Beyond Acceptance (2011) Movie Script

Child Protective Services.
Yeah, hi, this is Brenda,
from Dayspring Hospital.
I'm calling to report an abandoned
newborn that's been left with us.
He really is a cute child, but,
you know, our hands are pretty full.
I just don't think that
there's anything we can do.
Look, this has been really stressful for
us. We have to think about our family.
He's just not a good
influence on the kids.
You're the only friend I
ever had. I'll miss you.
You will look at me
when I am talking to you!
Aren't you gonna say something stupid?
If you don't shut that kid up, I will.
- Evans, stop screaming!
- What are you doing?
Back off! I'm taking care of this.
Shut Up!
He goes and he goes tomorrow!
But we can't give up on him...
We're through arguing about this.
Alright, well I'm taking off.
- Alright, Brady. We'll see you tomorrow.
- Night.
Working late?
You know a little life
perspective wouldn't hurt you.
Well, I'll see you tomorrow.
Hey, did you get the notes
on the Rhichtor project?
Didn't I get those to you?
No, I never got them.
- I'll get them to you tomorrow.
- Tomorrow?
Don't you ever stop?
Stacy expecting me home early tonight.
She's not happy with all these late
nights we've been spending on Rhichtor.
Uh, that's great. Do me a favor and
stop by Sharon's desk on your way out.
You can send them from there.
Alright, but you owe me one.
Hey Sharon, I forgot to forward some documents
to Vincent. Can I use your computer for a second?
No, I only keep track of his
schedule, I don't run his life for him.
Okay, bye then. You
have a good evening.
What was it you needed?
I just need to send a couple
of documents to Vincent.
Oh, okay.
- Thanks, you're awesome.
- I know.
You never care about
what's important to me!
Jen, it's what's best
for you right now.
What is best, or what
you think is best?
- What's the difference?
- But everybody has one!
Why do you have to
make it such a big deal?
Look, your father and I have decided that
you're not ready for that level of independence.
I'm fourteen. Do you want
me to still wear diapers too?
Why can't I get a cell phone?
- So, you want a phone now.
- More like I need one.
Alright, I'm convinced. You have
my permission to get a phone.
Wait... I need you to buy me one.
Well that's an entirely
different matter.
You're just... whatever! I don't care!
Jennie! Until I see that you're willing to go
without a phone, you're not ready to have one.
She's not making this easy is she?
Ah, two months shouldn't
hurt her too much.
I was thirty-five when I got my first
cell phone, and I turned out alright.
I don't get it. They
treat me like such a baby.
What's so scary about me having a cell phone?
But no, that's an entirely different matter.
Ugh, my life is so unfair! I hate it!
What's up with this?
- Oh, it came in the mail today.
- Well I can see that. Why?
I saw this thing on the news the other day,
and I have some friends looking into adoption,
and I heard this promotional
thing on the radio...
I don't know Aaron. I just think...
We should have had more.
- Honey you know that's not possible.
- I think we gave up too soon, that's all.
We did what we had to do.
That was ten years ago.
Well I think we made the wrong decision.
I just requested some information.
- Hey Dad, can I sit with Clair?
- Don't you want to sit with us?
- Clair?
- Yeah, go ahead.
I'm not gonna let you run away again.
Remember what happened last time?
I'm not gonna let you do it again.
This cannot keep happening.
Come on, Dad will be home
soon. Let's just go back to bed.
Evans! Evans stop it!
Get off of him. Stop it.
You have to stop doing this!
I don't think we can do this anymore.
Hey Jennie?
Yeah come in.
What's up?
Working on some history?
Yeah. What did you want?
Nothing I guess.
Are you here to tell
me I can get a phone?
- Aren't you over that yet?
- Sure, but you can always hope, right?
Yeah, you can hope but... Actually, I
wanted to ask your opinion on something.
I need to know how to talk
your mom out of a crazy idea.
What crazy idea?
Well, she's got it into her
head that we should adopt.
Well this is impressive. We should be able to
have your license approved in just a few months.
- Is something wrong?
- Uh, well...
We're just not exactly sure what's
best for our family right now.
Can we do like a
test run or something?
I mean, if this doesn't work out
is there any way to get out of it?
Well you need to know that welcoming a child
into your home is not like buying a car.
This isn't about you and me
working out some kind of deal,
it's about finding a great
fit for a lonely child.
There is no test run for acceptance;
you can't put limitations on love.
I always advise my families to
give this process their best,
but if you're not able to do that, then
you'd be better off not getting involved.
Okay, we've said we're
willing to take the first step.
But we really need to
know which way to go.
Because, if it doesn't work out for us, I
guarantee you it won't be good for any child.
There are many children in the foster system
today that are currently available for adoption.
They don't have any hope of being
returned to their biological parents,
but no adoptive placement has been
identified. We call them waiting children.
We could look at placing
one of these in your home.
I wouldn't call it a test run, but if things
really don't work out, removal is possible.
But either way the licensing
process is the same.
[ # "The Generous Mr.
Lovewell" by MercyMe # ]
# He wakes up every day the same, #
# Believin' he's
gonna make a change, #
# Never wonders "if' but "when". #
# I guarantee he can find a way, To
reach out and make somebody's day, #
# 'Cause someone took
the time with him. #
# He believes it's the little things
that make a great big change. #
# Hey, Mr. Lovewell, doin'
today what you do every day. #
# No matter how small, believin'
that it's all the same. #
# Come on, Mr. Lovewell, oh we
could use a few more just like you, #
# Who care enough to
give this life away, #
# 'Cause you've been changed. #
# The generous Mr.
Lovewell loves today! #
Long night?
So much paper work.
I mean seriously. We're just trying to give
a child a home, not amend the Constitution.
Did I miss something?
Oh, Aaron is discovering a hard truth.
That buying a kid is much more
difficult than making one from scratch.
But seriously, adopting
a kid what a great idea.
Think I might have to try it.
Yeah, why?
Because it looks great on a resume!
You're just ahead of the curve.
I'm not doing this
to get ahead at work.
# Hey, Mr. Lovewell, doin'
today what you do every day. #
# No matter how small, believin'
that it's all the same. #
# Come on, Mr. Lovewell, oh we
could use a few more just like you, #
# Who care enough to
give this life away, #
# 'Cause you've been changed. #
# The generous Mr.
Lovewell loves today! #
I don't even know where to start.
I think this is like a checklist that's supposed
to take us through all the paperwork, so.
Oh, we can't forget that
tomorrow's Jennie's birthday.
How could I forget?
Oh, you got it! Oh,
she's gonna love it.
She's grown up so much
these last two months.
I don't know why I didn't see it before.
She just needed somebody else to care for.
I think it's ready. It looks really
nice; I'm so glad we went with the green.
- What?
- Nothing.
And we also have a
ten year-old boy...
What's his name?
His name is Evans.
Evans is... well, he
has a lot of baggage.
He's been in twelve homes
over the last seven years.
I think it might be best
to move onto the next one.
How old did you say he was?
Evans? He's ten.
Well, could we at least
just see his picture.
Oh, Honey, he's perfect.
Just what I'd imagined if...
We still have several
more I'd like to show you.
Evans has been known to be a
little bit of a challenging child.
I'm not sure if it would be wise
with your first placement to-
What are you saying?
I'm suggesting that Evans might try your
love and patience beyond what you might think.
We'll take him.
- Could we have a minute?
- Sure.
Aaron, did you see him?
Are you sure about this?
- Yes, I'm sure.
- Shouldn't we think about this a little?
No, I don't want you to think
yourself out of this one.
- Why do you always just give up?
- How is this my fault?
You can't keep bringing Ethan into this. You
have no idea how hard that night was for me.
You have no idea how hard it was
for me. I live with that every day.
I've always wanted more
children and you know that.
I almost lost you that night Stacy, and I
wasn't willing to put your life at risk again.
But this is different. We can't
have anymore, and I'm okay with that.
But that doesn't mean we can't have him.
He needs us. He's even ten years old.
We'll take him.
But you need to know more. I've known Evans all
his life. He came here when I was just an intern.
I've watched him over the years.
Every time he moves, he gets worse.
If you take him and give up on him,
I have very little hope that he'll
ever have a chance at a normal life.
We won't fail.
I want you to seriously
consider this step you're taking.
Evans has a lot of
behavioral problems.
There's some things I need to tell
you before you agree to take him.
First of all, he's been known to throw
himself at people and attack them.
He can be dangerous to younger children.
He also suffers from night terrors...
You don't need to be
shy. It'll be fine.
What do you like to do?
Most of my old toys are for girls, but
you can play with them if you want to.
Do you like to watch TV?.
What's your favorite show?
This is your new home, Buddy.
Well, let's show him his room.
Okay. I'll start some dinner.
I think you're really gonna like it.
Do you like it? Mom and I spent a lot
of time shopping and cleaning and stuff.
There just used to be a lot
of boxes and junk in here.
I thought this was the perfect color.
We weren't really sure...
Maybe we should just give
him some time to himself.
I thought you might like green.
If you want to stay here for now that's
fine. We'll come get you when supper is ready.
Heavenly Father, we thank you
for bringing Evans to our family,
and we ask your blessing
on this undertaking.
We thank you for the blessing
of being able to provide for him,
and we ask that in time, he
would learn to call this his home.
We thank you for the food, and
we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
This looks good. Thanks, Honey.
Would you like some water?
Evans, it's dinner time,
buddy. You need to eat.
Maybe he doesn't like it.
Would you like something else?
Evans, don't you like
spaghetti and meatballs?
How long did you say
we had to keep him?
You didn't expect him to just fit
right in, did you? Give him some time.
Once he realizes we're not out
to hurt him, he'll warm up to us.
I hope.
Okay, Buddy. Let's get you into bed.
Okay, we got your jammies
on, brushed your teeth.
Is there anything else
you like to do before bed?
Not ready yet. That's okay.
Please help me to do well at my meet
tomorrow, and help Rachel and I to do our best.
And help Stephanie to work
things out with her mom.
And God, please make
Evans better. Amen.
He'll be better tomorrow, right? He's
just scared, 'cause he doesn't know us.
Of course he will. But it might not
be tomorrow. Or even the next day.
- Remember how long he's been alone.
- How long?
- Well, Amy said that it's been...
- No...
How long till he's... normal?
I don't know, Jen. All I know
is that he needs a place to stay.
And I need this to work.
How long until he's normal?
I need this to work.
Stupid face, stupid face! Won't talk,
can't talk, doesn't have a mother!
How could you do this to me?
How could you do this to us!
You have nothing to say? You
never have anything to say!
It's all your fault!
Evans. Shh... It's
okay. It's gonna be okay.
Can you get some water or something?
Evans. Shh... It's gonna be okay!
Evans. Evans.
Woah. It's okay. It's okay.
Good morning!
Guess what? It's time for you
to be getting up and dressed.
And, I want you to make your bed.
And after that, I'll have some
breakfast waiting for you. Okay?
I'm gonna go get some work done, okay.
If you need anything just come find me.
You want this one?
Does he always do this?
Change of locations will
usually increase the occurrences.
Sometimes he'll go for weeks and be fine, other
times, he may have several bad nights in a row.
We'll be patient.
We believe he's actually experienced
more trauma than we know about,
but he's never opened
up about anything.
And you said he didn't eat?
Well, he's eating now, but
how long until he talks?
Well, he's never
been much of a talker.
Evans has had a lonely life.
Making this work will take time;
He needs to sort some things out.
It will take consistency
and commitment.
He needs to know that there's no
way you'll ever give up on him.
Mom, come here!
Patience and love are the
best medicine you can give him,
but it's never too soon
to set up some structure.
Foster children who move around a lot
are not used to the kind of structure
that's so instrumental to
their development at that age.
Everything is different
with every family...
The woman whose son was alive was
deeply moved out of love for her son
and said to the king, "Please my Lord,
give her the living baby. Don't kill him!"
But the other said, "Neither I nor
you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
Then the king gave his ruling.
"Give the living baby to the first woman.
Do not kill him. She is his mother. "
Solomon demonstrated extreme wisdom,
but his wisdom is based on his
understanding of what love really means.
He understands the tie of true love.
A love that thinks of other's needs,
that considers what is best for them.
That puts personal preference, personal desires,
and personal pleasures behind the needs of others.
Ultimately, true
love is a love that...
Evans, it's okay. Buddy.
Hey! It's okay, Evans!
Give me the peanut butter.
Look at this huge mess you've made.
And then I failed my dive. It
was the worst meet ever, Rachel!
Evans, get out of my room!
Just a minute Rachel;
Evans is being a twerp.
Evans get out from under there!
Why are you so annoying? Stop it!
Sorry, Rachel. So...
Where do you hid when you're afraid?
Turn the page.
Evans, we're gonna turn the page now.
Evans, that was a good
book. Look what you did!
Yeah, he totally said that!
Well if it was me, I would have
told him that he was being a jerk!
- He's so cute though.
- Totally! But did you hear what he did at prom?
Oh, that's right. You weren't there.
I... forgot. Why couldn't you come again?
- Mom thinks I'm too young.
- What about your dad?
He just agrees with her.
Yeah. Well, at least they said you
get to come to camp later this summer.
- Yeah, but that's a whole month away.
- It's not so bad.
Anyway, I wanted to show you
what Josh posted last night.
He's kinda strange. How
do you deal with him?
I actually wanted him to come, but
now I can't wait until he leaves.
You're not keeping him? I thought you
guys like adopted him or something?
Well, we thought we would, but he
doesn't really fit. It's... awkward.
- Oh, that's too bad.
- Well, it's not all bad.
At least when he's around, mom and
dad let me do more of what I want.
But, he kinda creeps me out.
It's like living with a ghost.
I'm sorry.
What are you doing?
Evans. Stop it! Evans.
Clean this mess up right
now! It's not funny.
- I know.
- Evans, pick it up!
- Maybe we should just do it.
- No, he needs to learn consequences.
Evans, pick it up!
- Come on, Jen. Let's just do it ourselves.
- Fine. But I'm going to tell mom!
This behavior is
completely unacceptable!
I can't wait until he leaves!
Is he always like this?
Why are you so annoying?!
Evans, that was a good
book! Look what you did.
Evans, get out of my room!
We don't act this way in church!
- Evans! -
Evans. -Evans!
What more could you
want? How could you?!
I gave you everything and this what
you did. This is how you repay me!
By humiliating me.
Evans, it's okay. It's
okay baby. It's okay.
Evans. Shhh... shhh...
Why can't I get this right?
I don't know what to do God?
I don't know how to help you
Evans! I don't know how to help you!
Okay, great. I will
be in touch. Thank you.
- Your wife, Stacy, she's in marketing, right?
- Yeah, why?
I was talking to a potential client, but they're too
small for us. I was thinking of referring them to her.
Is that a problem?
No, that's fine.
- Are you jealous?
- No.
So tell me. How does that work
with both of you in marketing?
- I don't think you'd understand.
- Why not?
Have you ever tried to provide
for an independent person?
You're right. I wouldn't understand.
It's just that...
Well what about you? You've been successful.
When are you gonna settle down, start a family?
Me? Come on. What would
I want with a family?
I'm on track to getting everything
I want. How's a family gonna help?
There's more to life than having
everything you want, Vincent.
So, do you want me to refer
these guys to your wife or not?
Yeah, go ahead.
Hi Steve, it's Stacy Border.
I'm excited to talk with you about some
new ideas I have for your ad campaign.
Give me a call when you
get a chance. Thanks, bye.
Hi! It's Stacy Border. I
just got your email today.
I'm sorry I've been
busy; I'll get right on...
I see. No, that's okay.
Thanks for considering me.
Aaron, it's Evans.
I think he ran away.
No, I don't know where he went. I
took my eye off him for one minute.
Okay, please hurry.
I can't believe this is happening.
I should have been watching.
It's all my fault.
We aren't really sure what his mother's
circumstances were when Evans was born.
I know she was alone. His father is still
a total unknown; no one ever came forward.
I doubt that his parents were
ever in a committed relationship.
All his mother left
him was his name, Evans.
According to the hospital reports, he ended
up staying there alone for about two weeks.
Thankfully he was placed with his first family and
was able to have some stability for three years.
- Those were the best years of his life.
- What happened?
Well, they were in the middle of the adoption
process, but through tragic circumstances,
the process was halted
and never resumed.
- Does he remember those... circumstances?
- I don't really know.
I think you're doing well. You may not see
much change, but I think you're making progress.
Mom, have you seen my phone?!
She never parts with that thing,
how could she loose it? No I haven't!
This should help.
Evans, did you take my phone?
Did you?
You shouldn't take things that
don't belong to you. Give it to me.
I can't believe you
threw my phone. Brat.
Stop it! Evans!
Ugh! Don't even think about it!
Come back here you little twerp!
Why Evans!
Come on you guys, knock it off.
- Are you okay?
- Yeah.
- What happened?
- He's being a brat. He stole my phone.
Can I please have the salt?
Wait. Evans, first you have to
apologize to Jennie for what you did.
- Sorry.
- That's good enough for now.
- Aaron.
- Sit down!
You listen to me. If you break one more thing in
this house, you're out. Do you understand? Out!
What happened to us Aaron?
What happened to you?!
Me?! He's been pushing the
limit since the day he got here.
You know that treating him that way
goes against everything we stand for.
What are we gonna tellAmy?
How should I know? You call her.
This was your idea to begin with!
Aaron, please.
I'm sorry.
Yeah, me too.
This is so overwhelming.
Nothing seems to reach him.
I feel more like his
babysitter than his mother.
Come here.
- What are we gonna do?
- I don't know.
- Priority A. Check this out.
- What?
All that work on the
Rhichtor project paid off.
Apparently they liked us
enough to pass our name on.
- This could be good. They want us?
- Yeah, I got that covered.
Shouldn't Dave be working on this?
I'm mean, he is our boss, and it
is his job to bring in new clients.
Yeah, but we both know
who does it in the end.
Besides, Dave isn't gonna be
around here much longer anyway.
- For now, I need a cost estimate. Tonight.
- Tonight?
- Don't make me look bad now!
- But... Never mind.
Bye, thanks for driving.
- Bye Mom.
- Have a good week, okay?
- Okay.
- Bye Dad.
- Have a good trip, Jennie.
- Are you gonna say goodbye to Evans?
- Why should I?
Where is he?
He had a rough day. I had
to send him to his room.
I'm gonna go talk to him.
- Aaron...
- I'm okay.
Rough day?
Come on, Evans. What good is
it to sit and pout like this?
You're only hurting yourself.
Things don't have to be like this.
Can't you see we're
trying to help you?
I can see you're miserable, but you
really only have yourself to blame.
Look I'm sorry about last night.
I don't know what happened!
Aaron, did you move
one of my paring knives?
- No. Why?
- Strange.
Evans. Evans! You're supposed
to be asleep. Stop it.
Look at this mess.
Come here. Cut it out.
Evans, do we have to go
through this every night?
- Evans, this needs to stop.
- Hey, Honey, take a deep breath.
- Evans...
- Hey! Come on.
Honey, let's just think
about this a minute.
I am done thinking about this.
I can't take this anymore, Aaron!
Evans, shut up! Get
off the bed. Shut up!
How can you be so difficult?! All I
ever wanted was to love you! But I tried.
Stop it. Evans! I need this to work.
- I'm sorry. I couldn't finish it last night.
- What?
- We had a bit of trouble.
- That's no excuse. Work goes on.
You had a job to do. I
thought I could trust you!
I do my job and more often than
not, I do a little extra for you,
and if you haven't noticed,
you usually benefit from it.
Come on, don't get
defensive. I'm trying to help.
I don't understand how you can waste your
talents. Where would you be if I hadn't pushed you?
Admit it. Your problem is that you're
always content to stay right where you are.
And you're never content!
All I asked is that you
help me secure a major deal.
- A major deal that's not in our department!
- But it will be!
Soon I'm gonna need
people I can count on.
- What?
- It's just not right.
Right? What does right
have to do with anything?
This isn't about right and wrong, it's about
winning and losing, and I'm here to win!
Well, I have a full plate.
I hope you get the deal.
Don't you walk out on me! I can help your
family and that little "what's-his-name" kid.
I can take care of my family. Thanks. And
his name is Evans. I'm glad you finally asked!
If anything like this happens again,
we'll have to do a full re-evaluation.
Evans can't tell the difference
between punishment and abuse,
and if you lash out in
anger he will lash back.
- It's almost like he's trying to make us mad.
- He might be.
Do you want to keep him?
- Yes.
- Then you're going to have to prove it. To him.
He just needs a little more
time. Can you give him that?
I can't believe this!
- We need to talk.
- We got the deal. Signed on it last night.
And the look on Dave's face when he
learned that I had his job. It was great.
I told you it was gonna be
good. Should of been here.
- You can't just fire me!
- Oh, is that what you're all worked up about?
It's nothing personal. It's just
that I need my team to be the best.
In this economy I can't afford to have
people who only make half an effort.
You had to see this coming. I gave you
that project as a test, and you failed.
Well I think you're
being unreasonable!
This is the real world. If you
want second chances go to church.
I'll do that.
Hey Aaron. See ya around, okay?
So did you make any new friends?
Yeah, all the girls in my lane are really cool.
We have a meet next Friday. Think you can come?
Of course. We wouldn't miss it.
- I suppose he would have to come too.
- Is there a problem with that?
He embarrasses me.
Jen, you can't talk about people that
way, especially members of this family.
- He's not part of this family.
- Jennifer.
Aaron? Is everything okay?
- I... I got fired today.
- What?
Something about the economy
can't support a full staff.
What's that supposed to mean?
I'm going for a walk.
I'm going with you.
- I can still go to the second week of camp, right?
- We'll see.
I bet it's your fault.
How is Dad supposed to focus on work when
he's too worried about what your gonna do next?
And what am I supposed to
tell Rachel and Stephanie?
That I can't go to swim camp next week
because my home was invaded by a little brat!
- Isn't there something you can do?
- I doubt it. He's written me off as a failure.
You did the right thing.
Yeah, but it's more about winners
and losers than right and wrong.
- Aaron, you know that's not true.
- I know, but... It's just so frustrating!
Things haven't been great with my business
either. I lost two clients just this week.
- Why, what happened?
- It's just with Evans in the house, I can't keep up.
I was thinking...
...maybe in your extra time you would be
interested in running a... small marketing firm.
- How small?
- Aaron.
- No, I couldn't. That's your company, Honey.
- Not if I give it to you.
- Things would be a lot tighter.
- I know.
- And we'd have to make a lot of sacrifices.
- I know.
What about Evans?
I think that now, more than ever,
we need to make this work with him.
If we can provide a home for him,
then we'll be able to show him a glimpse
of the love that Christ has for us.
I just have this funny feeling;
we need to make it work.
We should at least do what Amy
said and give him some more time.
Why is it when you have these funny
feelings, I'm usually in for a rough ride.
Stay away from me!
It's all your fault. We've spent
all this time trying to help you,
and do you show any gratitude. No!
And now you've made Dad lose his job.
You should be ashamed of yourself! And
if you had parents, they'd be ashamed too.
You could have broken the TV.
Let's just clean up the rocks, okay?
Good, you're both still here. I want to sit
down and talk with everyone for a minute.
Alright, here's the deal. We've
decided we're gonna make this work.
Jennie, you may go to camp next week, but after
that, we're gonna have to tighten up our budget.
Evans, we want you to
be a part of our family.
But if you want to stay here,
we're gonna have to work together and
see some change in your behavior, okay?
I don't know what that was about,
but I have one more thing to say.
- I think we should celebrate.
- What?
That's right. I declare it popcorn and movie
night because tomorrow I start a new job!
Aaron, are you serious?!
But after dinner.
Oh, that's right. We have to eat our
macaroni and cheese. Or was it ramen noodles?
You are having way too much fun
for having just lost your job.
I didn't like that job anyways.
What happened to the TV?
What did you do to the TV?
It was my fault. I got mad and
I... I was throwing those rocks.
It didn't look broken,
so I didn't say anything.
Jennie, go to your room right now!
And you can forget
about camp next week too.
And now, you've made Dad lose
his job. It's all your fault.
If you break one more thing in this
house, you're out. Do you understand? Out!
He's just not a good
influence on the kids.
You shouldn't take things that
don't belong to you. Give it to me.
He goes and he goes tomorrow!
What happened to the TV?.
Wait! It was my fault.
Wonderful evening, wasn't it?
Every single person there knew exactly what
you had done. Everyone. Smiling at us...
I can't even look at you.
Was I not enough? Or maybe it was her? You
just couldn't quite help yourself could you.
Was that it?! Oh my gosh, say something! Tell
me it was your fault; it's all your fault.
What about Evans? What kind
of father are you going to be?
It wasn't supposed to end this way.
How did you think it
would end. Were you.. no.
Greg, what are you doing?
Put the gun down.
Calm down. We can work this out.
Greg this... this isn't what I wanted.
I love you okay? I love you.
No, please.
- Why did you do it?
- I don't know. I felt like I had to.
- I want to stay here.
- I want you to stay too.
Hey Amy. Can I come in?
Sure, what's up?
Come on in.
I got a call last night.
It was about Evans.
A potential father has come forward,
and he says he wants his son.
- Are you talking about Evans? You can't take him.
- Didn't I send you to your room?
- Yeah, but, we can't just let him go.
- Why not?
Because, maybe he needs us. I don't know. Maybe I
think there's a great brother in there somewhere.
I was just as surprised. But I thought
I should let you know right away.
I guess I'll give you some time
to decide what you want to do next.
Evans is still a ward of the
state. You can apply to adopt him.
There'd be hearings, it'd probably go to trial,
but I think you'd have a pretty good chance!
Well, you can could that chance
out. I got fired yesterday.
Yeah, we don't need
to go into the details.
- I guess this is it?
- So just roll over and let this creep take Evans!
Jennifer, you can't talk about people that
way, especially when you don't even know them.
He had his chance. If he wanted Evans
he should have said so ten years ago!
I understand how you're feeling, Jennie.
There are still a lot of unknowns here.
I have to get back to the
office, but I'll be in touch.
Thanks for coming by, Amy.
No. You can't. He has to stay!
Your father and I have decided
that it would be best to let him go.
Jennie, we need to learn to let go.
We have to keep him!
I want to keep him too Jen, but
it's time that Evans went home.
Isn't that Vincent?
Well, I think we should
start with introductions.
You don't have to worry about
that; we already know each other.
Okay. Mr. Evans, I'm interested in learning
exactly how you came to identify your son.
I heard his name, Evans. It's not a
common first name. And he's ten years old.
That's it? His name and age?!
Jennie, calm down. Paternity
test will be required.
And I still haven't gotten any sort of confirmation
from you. Are you planning to apply for adoption?
- What?
We want to keep him.
- You can't. He's mine!
Actually, yes, if they wish
they can apply for adoption.
- Can we have a minute to discuss this?
- Certainly.
- No one said anything about them being...
- Mr. Evans. Would you please come with me?
You never said anything
about them being able to...
I thought we decided that
it was best to let him go.
- I changed my mind.
- Because you saw who his father was?
Evans has a better chance at
life with us. He needs a mother!
- We can't let him go.
- We don't have a choice.
Aaron, we always have a choice
Wait. Evans, what do you want?
I... I want to stay with Jennie.
But he's your father. Isn't
that what you've always wanted?
Come on, Dad. We have to try.
We need a few more days
to think about this.
Okay, well, I'll see you on Sunday.
Do you think you'll know by then?
Sunday works.
This is pointless. We can't keep him.
If we try we'll lose. And if we
don't try, Jennie won't understand.
Sometimes doing the
right thing is hard.
Found that out that hard way. But how
can I pretend to want him when I don't?
Well I don't know what happened to Jennie,
but she wants him. And so do I. I need him.
When will you understand.
Even if we do make it to court,
Vincent would simply say that we can't
afford to support him, which is probably true.
I want to see him in a
good home as much as anyone,
and I know that our home
is better than Vincent's.
But I will not be publicly humiliated,
especially when it doesn't even make a difference.
Who is this about Aaron? He is a child. He's
never been loved before in his entire life.
Here we have an opportunity to show him love
and all you care about is your self-image.
Why does everything
have to be about you?
This isn't about me! I'm trying
to do what's best for this family.
Amy thinks we have a chance.
Yeah, if we could afford
a lawyer, I bet we would.
But Vincent took away that
option when he fired me.
What other choice do I have?
God, please help us. Show
Dad the right thing to do.
Evans needs us. And, I
think we need him. Amen.
- Do you really think he's listening?
- I know he is.
- What?
- He never listened to me.
Maybe you should try again.
Won't do any good. He never
did anything good for me.
- Here, I'll help you.
- No, God hates me. He won't listen.
God can't hate you; He loves everyone.
Then why did all those things happen
to me? Why did my mother hate me?
Why did they all hate me? Why did they
scream at me? Why did... why did they hit me?
But he let you come here.
Only to make me leave again.
It always happens this way.
Can't you just try, one more time?
Can't we just try? One more time?
Well, I guess we need to
have an answer for Amy today.
Evans, we want to try to adopt you.
I didn't get much sleep last night. I spent
most of the night praying and listening.
In the end, I just got the
feeling that, we need to try.
I don't know what will happen, and I don't
know if this feeling is just my imagination.
Maybe I'm crazy. Probably am. But
I just think, we need to try this.
I think the best thing
to do is just pray.
Dear Lord, we thank you for this day
and the grace that you've shown us.
Now, Lord, we humbly come
before you begging for your help.
Lord, we thank you for this family and
we trust this entire situation to you.
God, we know that you've
promised to provide.
We can't afford a lawyer, but we know
that with you, all things are possible.
Please reveal your perfect plan to us.
God, please look after Evans. You sent him to
us for a reason. Please send someone to help us.
We don't know what to do, or...
Please just let us keep him.
God. I want to stay here.
Lord, we thank you for this family. We're
trusting in you. In Jesus' name, amen.
So, have you made a decision?
- Yes, we want to adopt him.
- I'm so glad.
Do you think we have a chance?
Actually, your chances are
better than you might think.
- What about a lawyer?
- A lawyer...
Well, you won't need to hire one,
if that's what you're wondering.
Bridgepoint will be
representing your family.
Mr. Evans, I'm sure, will
have his own representation.
- So I don't have to...
- No, I know it's complicated,
but most of this process is just paperwork
punctuated by well documented evidence.
I know this is critical time for
your family, but just try to relax.
Our job is just to present you
as the best placement option.
Remember, the judge is always trying
to act in the child's best interest.
- We'll do our best.
- Okay. We'll see you.
- Mommy? I'm right here, Honey.
The single most important event in
Evans' life happened when he was three.
It was spring time, and his adoption
was just weeks from being finalized.
They were some of our
best foster parents.
She had taken many difficult children
over the years, such a reliable person.
He was a teacher. I think he was
even up for teacher of the year.
I guess some things
just aren't meant to be.
There were a lot of hidden
issues in their relationship.
One night he just put a gun to his head.
She had to watch her husband's suicide.
Nobody knows how much Evans saw or
heard, but he's never been the same.
That night he tried
to hide from everybody,
and it's like he's been trying
to hide inside himself ever since.
She sort of gave up after that.
She never even told Evans goodbye.
Wow. He makes a lot more sense now.
Since then he's had five adoptive
placements halted because of his behavior.
There's just so much anger there.
I just thought you should know.
I really need to go now. We should
probably be alert for the hearing tomorrow.
Is there anything else
we can do to prepare?
If you could come up with a
list of the positive changes
you've seen in Evans since he came
to you, I could certainly use that.
- Sure.
- Thanks.
You didn't break it did you?
I'm proud of you, Jennie. You took
responsibility, and you made this all possible.
You about ready?
Here, let me help you.
I'm sorry. For everything. For
all the stuff you've been through.
I'm sorry for the way I've
treated you. I didn't know.
Can you forgive me?
Will you let me help you?
All arise. The honorable
Judge Wilson presiding.
Was that it?!
Evans has been placed in twelve
homes over the last seven years.
But his time here has been different. He
finally looks like he is beginning to thrive.
Your Honor, I would like to remind you that
my client is the rightful father of the child.
Nothing in Evans' life has ever been right. By right
he should have had both a family and a good home.
His time with the Border family has been one
of the only right things to ever happen to him.
My client has every legal
right to his own son.
It leads me to wonder how many other children
are out there that Mr. Evans has a legal right to.
Can we leave Evans in a home which
has no means of supporting him?
My client has a stable home, a successful career, and
most importantly, a willingness to take care of Evans.
It would not be in the child's best
interest to allow him to stay where he is,
especially when there is a
much better option available.
And finally may I remind you that Mr.
Evans has no legal right to this child.
Parental rights of the unknown father were terminated
at the same time and for the same reason as the mother's.
Evans is a ward of the state, and it is this court's
responsibility to decide where he would be best placed.
As a representative of
Bridgepoint Social Services,
I am recommending that the Border home is
the best environment for Evans to grow up in.
A child needs a mother and a father.
He has bonded with their daughter, Jennie,
in a way that hasn't happened for seven years.
If we take that way, what message are
we sending? That he's not important?
That love is an illusion?
That we don't care?
Can we really break his heart again?
Thank you for your testimony. We're
now going to take brief recess.
Aaron, can we talk for a minute?
- What do you want?
- What do you mean?
What's your price? I'll give you your
job back, anything. Just let me win.
Why do you want him so much now?
So he'll look good on your resume?
Aaron, I need some peace. Ten years ago I
wasn't ready. I refused to accept the truth.
I couldn't let a child get
in the way. I had potential!
But now, it's all different.
You weren't supposed to take it
this far. Please, let me have my son!
You had your chance. You want
second chances, talk to God.
Uh, we're getting
ready to start again.
And in summary Your Honor, for all
the previously mentioned reasons,
it is in the best interest of the child for him to
be placed in the home of his biological father...
We'll take him.
If you break one more thing
in this house, you're out!
Who is this about Aaron?
It's about winning and
losing, and I'm here to win.
Who is this about Aaron?
Every time he moves, he gets worse.
Hey, Aaron. See ya around, okay?
My client, Vincent Evans. Thank you.
Your Honor, may I say a few words?
What are you doing?
- The right thing, for once. I hope you'll forgive me.
- I'm sorry. What are you doing?
You know, it's funny how clearly I see
things now, but here's where this ends.
I know the standard procedure for
this process is to go on for months.
We'll have hearing after hearing after
hearing until everyone is so sick of Evans,
that a decision will be finally made.
He'll be placed with one or the
other, like a prize or a trophy.
And like so many trophies, he'll
end up on a shelf collecting dust.
Well I for one am not willing to put him through
that. It's time someone did something for him.
I had my chance, and I've never really cared about
Evans. Sure, I did all the right things, or I tried to.
But I can see now that it
was for myself not for him.
I originally opened up my home out of a desire to
please my wife and look good in front of others.
And that's what motivated me through the
months of paperwork and the endless interviews.
I thought maybe, once we got him home,
things would change, but it didn't.
Instead he became my challenge.
And when he proved stronger
than me, I couldn't handle it.
There's been a lot of talk here
about doing the right thing.
And I'm finally going to do
the right thing for Evans.
Vincent, you can have your son. He doesn't
deserve this. And I don't deserve him.
Your Honor, it would be best if this
ended quickly without further complication.
Amy's claims make me sound wonderful,
but I can't sit around any longer
pretending to be someone I'm not.
I'm not his father.
And I never will be.
Well normally at this
time, we'd recess.
I'd go consider the data and, as Mr.
Border said, this could go on for months.
But this appears to be different.
I think the answer is simple.
I have seen Evans in and out
of this courtroom for years now.
I've heard his story.
I've read the reports.
But today I saw something that I've
never seen before in Evans' life.
Most of the people
around Evans are selfish.
Maybe it's work, maybe it's safety, maybe it's
sleep. Whatever it is, Evans is always second.
But today I saw something different. I saw a
man willing to put what he wanted behind him,
and even more, at the risk at losing the respect
of his family. That was putting Evans first.
Having seen it, I'm very confident that
I'm making the right decision when I say:
Evans will continue in permanent
adoptive placement with the Border family.
You get to go home!
I will be approving that
petition, this afternoon.
You should appeal. You should appeal!
Jennie! Jennie, I want to play.
I'm busy right now.
- Are you busy right now?
- Yes.
Oh, Honey, you can't put that there.
- Yeah, it can't go there either.
- Is there a place where I can put my stuff?
Here, let me put that over here.
- What is all this stuff anyway?
- This is where I do my advertising...
Never mind. I didn't ask.
You know, here. I'll
move this out of your way.
How are we gonna make this work
if we don't make room for you?
That's what I was saying...
Stacy Border.
Yeah, he's... he's here.
Just one moment. It's Vincent.
Oh, thank you. Vincent, just a second.
He says he's not going to appeal.
Alright, I'm back. No, it's okay.
He wants to give me my job back!
Are you sure?
No, I've really been looking forward to
just doing some freelance work with Stacy.
We'd love to do some consulting on some of your
larger jobs, but I think I'm just gonna stay here.
Yes, I'm sure Vincent.
Alright. Bye.
He said that something at
the hearing touched him,
and he now realizes that he's missing
something important in his life.
I don't' think I'll ever understand
that man, and I don't think I have to.
Oh, Aaron, thank you!
- I had a feeling this would all work out.
- Not those feelings again.
- But I still need an office.
- True.
Okay, let's see what we can do here.
Why don't you start finding homes for
this. And I'm gonna make some space here.
You like that?
[ # "What Love Really
Means" by JJ Heller # ]