More Than Chance

DVD Release: November 17, 2010
More Than Chance


Two-year-old Kelsey Jurgen, surrendered by a poverty-stricken single mother to a Russian orphanage, is adopted by a childless American couple. Shortly after arriving in America Kelsey is viciously assaulted by her adoptive father with uncontrolled rage that severs the child’s spine, leaving her a paraplegic.

When Caroline Mihalec hears the news report she convinces husband Paul that they should become Kelsey’s foster parents, and later adopt her. But Kelsey must first learn to trust adults, especially Caroline’s husband Paul. Over time she begins to heal, and learns to cope with her permanent disability. Her former father Brad Jurgen is sentenced to two consecutive jail terms.

A few years later at age eight, during a prosthetic fitting, Kelsey meets teenager Melissa Preston, currently on probation and struggling to adjust to a small private school where her mother has transferred her following public school suspension. Melissa and Kelsey begin an oddly-matched friendship that inspires both girls to pursue their dreams — Kelsey as ballerina and Melissa as basketball star with a shot at a championship and college scholarship. Facing off against boys’ captain Chris Sterling and struggling to adapt to life without her dad, Melissa must first conquer her inner demons before overcoming the obstacles that lay before her, aided by Kelsey’s belief in the power of dreams to come true.

Dove Review

This is a gripping and powerful drama based on real-life events and even features the real-life Kelsey Minick playing Kelsey Mihalec, the young girl from the Ukraine who is adopted by American parents. Her new father is edgy and when he stays with the young child one day as Mom goes off to work the noise she makes causes him to become unglued and he shakes her violently, so violently that young Kelsey is paralyzed. The rest of the story is about the new adoptive parents she gained, Paul and Carol, and how that Kelsey inspires those around her including a teen girl named Melissa, who has an attitude and has been in trouble ever since her father died suddenly in an accident. Yet Kelsey’s optimism and faith in God moves her as well. This is a compelling story about child abuse and adoption and growing in one’s spiritual life.

This is, in addition, a powerful story of God’s redemption and mercy and we highly recommend it for ages twelve plus, due to its sophisticated and mature theme. As parents consult our content listing below, they may feel comfortable with their mature children under the age of twelve viewing this DVD. It is remarkable and inspiring! It includes themes of loyalty, God’s mercy, and changing what needs to be changed in our lives. This movie will challenge those who don’t believe in miracles to reconsider the matter!

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: None
Language: None
Violence: Although not graphic, the viewer can tell a father shakes his daughter and soon her legs are seen not moving; a girl basketball player aggressively bumps a girl from the other team before the game.
Drugs: A man drinks at a bar.
Nudity: None
Other: The issues of child abuse and adoption are explored; an abusive man is convicted and sent to prison; the topic of death and grief are explored; a girl shows disrespect to her mother but changes by film's end; church service and baptism seen; talk of praying for God's guidance.


Company: PureFlix
Director: Debra Johanyak
Producer: Mogadore Films & Debra Johanyak
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 93 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter