- Director: Nicole Opper
Oakland couple Kristan and Nicole are ready to move beyond casual neighborhood baby-watching and make the leap into the world of parenthood. To expand their family, they’re venturing into the complicated system of foster-to-adopt care, and with this heartfelt and humorous documentary web series, they invite us to join them on the journey.
It’s immediately apparent that Kristan and Nicole are a loving, thoughtful, and grounded couple, aware of the challenges of fostering and adoption as well as their own desires and fears. And while there’s clearly a demand for foster families (of the roughly half-million youths in the United States’ foster care system, nearly 112,000 are waiting for adoption), it’s not as simple as need plus opportunity. The bar is set very high for prospective parents, so with their trusty dog Rocky looking on apprehensively (often from beneath the couch) they embark on childproofing their apartment, meeting with social workers, and checking off the numerous other requirements of foster care eligibility. And then, they wait.
That it can take months or years for a child to be placed with such a qualified couple is just one of the revelations of this thought-provoking, funny, and emotional series. Kristan and Nicole are open and candid with the camera throughout the rollercoaster process of approvals and potential matches, and as the project’s director, Nicole Opper (the Emmy-nominated filmmaker behind Off and Running, Frameline33, and Mezzo, Frameline40) mixes animation with interviews to craft a refreshingly grounded and moving series.
— LAURA HENNEMAN