I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story (2019 Lifetime)

I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story

Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin and Angela Fairley

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

“I Am Somebody’s Child” tells the journey of a young African American girl (Fairley) who navigates over 30 foster homes and psychiatric facilities before age 18, and the one woman, Jeanne (Goodwin), who believes in her. After Jeanne’s unsuccessful attempt to adopt Regina due to a racially motivated ruling, their bond is forced apart. “I Am Somebody’s Child” is Regina’s story of how one woman’s belief and love becomes her lifeline as she defeats the odds of a corrupt system and succeeds. After 25 years, Jeanne is finally able to adopt Regina in the same courthouse that denied them previously.


Thoughts

We meet Regina Louise whose mom left her in 1986 and who was put into orphanage 8 years later. Miss Kerr runs the shelter and is very cheerful, mostly because she is Ginnifer Goodwin but partly because she is wearing yellow. She is even cheerful when she find scars all over Regina’s body. Regina has been abused and feels alone.

Miss Kerr, or Jeanne, brings in Regina’s father who doubts that he is even her father. He doesn’t want to take his daughter back and says that Regina is trouble and a liar. He wants her out of his life and tells her to get right with God. Regina is angry and take it out on another girl in the shelter. Jeanne tells Regina that violence is never the answer and if it happens again she will place Regina in Juvie.

To get Regina ready to meet her mother, who Jeanne found, they go to a fabric store. They make Regina a stylish corduroy dress. (It is actually the ugliest dress I have ever seen.) Thankfully, Regina’s mom won’t have to see the dress either because she never shows up. Regina cries under a table and Jeanne comforts her.

Again, taking her anger out on others, Regina gets in a fight with a girl who was making fun of her. Regina even hits Ms. Kerr in the face. (Like, Punches her.) Jeanne makes good on her promise and send Regina to Juvie. She lets her back into the shelter when Regina writes a apology letter. They eat cookies and things are all better.

Jeanne goes to see Regina’s mother. Regina’s mother says that her daughter was a mistake and she does not want to be playing for it her whole life. She also blames the foster system for letting her get pregnant at 14.

Jeanne and Regina get closer. Jeanne teaches Regina how to swim, does her hair, and study culture together. She even finds her some foster families. (which, of course don’t work out.) They start taking day trips, on one trip to the museum, Regina gets sick with the flu. Jeanne takes her in and the headmistress blames Jeanne for confusing Regina. She bans Jeanne from spending time with Regina.

Regina runs away from the shelter and walks 12 miles to Jeanne’s house. The headmistress scholds Regina for wanting to be while, but Regina says that Ms. Kerr is the only one who wants her. She tells the headmistress that Ms, Kerr invited her to stay at her place for Christmas but she would be happy to stay with her if she is offering. The Headmistress allows them to spend Christmas together, but gets another foster family immediately after.

The foster family doesn’t work out, because one of the foster brothers is basically a rapist. Regina runs away again and goes to Jeanne’s house. Jeanne decides that she wants to adopt Regina as her daughter. The headmistress fires Jeanne and tells her that she is the wrong race and her doing this will cause Regina to lose her black identity.  Apparently this was a real thing and transracial adoptions were discouraged before the later 70’s. American views have shifted on this topic, but it has been a slow shift.

Jeanne gives Regina some words of encouragement and wisdom before leaving her job. Regina gets sent to a psych ward or something. Regina tells her therapist that she wants to be with Jeanne. Jeanne wants to be with Regina also and visits her, but is turned away and asked to most call or visit again.

Regina gets put on meds that make her shake. Regina continues treatment and is basically medicated to neutral. She keeps asking about Miss Kerr and is told that she can write letters whenever she wants. Those letters never reach Jeanne. Regina then has a seizure from the medication she is on.

Jeanne breaks into the ward and is promptly removed. They put a restraining order on Jeanne. A Year later, after not hearing from Regina. Jeanne moves away with her now husband to another country.

Alone now, Regina is acting out in her psych ward and being put into padded cells. (Is this really how children are treated?!?!?) The other girls in the psych ward provoke Regina and keep adding time to her stay. Regina starts skipping her meds and saving them up. Once she has enough she takes them all by the pool and falls into the water. She almost drowns but is saved by a nurse on staff. They then try to give Regina liquid medication, but she throws it in the nurses face. Then, when in a the padded room she decides to follow Ms. Kerr’s advice and believes in herself.

Regina gets a dictionary and studies it cover to cover. She gets herself into high school and then college. Upon turning 18, Regina is released from being a ward of the state. She demands to have her file. They instead give her years of letters from Jeanne. They consist of tapes that Regina plays while crying for the years she lost and the love that Jeanne expressed in them.

With nowhere to go, Regina heads to her college campus where she learns about business. 20 years later she runs a successful Salon in NYC and writes a book about her childhood. While on a publicity tour, Regina asks for Ms Kerr to come back to her. At a book signing, Jeanne shows up and tells Regina that she is proud of her. They hug and then go through old photos that Jeanne had saved all these years.

Jeanne then officially adopts Regina. 23 years after the initial request was denied.

Side Note

Minority Report: Regina, Gwen, and many others

The movie is based on the book Somebody’s Someone

Overall rating

❤️❤️❤️   (3 Hearts)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime

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