Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More About Oxygen's I'm Having Their Baby

Photo courtesy of Oxygen.com
So, it premiered last night and the blogs are all lit up with comments and rants. Oxygen's "I'm Having Their Baby" has raised quite a bit of awareness, along with controversy. I watched it a week ago and gave you my thoughts about Mary's story ... but now let's chat about Claudia.

First, let me say this.  
Claudia got pregnant by a 10 year old. 
WHAT? Okay, so in reality he is older than 10. Well, at least his body is older than 10. But his brain and state of mind are quite juvenile to say the least, and if you think I am kidding then please go watch for yourself. What a hard situation for Claudia to be in. I have to give her major kudos for doing her homework before making her final decision. This young lady knew that her boyfriend was a serial impregnator (Yeah it is a word that I made up. The definition would be a man who sleeps around and creates babies with NO intention of being a father) and knew that there were women out there who were raising his children. SIX children to be exact. She visits with one of the ex girlfriends and soon learns, from this woman's own mouth, what an incredibly useless father this man child really is. I am sure it was not the easiest discussion to seek this woman out, but Claudia took that first step in understanding what her life might be like should she choose to parent her child. I was quite impressed that she had the guts to do so.

She seemed to have a level head about her and was quite sure that she could not raise her child on her own. I cannot remember when the show revealed that she herself was adopted from Haiti, but it struck a chord when I learned that. There are many, many adoptees out there that are birth parents. This has always fascinated me. Not sure why, but it has. To give of themselves the way someone once did for them, well I am sure it is a topic that not only intrigues me but many others as well. It would seem to me that she has an understanding about adoption that us other birth mothers do not have, well unless said birth mother was adopted. Claudia talked about how she considers herself blessed to have been accepted into such a wonderful family when her own family could no longer take care of her. Of course this would leave the viewer to wonder if Claudia was influenced by her life in any way when considering adoption for her child. (I will not try to expand on this because I am not her, and I certainly do not want to assume what her thoughts and feelings are.)

Claudia's boyfriend, the current one not the dolt with ample sperm, is a very supportive young man. I was rather happy to see that she was getting support from him ... even if he was not the father. As her story progresses, we meet the father and as I stated above ... he is less of a man and more of a little boy who has no clue what responsibility is. I was about to throw something at the screen if he would have said one more time to Claudia ... "You didn't call me and ask what I thought? What about me?" Really? What about you? What about your other SIX children that you don't visit, don't communicate with, don't support? And good for Claudia, she said almost those exact words to him. She confronted him and asked if he was going to take care of the baby. He continued to whine that she was not calling him. Oh, I am sure that there were blood pressures going up all over the US last night when this man opened his mouth. 

When the day came that Claudia's son arrived, she text the father to let him know that the baby was born. His response? "Who is this?" Well, I think we can all agree that Claudia had good reason to doubt what life would be like with this man. What an awful thing for her to read, so callus and uncaring. There is nothing in the world that will sadden your heart than to hear, as a mother, that the father of your child is not going to help you, support you and be there when you need him most. I say this because I know, I had the same type of reaction when I let my daughter's father know that she was born. He knew who I was, but the reaction was not what I wanted. My heart went out to Claudia right then and there. She struggled with the thought of letting her son go, and it started right after birth. Tears and heartache in those moments of the show, something so many of us can identify with. She was strong, and talked openly with the social worker (who, for the record was not shown as much as the social worker in Mary's case. Need more info, please visit the post that I linked to above) about her feelings and how she was hurting.

But the bottom line was Claudia knew that her son would be raised without his father actively in his life. Now, many out there will say that that is not enough to justify adoption. Well, of course it is not. But you have to see what her heart was seeing: she loved her son and did not want him to grow up NOT having a father figure in his life. I do not see anything wrong with this, not one thing. Children are said to do better when coming from a loving home, a home with two parents, a home that is stable and can provide comfort. (Please do not inundate me with comments that I don't know what I am talking about. I do know what I am saying ... and no, I am not knocking single parent homes because that is where I came from and single parents ROCK!) 

That loving family life was not going to happen in Claudia's case. She had ample evidence that this man she created life with was not going to be around, was not going to support her and more than likely would not be a good influence in his son's life. I do not fault her at all for her decision, and applaud her for thinking first of her son, thinking about his future, his life, his heart. She places with a family that she liked, and they even chose to use the name she called her baby as the boy's middle name. That may not mean much to you or I, but it means the world to Claudia. And I say way to go parents for taking her feelings into mind and giving him the name that she chose for him. 

I connected with Claudia and her story. I can completely understand her reasons, her thinking and her incredible sense of maturity for seeing the situation for what it was. She made a choice for her son with many factors in mind. Factors that are personal, intimate and justified for her. I think we should not judge these women on this show. I think we should all learn a little from them, and learn what a gut wrenching decision this is for mothers. Be objective. Be compassionate. Be human and just listen without jumping to conclusions. 

In conclusion, I have to say that I think I will keep watching this show in the hopes that it will keep the conversation going about adoption. Hopefully it will convey to those not familiar with adoption just what a life altering decision it is. And for those in adoption, well maybe it will help us all listen to each other. Then we can truly learn more about ourselves and this intricate world we live in.

PS...I would still like to see Oxygen, or any network for that matter, take this concept a step further and have more experienced mothers on to talk about life after relinquishment. I think they would be surprised at how long that show could be on the air. Sooooo many stories, so much to learn.


Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

I would really like to see a show like that too. Maybe each week they could show the journey of a birth mother in a closed adoption and a birth mother in an open adoption. It seems that what it means to be a birth mother is different and brings different emotions and understandings when it comes to being a birth mother.

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Brilliant idea Julia, I like the way you think! It is different from the birth mother's perspective, and if more people understood the process from their point of view ... well so much more could be learned in adoption. Thanks for the comment.

On a more personal note, how are you feeling? I hope post op is treating you well. I do apologize for not sending something for your contest. Not that I do not want to be entered, but these last three weeks have been inundated with Scouts, baseball, kids and me trying to catch up on my writings not just for this blog, but also for the magazine. It's funny how when we have nothing to do we complain that it is too slow. Yet when it is busy, there is still not enough time to do things.

ARRRRGGGGGG! I will try to get over there today or tomorrow to submit to you a poem or post, I can barely breathe much less form thoughts. HA! Thank you for your patience, and for reading and sharing your thoughts! Be Well!