On Sunday, I decided to watch a movie with the kids in the afternoon. We hadn't watched a movie in a while and I was keen to choose a nice family movie for all of us.
Well, we ended up choosing Free Willy. Mainly because both my boys love whales and sharks and I sort of recalled it being a tearjerker. It was a simple story and yes, I cried at the end.
The movie is basically about a boy named Jesse who was abandoned by his mum and hence, has to live with foster parents. Of course, the main story is about how Jesse befriends Willy, the killer whale and eventually helps to free him. But there is another underlying story too. One where you see how Jesse struggles to trust the foster parents who take him in and how he clings on to the hope that his mum will return for him.
My kids kept asking me why Jesse's mum couldn't take care of him. I explained that she couldn't take care of herself and so she couldn't take care of him. It was a good opportunity to explain to them that there are others in the world with different situations and to help them see that they were very fortunate.
The foster parents in the story were a really lovely pair who showered Jesse with love and also tried to give him space. The story is quite realistic in that it also shows their pain and frustration in trying to get Jesse to trust them and how they really worked at understanding him.
In Singapore, there is a scheme that matches families who love children with disadvantaged children in Singapore. These families provide a temporary place for children whose parents or guardians are unable to care for them, or have been abandoned, neglected or ill-treated. They are cared for by the foster family until they can return to their families or be adopted.
I am heartened to hear of this initiative and certainly an area which I will be thinking and praying hard about.
If you too, are interested to find out more about fostering, there happens to be a Fostering Roadshow being organised in April.
Date : Friday to Saturday, 19 - 21 April 2013
Time : 10.30 am - 9.00pm
Venue : United Square (Atrium)
There will be people there who can help answer questions as well as free balloons and caricature sketches for the family.
If this isn't something that you can consider at the moment, perhaps you could help by sharing this information with your friends. Someone out there might be able to help.