A Special Guest Post from Sean Anders, Director of ‘Instant Family’
We’re excited to welcome Director Sean Anders to The Square Deal. Sean is known for some of the funniest comedies in recent years and his latest release – Instant Family – is a heartwarming comedy based on his family’s journey of fostering and ultimately adopting three children, something near and dear to the Wendy’s family. The Dave Thomas Foundation has one mission: to dramatically increase the number of adoptions from foster care, so it was only fitting we asked Sean to share his story here. Read on below and head to your local theater on November 16th to check out ‘Instant Family’ for a laugh, and maybe a few feel good tears.
The Real Story Behind ‘Instant Family’
My family started with a joke. My wife Beth and I were discussing the possibility of having children, but I was in my 40s and I felt a little too old to be just starting now. I joked, “Why don’t we just adopt a five-year-old and it will be like got started five years ago?” It was only a joke but Beth ran with it, did some research online and within weeks we were at an orientation. This led to foster classes and eventually our certification as foster parents.
We thought we would get just one child, but in 2012 we met three siblings. Going from zero to three kids overnight was a rough adjustment for all of us. What had we done to our easy, quiet, orderly life? It was daily insanity. Maybe a huge mistake.
After a few months of being woken up too early, of listening to endless tantrums and fighting, of mess and spills and chaos and frustration, one morning I woke up and all was quiet. Beth was still asleep. I had a weird feeling in my stomach that I could not quite identify. Then it hit me, “Oh my God, I MISS THEM! I actually want them to come screaming into our bed. I’m excited to see them. I think… I kinda love them." And now, six years later we are just a regular, happy family. And just like every other happy family, our kids are the best thing that ever happened to us.
I made a movie about our experience because so few people understand how foster adoption works and the stories behind these children. I made it a comedy because so much of our journey was incredibly funny but I wanted to make a film that touched on the pain as well. Ultimately the laughs and joy that comes from creating an Instant Family outweighs all.