How Supergirl is a Role Model in the Adoption Community

Supergirl comes from an adoptive family we can all learn from.

Denalee Chapman April 09, 2016
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Everyone loves an exciting story where good triumphs over evil. Superhero stories have been around for decades. And for good reason! Each generation finds a glint of adventure, a pinch of excitement, and a glimmer of hope in these ordinary-turned-super people. Although each superhero story is similar, CBS brings us a little twist to their new superhero, Supergirl. Not only taken in by foster parents when she lands on Earth, but also given a sister, Supergirl is unique among our heroes as she explores familial relationships while reconciling her biological beginnings.

Just a few years younger than Alex, Kara is every bit as confident and strong-willed as her sister. The two girls go after life with a passion, though the first couple of episodes show Kara still discovering who she really is. In an attempt to protect Kara from those who would turn her into a science experiment, Supergirl’s family has encouraged her to squelch her superhuman strengths and do her best to fit in. But the relationship between the sisters shows not only acceptance of Kara’s differences from her family, but also pride and even celebration of those differences. Additionally, once Kara makes the decision to stop suppressing her abilities, Alex not only encourages Kara to succeed in her newfound ambitions, but also helps her to stretch and grow. This happens amid many difficult, strenuous hardships—some of which are created for the purpose of helping Supergirl become refined, and some of which are  brought on because of bad people. But through it all, Alex and Kara are the support that each one needs.

Although the show is obviously pure fiction, the reality of normal sibling relationships is expertly portrayed. This refreshing angle of family relationships is one that adoptive families are drawn to. In fact, one adoptive momma wrote an open letter to the actors who play Alex and Kara Danver, thanking them for being the role models her girls need. To have a popular television show craft relationships of siblings created through adoption in a real-life manner is not only refreshing and entertaining, but also instructive. It’s a backdoor approach to teach kids in a blended family that it’s not only okay to be different, but it’s those differences that make us strong individually and as a family.

Through watching Supergirl we see that adoptees, no matter how confident they may appear to be, still sometimes feel like aliens. Sure, they know they’re loved and a part of the family—but there’s something different in them. As adoptive families, when we outwardly recognize those differences and celebrate them by helping each child be their best selves, we are assisting in creating feelings of inclusion and acceptance. It’s hard to feel accepted when everyone pretends we’re all alike, yet we know we’re different.

So loud applause from this author and others who appreciate Supergirl and her family as they continue to portray a healthy adoptive family!

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at DenaleeChapman.com.


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