‘Lion’ and the Bond in Humanity

'Lion' explores the challenges of international adoption and reunion, and the bond in humanity.

Meghan Rivard April 27, 2018
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It is not a unique idea to believe that all humans, especially children, need connection with others. We were born and made to communicate. We have an innate desire for relationships and love of others. But for children, especially for children who have been adopted, that attachment and bond is extremely important.

A child’s need for a secure attachment is depicted well in the movie Lion. The film is based on the memoir, A Long Way Home, written by Saroo Brierley. He was born and raised in India until age five. An unfortunate incident separated him from his family and he became lost. He was later adopted by an Australian couple and was part of a very loving family. Now as an adult, over 25 years later, he has the desire to find information about his biological mother but does not tell his parents fearing it would insult or hurt their feelings.

According to The Tufts Daily, Saroo was a “good boy” and helped his biological mother in her trade as a laborer collecting stones in India. After his adoption by his Australian parents, Saroo transitions well into his family. However, he has an adopted brother, Mantosh, who is very different and fights transition into forming a loving attachment or adaptation with his new family; he’s very defiant against both his parents and Saroo. The movie shows the love, patience, and frustration Saroo’s parents have for Saroo and his brother. They offer support whenever it is needed, whatever the circumstances. Did Saroo have an easier adjustment because of the love his biological mother gave him for the five years he lived with her? Probably. In the movie, she is shown as a gentle soul always appreciative and loving towards Saroo.

Gemima St. Louis, associate professor of clinical psychology, states it perfectly, “When children are that securely attached, they have a remarkable ability to build healthy relationships, not only during childhood, but throughout their adolescence, into their adulthood.”

When children are in a loving and nurturing home, it is much easier for them to form loving and nurturing relationships with others. Unfortunately, children in a negative and abusive home have a much more difficult time forming healthy boundaries and relationships as a child and as an adult. It is so important for parents, teachers, and anyone interacting with children to be aware of these relationships.

Lion depicts many important aspects: how adoptive parents can support their children, the challenges of international adoption, and the value of birth parents to an adoptive person. Lion is a wonderful movie with an inspirational message of family and love.

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Meghan Rivard

Meghan is an adoptive mother and a big advocate of adoption and foster care. She resides in Indiana with her husband, their one-year-old daughter who is the center of their lives, and their dog Max. She has a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Meghan stays at home with her daughter but is so happy she found this outlet to share her personal adoption story and educate about adoption!

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