Family is More Than Blood

He was called Big Mike for a reason. Michael Oher was over 6’2″ while attending Briarcrest High School in Tennessee. What people didn’t know is that Big Mike had a big problem.

He was homeless at the time. His mother was a cocaine addict and alcoholic. Between the addiction and his 11 other siblings, his mother wouldn’t give Michael the time of day. It was through a friend that he was even accepted into Briarcrest. He knew that there would be little chance that he would succeed since his GPA was only 0.76. He needed a miracle.

Then he met the Tuohys.

The Blind Side is a remarkable film that depicts the struggles and triumphs of young Michael Oher. Coming from a foster background, he is taken in by the Tuohys and well to do and strong Christian family. They provide shelter and food, and then begin to slowly incorporate Michael into their family. They place him in football and see what marvelous potential he has. Leigh Anne Tuohy pushes him more than ever and is touched by the gentleness and kindness that Michael possesses considering what an incredibly hard life he has had to that point.

Through her relentless efforts, she helps Michael prepare for college football and in the end sees her new son become a professional football player. It is a triumph of a film with a commanding and academy award winning performance by Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy. Her strong conviction and southern charm give real life to the film.

The film tugs at all of your emotions from frustration to sadness and then to pure joy. It truly shows how the life of one man changes a family and how the actions of one family changes the success of one man.

Michael Oher is just one prime example of how a stable and positive home environment changes the overall success of a child who leaves the foster system. Michael was in and out of the foster system before he was placed with the Tuohys. There are over 250,000 children who are placed in the foster system currently and the biggest fear of the foster system is when children “age out” or turn 18 with no support.

According to fosterclub.com 1 in 5 will be homeless after age 18 and then only 1/2 will be employed by age 24. Even fewer than 3% earn a college degree. These are staggering statistics and many find it hard to stop these numbers from climbing. If there is one thing The Blind Side has accomplished it is that the message of one person can change the course of the future is true.

Michael will forever have a place in the heart of the Tuohys and the Tuohys will be the same for Michael. If we could all do our part to help those who are a little less fortunate, then this world would amount to a much better place. Family is not just blood, it is those who we truly care about and give our hearts to. Michael and the Tuohys share one heart, now and forever.

 

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