Wholeness Healing Today

The Boarder: The Making of the Movie in Nebraska

As an adopted parent, a former foster parent and a therapist who works with families affected by attachment disorder, I am always paying attention to the media to see how attachment disorder is depicted. I have noticed in most of the television dramas, the parents are portrayed as punitive, overwhelmed to the point of abuse, and as unsympathetic. The children affected with attachment disorder are portrayed either as full-blown psychopaths already, capable of no remorse, or as victims of their parents’ wrath. And almost rarely is there any hope for healing suggested. That is one of the reasons I am so excited for the book/screenplay, The Boarder by Jane Ryan, to begin filming this year.

Not only is the filming of the book happening in Ravenna, Nebraska, the book suggests some hope for families affected with a more realistic perspective. The characters in the book come off as real people, capable of genuine emotions, including the massive frustration the mother, Annika, has for her adopted son, Carl.

In my work with children exhibiting attachment disorder symptoms, I have always believed that the children are scared victims waiting for a chance to be loved. However, they also are manipulative, cruel bullies, fire starters, animal killers, and con artists who learn to prey on their families’ generosities. They continually “test” the parents, doing indescribable acts, saying hurtful things, in an effort to push people away before they too are abandoned again. But I do believe that underneath all the “stuff” is a little child’s heart waiting to find that one person who will hold his hands and massage his heart and love him “in spite of” how he hates himself. That is one of the reasons I do believe this story can do so much in educating others about attachment disorder.

The story is about a family who already has a biological child and an adopted child and decides to take in another child, a boy who has been living on the streets of Lincoln, NE. The father is a minister and the mother is a former teacher who loves to garden and spend time raising her children. She is filled with hope but when Carl enters their life, her expectations suddenly plummet. She gradually “sees” the truth about his behaviors but is alone in that for the most part, mirroring what often happens in families with children exhibiting similar symptoms. The mother becomes the one who is seen as having the problem, as the child presents as well-adjusted and charming to others. This mother falls in love and has hope for the child, then discovers the sad truth about him and what he is truly capable of, and then as he becomes entangled in activities that are illegal, the mother slowly develops an understanding of her child and her role in helping him to heal.

All I can say is, “It’s about time!” It is time for the world to really be able to see the turmoil in the families but how there can be hope for healing. It is time for us all to recognize how the abandonment of a child has become a societal problem and we all must help the parents involved in gaining the courage, strength, and endurance to love and stand beside their children for another day, another week, another month, until the child is able to open his heart and accept the love. This is why this book seems different; hope is suggested, understanding is developed, and healing is forthcoming.

The filming of the movie is set to begin later this fall in Ravenna. Auditions have been held but some locals will have the opportunity to participate as “extras”. A couple documentaries are also being considered as people of diverse cultures join this small town in the endeavor.

Jane Ryan is a Nebraska author who has been hard at work writing her story. She is an adopted mother who lived some of the pain depicted, and an author who traveled the world doing research for her first book, Broken Spirits, Lost Souls, a book of shared stories of parents and their pain while raising their attachment disordered children.

You can check out the progress of the movie and other related items of interest on the website:
www.theboardermovie.com as this story becomes a vehicle to educate the masses about this problem and offer up some hope for those living it.



  • Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Advanced Clinical HypnoTherapist

  • Deb England began working part-time for Wholeness Healing Center in September 2004 and began full-time in May 2005. Deb practices primarily in the Broken Bow office and one day a week in the Grand Island office. Previously she had completed her practicum and internship at Morning Star Alliance, working in the Broken Bow and Grand Island offices.


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