Hot Docs 2013: High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga
When childless Canadian couple Cathy and Martin Ward decided to adopt a child, they never dreamed they would up with 5 instead of 1. High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga chronicles the Ward’s decision to adopt 5 siblings from a Ukrainian orphanage and the financial and emotional sacrifices required to forge a family in this situation. Not surprisingly, it’s not easy, but after witnessing the disaster that international adoption can be in Mercy Mercy: A True Story of Adoption, I do indeed want to high five Cathy and Martin, give them hugs, and perhaps a trophy.
In order to keep these 5 siblings together, the Wards make enormous sacrifices. Martin takes a high paying job in the Arctic that requires him to be separated from the family for weeks at a time, leaving Cathy to deal with the emotional and psychological problems of the children. These siblings all had a horrific childhood of alternating abuse and neglect and each one exhibits unique scars and varied problems with adjusting to a new life with a new family in a new country. It’s a tough road to becoming a family, but the Wards travel it with patience, empathy, and a health dose of warmth and humor.
Special kudos should go to director Julia Ivanova. It takes a special touch to have a family open up to a camera so completely, but ultimately her camera serves as an extra set of eyes, almost a 6 kid in the mix. And if everyone considering international adoption should watch Mercy Mercy as a cautionary tale, they should also watch High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga as an example of a- hard won to be sure – adoption success story.
Screening Times for High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga
Sat, May 4 4:00 PM
A Gallery of Images from High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga
Watch the High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga Trailer