-side-title-significance
The Blind Side. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2020, from https://www.quotes.net/movies/the_blind_side_144486