Bring Closure to your community, watch on Hulu.

This summer my husband and I hosted a screening of Closure for our local adoption community.

(Don’t know what I’m talk ing about? Learn about Closure.)

SLC Tugg Flier Presented by The R House

I did not pre-screen it, but I knew when I saw the preview that it was something that I wanted to bring to my beloved city. As a movie theater (and movie theater popcorn) enthusiast, it was important to me to see it on the big screen surrounded by folks that were going to be touched by Angela’s story as told by her filmmaker husband, Bryan Tucker. I wanted to experience it together. I wanted us to feed off each other’s energy.

The whole experience did not disappoint. It was a huge success!

After welcoming everyone to the event, I settled in between my parents-in-law and my husband in the front of the theater where I could listen to erupting laughter (there are some really funny parts!) and sniffles.

The film is raw and fair to all members of the adoption constellation. No one looks like “the bad guy” and your heart is just filled with love for this growing family as they keep making connections with one another.

Closure Documentary Screening SLC

I was especially touched by the relationship Angela has with her adoptive mom and how her mom supported her and cheered for her along the journey. I didn’t see jealousy and I didn’t see a mom who felt threatened by Angela finding her roots and embracing them. During a scene where Angela is talking to her mom before calling her birth family for the first time, I snuck to the back of the theater to take a picture (above). I shot it out on Instagram with the following caption,

My dream came true! Watching @ClosureFilm with my local adoption community. My heart is SO full. Tears are flowing! @angelatucker‘s mom is inspiring. I hope every adoptive mom in this theater is learning from her example. Love learning from her. Totally falling in love with this whole family! Thank you for sharing your story, @angieadoptee! So powerful. This is a MUST-SEE. BRING IT TO YOUR CITY. @beetucks #adoption

It really is a must see for everyone involved in adoption. My favorite part? There’s a scene in the film that I wasn’t expecting. It rang so true to me and touched on some pretty sensitive emotions after our failed adoptions and reversed adoption. It’s the scene where Angela finds her “foster family” and the foster mama talks about what it was like to let her go. Such a powerful scene! Thank you for including that, Bryan.

Panel after Closure Screening

After the film, we had a brief panel led by my husband who is a social worker. The panel included a birth mother and adoptive mother who had been reunited but the son (a teenager) wasn’t quite ready to move to face-to-face yet. Then there was a woman who was adopted (several times actually due to disrupted adoptions) through foster care and her story of reunion. And lastly, we had an adoptive couple that I look up to as wonderful examples of doing openness right. They have 7 children, 6 of which were adopted through foster care. Each child enjoys a level of openness with their biological families. Each panelist shared their story and their reaction to the film. (Spoiler alert: They all thought it was fantastic.)

I was especially touched by the woman who was adopted. She said that she turned to her friend in the theater so many times during the film and said, “This is so right on. This is exactly how I felt too.” There couldn’t be a better testimonial to the night!

I also have to tell you about the tears that my husband shed as he spoke of Angela’s birth mother. He was deeply moved by her pain which appeared to be caused, in part, by the closed adoption. He asked the theater to really think about who closed adoption truly benefits. Great food for thought. If you’re not sure about open adoption vs closed adoption, I invite you to watch this film with that question in mind.

Debriefing after Closure

After the panel we migrated to the foyer where we must have stayed for a good hour–making connections, talking about the film, sharing about our families, building a stronger community. It made my heart happy. This is why we need YOU to be involved in the adoption community. This is why, friends. 

Now I am sure you are dying to see the film. There are many ways to make that happen.

Bring it to your community. <<< This is my recommendation. I could have purchased the documentary and watched it in my jammies at home. But I knew I wanted to see it with my local adoption community! There is power when all sides of adoption are gathered together to learn and be fed. As I emailed with Bryan and Angela about this post, I love what Bryan said about bringing this film to your city.

One thing we hear over and over is that this film is meant to be watched in community, and I truly believe that as well.  As you already know, doing a Tugg screening is not easy, as it does require some commitment to promotion, etc., but I do want people to know it’s possible to succeed!

Closure Documentary on Hulu

Watch on Hulu. YES! Hulu! Stream it for free. (Image from Closure’s Facebook page.)

Closure on Aspire

Look for it on Aspire. The first airing will be 11/5 at 8pm ET. (Image from Closure’s Facebook page.)

Connect with Bryan and Angela and their journey on Facebook and Twitter.

 

One last thing… after you watch this film you will wonder, “How can I get my hands on that soundtrack?” Question answered HERE.

What I learned while hiking Utah’s Ensign Peak.

We hiked to the top of Ensign Peak last week. 

Hiking Ensign Peak | The R House

(This summer Josh was all, “I NEED to be in the mountains.” So, we’ve been doing a lot of hiking as of late with our little fam. Camping is still not on my radar though. Let’s not get carried away.)

Ensign Peak for Kids | The R House

This was a different kind of terrain than our previous hikes this summer. More deserty. Tyson took one look around and said, “What the heck? I thought hiking was supposed to be about exploring in the forest.” So, there’s that.

To Tyson’s point, what the heck is Ensign Peak? On July 24, 1847 Brigham Young lay ill in his wagon after traveling thousands of miles to escape religious persecution. When he arrived at Ensign Peak, B.Y. looked down at the Salt Lake valley and proclaimed, “It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.” It’s one of my favorite quotes. I mean, there’s a difference between “this is the place” and “this is the right place.”

Desert Mountain Beauty | The R House

Anyway…

The last time I did this hike was on my mission in 2002. I served on Temple Square.

When our family arrived at the summit, we were greeted with “Oohs!” and “Awws!” and cheers from a zone of Temple Square missionaries. We saw them hiking up (the more difficult way than we were taking) and Josh made a point to tell the boys that they were missionaries like mommy was before we got married. I listened to them discuss how cool that was. I’ve never been so proud of that decision I made at the last minute 13 years ago. I love my husband for that moment he created.

photo (9)

My kids have heard about my mission so many times that they must have felt comfortable just jumping into the zone picture the missionaries asked me to take at the the peak. The sisters were enthusiastic and incredibly sweet to the boys …and when I told them I served on TMSQ as well, they erupted into cheers. I had to choke back a few tears, friends. I’m not sure why, but I loved it so much. Sisterhood! Solidarity!

Ensign Peak | The R House

View from Ensign Peak | The R House

As Josh and I overlooked the valley with the kids and were pointing out all the cool things you could see from the view to our kids, the sisters started a little devotional. We listened to them sing High On a Mountain Top each in their own language–English, Spanish, French, Korean, Mandarin. I was overwhelmed with love, the Spirit, and nostalgia. In their prayer to start the devotional I heard them thank God for us and asked Him to bless “The Family.”

Top of Ensign Peak | The R House

You guys. It was so choice.

They didn’t have to love on us like they did. I mean, they didn’t even know us! What great examples.

photo (8)

Let’s be more enthusiastic. Let’s embrace people. Let’s take time to learn about them and their families. Let’s sing more. Let’s pray for people who come into our lives–even the relative strangers. Let’s love more. More heart.

 

Semi-related: Check out Jackson’s form as he jumped over the log “steps” on the way down the mountain. I can’t handle the cute, you guys.

Jack Attack Jump | The R House

Drawn to Light | Charmed Collections Booth

Did you know that I am a silversmith at Charmed Collections (formerly The R House Couture)?

Last weekend we were part of a really cool show in Salt Lake called Craft Lake City.

The show started in the afternoon and stretched out until 10 o’clock at night.

Since the appeal of our booth is that we customize hand-stamped Sterling silver and gold jewelry on the spot, we knew we needed a lot of light so we could keep creating even after the sun went down.

Charmed Collections, Hand-stamped jewelry, Craft Lake City

^^^ Sliiiiiight mishap on the centering of “collections.”

 

Our booth was packed just about every minute of the 19 hours it was open. Especially at night. We love you, Salt Lake City. Thank you for your support!

People loved our booth. Honestly, people are nice. They were so complimentary and kind and mentioned how much the loved the lighting. “The light totally drew us in!” We must have heard that at least 20 times. It got me thinking, …how interesting that people are drawn to light! They chose to be with us in our glowing booth. (And we loved having them.)

Chose Light Quote | therhouse.com

As I walked through a handful of the booths en route to the restroom, I noticed how dimly lit most of the other booths were. Ours really was vibrant. It stood out. To be honest with you, I was concerned that our booth had so much light that we were going to burn our retinas. I’m relieved that wasn’t the case. If all the booths were as bright as ours was, maybe ours wouldn’t have stood out as much.

Charmed Collections, Stamped Jewelry, Craft Lake City

Sometimes I guess it takes darkness to appreciate the light.

There’s a much deeper meaning in there, I think.

Darkness and Light, Joy and Sadness | therhouse.com

Man, it was a good weekend.

Thank you, Craft Lake City!