October Baby

We got to watch October Baby on GMC tonight. It aired 3 different times – from 6-8, from 8-10, and from 10-12 (midnight). We watched the 8:00 showing because we were at church until a little after 7. I’ve been wanting to see this ever since I heard about it. I actually bought it as soon as it came out on DVD, but had not had a chance to sit and watch it yet. Once I heard it was going to come on TV, I decided I’d watch it there first and if I wasn’t impressed with it, I’d just take the DVD back to the store. Well, I won’t be making a trip to do THAT anytime soon. Before I get into what I thought or what I inferred from the film, let me first say that it was probably one of the more well-produced Christian films that I’ve seen. Don’t get me wrong. I have loved all the Sherwood films, but they are favorites because of the messages more than anything else. This one was very well shot compared to others I’ve seen. And before you think that I’m going to say nothing but praise, I will also tell you that I felt like the story and characters could have used a little more development. I understood where they were going, but I really felt like it could have been re-worked some so some of the characters had more of an introduction or departure to/from the plot line. Like, I never knew where Chris Sligh’s character came from and why he was even there to begin with. It was like they just kind of threw some people together and didn’t really explain how they knew each other. There was one girl who apparently did not like Hannah, but I don’t know where the history came from. I assume it was because Hannah had always been bff’s with the guy that the girl liked, but I can’t be sure.

Anyway, off all that technical stuff. I’m more concerned with the message of the film. I heard that it was going to be this huge Pro-Life film and that it would change some people’s viewpoints on abortion. I can tell you that I’m already pro-life, so I wasn’t focused on that particular part. I don’t know if it would change someone’s views. The basic story is that this girl collapses onstage during a play and they run all these tests. You find out that she’s epileptic and has asthma and has had all these problems as a young child, including hip surgeries. The doctors (including her father, who is a doctor) think that all these things are related due to the trauma she suffered at her birth. She had also been having some depression-like emotions (feeling unwanted, overwhelmed, stuck in a rut, etc.). Well, she didn’t know there had been any trauma. She finds out that she was born at 24 weeks gestation, and was, in fact, adopted because her early birth was due to a failed saline abortion attempt. Obviously, her world is shaken with this news. She sets out on a journey to find her birth mother to ask her all these questions. She meets the nurse who was there for the abortion (who ended up taking her mother to the hospital to have her) and finds out that she was actually a twin. Her birth mom had been pregnant with twins and didn’t know it. Her brother was born first and was very much affected by the abortion attempt. He only lived for a few months and never came home from the hospital. Her “parents” had adopted both of them and were there in the hospital every day, praying for them. She does eventually find her mom, but never gets the answers to her questions because her mom dismisses her. Her dad comes to take her home and she is still angry and confused and hurt about all of it. On top of all of that, she feels a hatred inside for herself and for her parents and for her birth mom. She goes searching for answers at a cathedral where she meets a priest who basically tells her that the only way to be free of the guilt/hatred/anger is to give forgiveness. Since God has forgiven us, we should therefore forgive others. She does find it within herself to forgive her parents for keeping all of it from her, she forgives her birth mom, and she forgives herself.

The abortion story was brought up a lot because it was an important part of the movie. It was important to know that not only was Hannah adopted, but her mother had tried to abort her. We needed this because I fully believe that the central theme of the movie is forgiveness. We needed to see the conflict within Hannah. How would any of us feel if we had learned that our moms had tried to abort us but it failed? Would we be willing to forgive that? If we have a hard time forgiving our spouses for their shortcomings sometimes, or our children when they do something we’ve instructed them not to do, how do you think we would be able to forgive something of that magnitude. I mean, to find out that not only were you unwanted, but that you almost don’t even exist because of that. It’s a heavy concept.

It’s the hardest thing to give away, and the last thing on your mind today. It always goes to those that don’t deserve. It’s the opposite of how you feel, when the pain they’ve caused is just too real. It takes everything you have just to say the word.

Forgiveness.

After everything that happened, forgiveness was the only thing Hannah could offer to move forward with her life. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to stay sitting in those emotions and feelings all the time. It would have torn her to pieces. All she wanted to do was move on. I think that forgiveness is something we all need to deal with. God has forgiven us. We should be able to forgive each other and ourselves.

Show me how to love the unlovable. Show me how to reach the unreachable. Help me now, to do the impossible.

Forgiveness.

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