Everyone Loves a Good Orphan Story

I reworked this post from several years ago just for fun!

Everyone loves a good orphan story.

“…twenty-five of the fifty all-time highest-grossing movies…feature an orphaned protagonist.” -Aaron Eske

Aaron begins his adoption memoir with a powerful prologue listing the movie characters we are so drawn to.

“Ever since baby Moses drifted along the banks of the Nile and into Pharoah’s palace, countless fantastical orphans have grown so intertwined in our collective heritage that we know their stories by heart.”

Why are we so enamored with these stories? Because God is the author and finisher of the greatest story ever told. He is the story-maker and we are living in his story. Often people are afraid to share their stories because they are laced with pain, disappointment, rejection and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But what is a great story? It must contain some tension, something for the main character to overcome, choices and obstacles that cause character change. Who does love some cliff hangers? Some character change?

So, we watch or read the stories of orphans because we identify with them. We watch or read hurriedly through the text until we get to the rescue.

Clark Kent found by adoptive parents-the first interplanetary adoption.

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Anne with an ‘e’ finds acceptance at Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables
Annie ends her hard knock life by being adopted by Daddy Warbucks.

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Oliver never wants for more in his new home

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Each of us has suffered, felt pain, rejection, been abandoned by someone we love (through death or choice) and what wells up within us is an innate longing to be part of a family that offers acceptance and security. So, we wait breathlessly for that moment when the main character receives acceptance because that is what we have longed for since the beginning.

When it comes to having a heart for orphans, God understands completely. “I will not leave you orphaned,” He tells us. Being an orphan is painful beyond description. “God sets the solitary in families.” He desires for us to be in His family and He supplies us with the “Spirit of Adoption by which we cry ‘Abba, Father'”.

So curl up on the couch and watch or read a great orphan story or write down your own and share it!

*Quotes from My Family, A Symphony, A Memoir of Global Adoption by Aaron Eske

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7 thoughts on “Everyone Loves a Good Orphan Story

  1. Thank you for this. It is a nice reminder that we have to be able to recognize the bad, the hard, the troubles in order to see “the better”. We are not promised all happy days and sunshine here on earth, but it is always a nice thing to see that things do happen for the good as well– to see that we can all find acceptance or grace or love through Him.

    1. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking only good things make a great story. And that is not life at all, is it? Blessings!

  2. This was such an interesting read! I’ve often wondered why people are so obsessed with orphan stories. I also wonder how some of these movies impacted me as a child. Anne of Green Gables was always one of my favorites as was Annie.

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