This documentary follows one families journey before and after
adopting 5 children from Ukraine.
By Yolande Cole
When B.C. couple Cathy and Martin Ward decided to adopt a child,
they didn't expect they would eventually end up with five.
The documentaryHigh Fivetells the story of how the husband and
wife became parents to five siblings who had been living in an
orphanage in rural Ukraine.
The process, as the film details, was not without its many
challenges. Watching the couple react to being forced to leave
three of the children in the orphanage while they navigate the
lengthy adoption process is heart wrenching.
Even once the Wards begin to settle their family in their
suburban home in Surrey, the process is full of plenty of
hurdles, from the financial impacts of going from no children to
five, to tensions that arise between the siblings as they try to
adapt to the new setting.
The documentary illustrates those challenges in powerful detail,
from emotional accounts of the children's traumatic experiences
in the Ukraine, to tense moments like the two youngest sisters
excluding Yulia-their older teen sister and former mother
figure-for not knowing how to play with dolls.
These moments are at times tough to watch, as director Julia
Ivanova is sometimes heard asking probing questions that the
subjects struggle or decline to answer. The camera often lingers
on the faces of the family members, allowing their expressions to
tell more than they will admit in interviews.
Ivanova collected years of footage from both the Ukraine and
Canada as filmmakers shadowed the family. The well-edited version
of that story allows the viewer to watch key portions of the
siblings' saga as they grow from young, vulnerable orphans to
Canadian residents who come to see their suburban home as the
But while their new setting offers the children a loving
upbringing, the divide that begins to grow between Yulia and some
members of the family as they adapt to their new roles is truly
sad to observe.
Ivanova succeeds in weaving this mix of uplifting and difficult
moments into a powerful and memorable account of a family's
challenging experience with international adoption.
High Five: A Suburban Adoption Sagascreens on the Knowledge
Network this evening (December 4) at 9 p.m. and on Wednesday
(December 5) at 12 a.m
Adoption Services International unites loving US families with
Ukrainian children. We provide a unique combination of
professional, individualized, quality service (including a
maximum guaranteed adoption fee), personal adoption experience,
affordable cost and 20 years Ukrainian experience.
If you or someone you love would like to expand your family,
provide a permanent home for a needy orphaned child, welcome a
sibling for an existing child or discover an alternative for
infertility treatments-contact us to learn more about Ukrainian
adoption, Adoption Services International can help.
Opportunities and Challenges of Ukrainian Adoption: Free
Monday, February 4, 6:00-8:00 PM
Healthy U Fitness Studio, Bishop's Plaza, 431 Route 22 East,
Whitehouse, New Jersey, 08889
Free Presentation: International Adoption From Ukraine
Tuesday, February 12, 6:00-9:00 PM
Bernardsville Public Library, 1 Anderson Hill Road,
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
The Ukrainian Adoption Process: Free Informational Meeting
Thursday, March 14, 6:00-8:00 PM
Location: Wellness Rocks: 133 Rupell Road, Clinton, New Jersey