National Adoption Awareness Month ~ Day 28: “Tangled”

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

I went and saw a movie last night with Mr. Amazing Man. He had already taken the boys to it earlier in the day and came home and promptly declared, “After the baby is in bed for the evening, we are going on a date!”

We saw Tangled.

It is delightful, exquisite, perfect.  Simply put, it is one of Disney’s best films, ever. There is not one thing about it that I would change.

But…I know there are probably some adoptive moms out there who cringed when they watched it with their little adoptee daguthers this weekend, offended at the portrayal of adoptive mothers and adoptive families. And I am absolutely certain there are countless adoptees and first moms out there who wept openly, just like I did. (Even Mr. Amazing Man admits to getting teary eyed at one scene towards the end of the movie when the King and the Queen mark the 18th birthday of their daughter who was taken from them as a baby.)

If you haven’t seen it yet, be forewarned. It may bring up a host of adoptee issues…it’s what the whole movie is about. Loss, searching, and reunion.  Many people in the theater laughed during the scene when Rapunzel first escapes the tower and is having a “conflicted” moment about betraying the woman she believes is her mother. I sat there astounded, my mouth agape,  that they were able to capture in such exquisite detail the range of emotions many adoptees experience when setting out to search for their first family.  Well, at least as it has been described to me by my friends who are adoptees.

And the end of the movie? Just make sure you have about 13 boxes of Kleenex.

Much love,


9 thoughts on “National Adoption Awareness Month ~ Day 28: “Tangled”

    • Oh man, is there ever.

      Baby girl gets stolen by an older woman who wants the baby because she will keep her young; girl grows up thinking that she is her “real” mom; all kinds of manipulative behavior on the part of the “mom” to keep the daughter from searching for the lights she sees every year on her birthday (a very thinly veiled metaphor for the the need to search for her roots); daughter “betraying” her adoptive mother by leaving the tower; first parents who never get over the loss of their daughter and mark her birthday every year with tears… I could go on and on. I think only an adoptee will be able to analyze the themes in any way that might do it real justice though.

      In all honesty, for as lovely and beautiful a movie as it is from a purely technical and artistic view, it is difficult to watch. Fortunately there are many moments of laughter and comedy providing respite from some of the more triggering adoption themes. The horse is hilarious, as is the “hero” Flynn/Eugene.

      Maybe going into it prepared to encounter some of those themes would make it a more pleasant experience. I am actually going to go see it again tomorrow, alone. With Kleenex.

  1. I read a review about it by an adoptee. I am really looking forward to seeing this movie. It’s not like it strays from any other of the Disney flicks, where the hero or heroine is “orphaned”. 😉 I heard she sings a song about “coming out of the fog???” Im wondering if one of the lyricists or screenwriters is an adoptee or first parent? “Coming out of the fog” is definitely a term those of us in adoptoworld use, lol.

    • Yes, Linda!!! There is a song that she sings and OMG – talk about someone “getting it.” It is about how now that she is out of the tower and has been able to see the lights on her birthday, her whole world has shifted. I bawled my eyes out during that song!!!! Even Mr. Amazing Man said that someone involved with this project has a really good handle on all of this adoption stuff. I am not a bettin’ woman, but I would wager money that one of the screen writers is an adoptee.

      Would you mind pointing me to the review that you mentioned? I would really enjoy reading about an adoptee’s take on the movie!


  2. I’m an adoptive mom, and I took my 4 year old daughter to see the movie. I don’t think it has anything at all to do with adoption. It has to do with kidnapping a child. I didn’t steal my daughter. Her birthparents knowingly and willingly signed over parental rights out of love for her. Yes, I was glad that she saw the movie at only 4 years old because I didn’t have to answer any questions when we left the movie. All she cared about was her hair. But, if she had asked me, I would have told her that I understand how sad the king and queen were because that’s how we would have felt if someone had stolen her from us after she was born to us through adoption. It all depends on how you look at things. The only scene in the movie that disturbed me was her flash back where she remembered her parents. Get real Disney.

    • Of course, RealMom. You are right, I am wrong.

      The movie has nothing to do with adoption or a late-discovery adoptee. After all, I am “just” a birthmother. Birth mother. However you spell that wretched word. What do I know about adoption? After all, RealMom, I am just the “someone else’s oven,” the “brood sow,” the NOT real mom. I am the fake mom (oh, and I have the stretch marks to prove my fake mother status too!) and my views, opinions, and feelings don’t matter.

      Your position of power in this adoption “triad” means that yes in fact, you do know every thing. I am wrong, you are right. Forever and ever and ever, amen.

      You say tomAto, I say tomAHto. Let’s just agree that our world views will never align and leave it at that. However, we can still be friends. Some of my dearest friends have diametrically differing world views than mine. You and I might be able to find some common ground in some matters, yes?


      P.S. I think one of the reasons why you don’t think this movie has “anything at all to do with adoption” is because you are the winner in the adoption contest! Yea you!!!!! Life looks very, very, very different from where you stand. Just saying.

  3. Man, that response to RealMom was pretty snotty. Sorry about that, RealMom…you caught me on a very bad day. Usually I am much more diplomatic with my words.

    My apologies for my acerbic tone.


    • No problem. We all have bad days. But, I’ve been thinking about the whole thing, and again, trying to find the correlation between adoption, my life, and the movie….:

      An old witch (I’m not THAT old!)
      Steals (nope, agency and attorney fees were in the neighborhood of 40k. Not to mention the whole thing with the police and jail term when you actually abduct a child in the U.S.)
      The king and queens baby (nope, she was a meth addict and he a domestic abuser)
      Because the baby possessed magical powers (the jury is still out on this bit)
      To keep the old witch young (just hasn’t worked for me either…I’ve aged 10 years in 4. You know, with the sleep deprivation and non-stop mothering. I’m aging exponentially.)
      So the old witch locks her away (nope, we travel all over)
      Lies to her about who she is (nope, we talk about the day she was born all the time because there is no shame in adoption.)

      I guess the bottom line for me is that sometimes life’s just not a fairy tale!

  4. I took my daughter to see tangled in early January and my husband and I both did not like the movie. We never like movies where any family in the adoption triad is made to look bad or makes it look like one family is better than the other. The theme of when you find your first family all your questions will be answered and everything will be better than it was is a poor example for most adopted children. Relationships take hard work and the answers are not always easy to hear or deal with. My least favorite part was when they said “real family”. We spend so much time trying to get people to have a positive attitude about adoption and use better language that it was a step back. After reading the above comments though I do have a different feeling about the movie and am glad to hear that others felt it was good and had a positive adoption theme.

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