About seven years ago, a young high school student gathered the courage to share his own life story with the toughest critics of all – his fellow students at his high school. Like any teenager, his thoughts were centered on an obvious question: What would my friends think of me? His life story was different from most others. Not many of his friends could say that they were minutes from not existing, or that they had never met the woman who had given birth to him.
Now, David Scotton’s life story is more visible than he could have ever imagined when preparing for that five-minute speech. The short documentary film I Lived on Parker Avenue tells the story of David’s life, and the film’s trailer has been viewed more than 375,000 times online.
And we are three weeks away from its online release on March 8!
I met David not long after he spoke to his peers at Jesuit High School in New Orleans. From the beginning I could see he knew his story had great potential to inspire, to save lives, and to share the beauty of the gift of adoption that certainly blessed his life. He selflessly was willing to share it.
Then the moment came. David, almost in a passing manner, told me that he reconnected with his birth parents and was considering going to meet them in Indiana for the first time. Equally as nonchalantly, I tossed out the idea of sending a camera to follow him and document such a dramatic event. My wife and I had seen enough TLC shows to know that these first-time meetings are filled with raw emotion. David considered this, and while hesitant at first, he eventually went along with it.
I brought on my good friend Philip Braun III to be the director of the film, received support from some very generous people, established Joie De Vivre Media, an offshoot of Louisiana Right to Life, and soon, I Lived on Parker Avenue was on its way to creation.
In case you haven’t heard, here is an overview of the story. David Scotton was conceived in Indiana, and facing challenging circumstances, teenagers Melissa and Brian headed to the abortion facility in Indianapolis. Thanks to the influence of one unknown woman outside that facility, Melissa got up off the abortion table, never to return. All the while, Susan and Jimmy Scotton, after Susan lost two previous children, were searching for an opportunity to begin a family through adoption. Through an Indiana attorney the couples were connected, and adoption plans were made. On Dec. 22, 1993, David Scotton was born and began his first journey home to Metairie with Jimmy and Susan.
I Lived on Parker Avenue follows David, 19 years later as a college student, as he reverses that first journey and travels to Indiana to meet Melissa and Brian. The film documents the stories of all parties involved, examining the dynamics of adoption.
Why David’s story for a documentary film? For me, I am motivated by heartbreaking statistics showing that infant adoption has decreased by 31 percent since 1992. Moreover, for every 100 abortions in America, there are less than two infant adoptions. This is a situation we must change. Adoption is a solution to the brokenness of abortion, and it is our hope that I Lived on Parker Avenue can inspire our nation with the beauty of adoption.
We have seen the power of this film inspire as we have toured high schools across the country, reaching 10s of thousands of students directly through the film and accompanying presentation. We’ve screened the film with other groups as well, including U.S. Senators Congressmen on Capitol Hill.
Because of our goal to reclaim the beauty of adoption in America, we are releasing I Lived on Parker Avenue in a rather unorthodox fashion on March 8. Instead of pursuing theaters and DVD sales, we will release I Lived on Parker Avenue online for free so that anyone and everyone can view it.
We hope you will watch and be inspired. And until then, please click here to view and share the documentary’s trailer!