Episode 10 of I'm Having Their Baby touched on some very difficult issues, from gay adoption to raising children while living with illness. Flip through photos from the episode, then scroll down for a recap by Lester Brathwaite, assistant editor of the LGBT site Queerty!
Christina and Alysia both have very different reasons for seeking to place their babies up for adoption.
Christina, a 26-year-old single mom, has enough trouble taking care of her daughter Eva, who means everything to her. Eva's father is barely in the picture and she dated the father of her current baby bump for only two weeks. She fears adding another child into the mix -- another child she would have to struggle to take care of by herself -- would be unfair not only to Eva, but Simon, the little boy she's carrying.
Alysia, on the other hand, has three kids with her husband Joe. Though they're getting by just fine, Alysia's health has been on the decline, having been diagnosed with rhuematoid arthritis and lupus -- both of which are incurable. Alysia is concerned about having another child that Joe may have to take care of on his own once her health ultimately fails.
It's pretty heavy stuff.
Further complicating Christina's situation is her mother, Lisa. Christina has decided to place Simon for adoption to her half-sister Shannon and her partner, Amy, to Lisa's dismay and disapproval. Shannon and Amy moved from Arizona to Iowa for the adoption, where they still have five months to prove residency in order to legally adopt Simon. Everyone is supportive of Christina's decision except her mom. Lisa would prefer if Christina's cousin, who is married to a man, adopted the baby, making Christina second guess the entire situation.
Now, Shannon has known Lisa since she was seven and considers her a mother. "I've been gay all my life," Shannon says, noting that Lisa helped to raise a gay kid. While Lisa claims she doesn't have anything against gay people, she objects to Shannon and Amy adopting her future grandson. Lisa, rather lamely, worries that the kid will be teased for having two moms, but Shannon and Amy point out that he'll be teased simply because he's a kid. That's what kids do because kids are assholes. But Lisa stands firm in her opposition.
High school sweethearts Alysia and John consider themselves the loves of each other's lives and so it's particularly heartbreaking seeing them cope with her illness in addition to the baby drama. "I don't know what I would do without her," John says at one point. "I don't think I could make it." At which point I was on the floor hysterically weeping. If I could feel emotion, that is. I came very close though.
Alysia is eight and a half months pregnant with Eli, having almost made it out of the proverbial woods. Lupus can complicate pregnancy with an increased risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, high blood pressure and heart problems in the baby. The arthritis will eventually cripple her and the lupus will shut down her organs. Alysia's kids are, understandably, upset about their mother's worsening condition, which makes it pretty evident that she's unable to take care of another child.
Watch a bonus video of Alysia facing the challenges of adoption.
After their third child, Alysia and John didn't think they could get pregnant again. She developed a tumor and as a result, had to have her left ovary removed. According to the mother of three, sometimes she can't even tie her shoes let alone pick up a baby. Still, she hesitated to tell her friends and family about her decision to place Eli, fearing they would judge her. So she told them that she was acting as the surrogate for another couple that couldn't have kids.
She goes to lunch with her friend Kim to tell her the truth and Kim -- god bless her -- is fully supportive. She's just upset Alysia didn't tell her sooner. Alysia also tells Kim about the actual couple that can't have kids who will adopt little Eli -- Jessica and David. She knows that she'll miss raising the baby and is worried that once the time comes she won't be able to give him up.
Christina shares the same fears as her due date nears. To clear the air and get her mom to give up her crusade against gay adoption, Christina invites Lisa over to a BBQ at her friend Tammi's house so Shannon and Amy can confront her. Lisa, in another instance of lameness, tries to back out of it because she's "stuck at the laundromat." Shannon's not surprised, knowing that Lisa doesn't want to answer for the opinions she's expressed. However, their mother eventually changes her mind and arrives three hours late.
Shannon and Amy try to get a straight answer -- so to speak -- out of Lisa, who maintains that the gay thing doesn't bother her. She then admits that she feels like the baby is part of her late husband and that losing Simon will be like losing a part of him. Lisa's husband -- Shannon's father -- died two years ago and since then, according to Christina, Lisa's just fallen apart. But Shannon reassures her that her father would have been very proud of his daughters for "taking care of the situation instead of dropping it on her doorstep." Everyone has some BBQ and things are okay, for now.
The day of delivery, Christina is still having second thoughts and doesn't want Shannon and Amy in the room with her when she gives birth. Meanwhile, the couple arrives ready to be there every step of the way, to even cut little Simon's umbilical cord and everything -- unaware that Christina has requested their absence from the room. Aaaaawkwaaaard. Once Christina's contractions worsen, Shannon and Amy are asked to leave. They don't take it terribly well, but Shannon and Amy knew going into this that Christina could change her mind at anytime. So they leave the hospital and let Christina go about her business.
Alysia goes into labor and she, on the other hand, wants Jessica -- the adoptive mother -- in the room with her when she gives birth. Alysia has the baby through C-section, but Eli develops problems with his breathing and is rushed to the ER. Luckily, it's nothing to worry about, he simply had a little fluid in his lungs and he's fine. Alysia then place Eli to Jessica and David. She knows that she'll "grieve" for her son but is comforted by the fact that she won't be alone -- her entire family will be grieving with her. "Adoption," she says, "it the happiest pain you could ever feel."
Once Christina has the baby, she sends Shannon, Amy and her family home in order to spend some alone time with Simon. She admits that she thought this would be easier and that she loves Simon just as much as she loves Eva. "I knew they were going to take him away from me," Christina says, referring to Shannon and Amy "and I hate them for it."
Yikes. But she has some time to think and rest on it.
That night, Christina expresses concern to Shannon that she and Amy will take Simon away from her and away from Iowa. She says Shannon yelled -- lovingly, I'mm sure -- at her that she could see him everyday if she wanted to. Finally, Christina comes to terms with her decision, knowing that what she's doing is "awesome."
While not as profound as Alysia's closing statement, it still rings true.
Lester Brathwaite spawned from Grace Jones' discarded cigarette butts on the floor of Studio 54 and has since worked tirelessly to educate the children on proper diva etiquette. When not owning everything, he's the assistant editor of Queerty.com, the super popular LGBT news/pop culture site that's free of an agenda -- except that gay one. He shot the sheriff.”
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