Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot | a New Foster Care Movie Review

There’s a new foster care movie coming to theaters July 4, 2024.

As an adoptee out of foster care, I was deeply curious to see Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot, and now having watched a screening of it, I can confidently say:

You’re going to want to see this movie. Just go ahead and mark your calendar now.

Possum Trot is a brutal but beautiful story that single-handedly demonstrates how one person, one family, or one church that says, “Yes!” can turn the world of foster care and adoption upside down.

Here are 5 things to know about the movie:

1. It’s based on a true story.

The movie begins in Deep East Texas in 1996, in Possum Trot—a tiny former logging town “where you knew you were rich if your roof didn’t leak.”

After suffering a personal loss, Donna Martin decides she wants to open her home to foster children. But her husband, Baptist Bishop W.C. Martin, isn’t exactly on board—

“Adoption? You want to adopt kids? Like, human ones?”

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Bishop Martin to get on board. And when he did, he ended up persuading his small congregation to adopt 77 of the most abused and neglected foster children in Texas, effectively emptying the local foster care system of waiting children.

This true story has been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, and many others. It is one of the most influential foster care and adoption stories in America.

But even better, this story has changed countless lives.

2. It’s beautiful.

With a talented cast and crew—as well as a visionary director and producer—the movie is beautifully done.

From the sweeping shots of the Texas countryside to the tender moments shared between characters, every frame of this movie is a work of art.

3. It’s raw.

When telling a story about the gritty realities of foster care, it would be disrespectful to sugarcoat the struggles. But when making a movie, it’s not a great strategy to send viewers bolting for the exits when things get too real.

Somehow, Possum Trot strikes a careful balance.

Could the movie be more graphic? Yes, it could legitimately include more graphic details to really drive home the brutality many face in foster care. But sometimes, what’s left unsaid actually says more than words ever could.

Possum Trot is honest and accurate in its portrayal of the system and those affected by it.

That said, because of the accuracy, honesty, and vulnerability in this movie, I would strongly recommend seeing the movie first before allowing your fostered or adopted child to see it. I believe this movie could be deeply triggering to kids who have lost their first family.

“We can look away, but the Father of us all, He uses one-way streets, because we are not meant to turn back, no matter what.”—Donna Martin

Note: Despite the difficult realities seen in the movie, there are many light, quotable moments. For example, when the Bishop and his wife tell the social worker they have 22 local families interested in taking classes, they ask if she would be willing to host the classes at the church. The social worker replies—

“Are you kidding? We’ll get baptized for 22 families!”

4. It’s a must-see.

Calling it a “must-see” seems cliche, but in this case, it’s also accurate.

Who should see the movie?—

  • anyone with a heart for the fatherless

If you’re already in the trenches, fighting the good fight for these kiddos, then this movie will reaffirm your passion, remind you why you do what you do, and give you another reason to keep on keeping on.

  • anyone who doesn’t yet have a role in reaching the fatherless

Possum Trot is a wake-up call, a gentle nudge to open your eyes to the beauty and brokenness of the foster care system. And it’s a reminder that you truly can make a difference.

Who are the people in your life—church, family, friends—that need to see a powerful story about foster care and adoption?

5. It releases July 4, 2024.

Get movie updates here or sign up to receive special offers on early bird tickets.

Rating: Possum Trot is rated PG-13 for thematic material involving child abuse, some violence, language, and brief suggestive material.

Run time: 2 hours and 18 minutes

All photos courtesy of

So go ahead and plan now to watch the movie. And maybe—like the incredible characters you meet—you and your friends and/or family will be used by God to revolutionize the foster care system in your community.

Purchase your tickets today.