My family and I love going to movies. We enjoy hanging out together at the theater, and we all love eating the popcorn (maybe just a little too much). Like many of you, we’ve become fans of the superhero flicks that have been flooding the silver screens. Without starting a Marvel vs. DC debate, I have to be honest. For us, Marvel is leading the way in this area…as proven by our advanced ticket purchase for the 3+ hour coming attraction. Marvel is the only company to inspire such silly devotion in our family.
But recently, while we were munching on popcorn and sipping soda before a movie began, we saw a preview for the new DC movie Shazam. My daughter Mia, who we adopted from Thailand a few years ago, turned to me and gave me the thumbs up. It’s our little sign that we would be seeing the movie when it came out.
A few days ago, we made it out to see Shazam, and we were not disappointed. Sure, there was some unnecessary swearing and a few adolescent fantasy references, but the overall message of the movie leads me to give it two thumbs up.
Without giving too much away, 14-year-old Billy Batson only needs to shout out one word to transform into the adult superhero Shazam. Most of the movie is about Billy discovering his new superhero abilities and learning how to harness them. However, it was his backstory that caught my eye and heart. You see, Billy is a foster child.
For the last few years, I’ve had the privilege of leading The Hope Effect as we strive to change the way the world cares for orphans. Most orphans around the world don’t have the opportunity to live in a family environment like Billy. Many countries don’t have systems in place to provide family-style care for orphans. As a result, millions of children are being cared for in institutional settings, causing long-term psychological, emotional, and developmental damage.
We as a people can do better. At The Hope Effect, we are convinced children thrive when they are cared for in a family setting as they are waiting to be reunited with their biological parents, placed with extended family, or welcomed into a forever adoptive family. Take a look around our website to learn more about our work and discover how you can get involved and make a difference.
Ultimately, Billy not only discovers he is a superhero…more importantly, he discovers a family inside his foster home. This family – led by a loving couple who were foster children themselves – is full of other kids just like Billy. Within this family, Billy realizes what we want all the children we work with to realize. We all have a superhero inside of us, and with the love and support of a family – SHAZAM! – we can become who we were created to be.