Friday, July 17, 2009

Brittney's Baby (Catching Up on the DVR)

Did you see the episode (actually a two-parter) of Dr. Phil about the pregnant teen (Brittney) who didn't know what to do? I don't know if it was a repeat or not. Dr. Phil has been regurgitating old episodes all summer.

I watched both episodes last night, as I was catching up on all the shows that piled up on the DVR while I was on vacation. Speaking of the DVR, I know we've only been seeing other since January, but I really think it's true love. I'd have it cremated with me when I die except that I think Time Warner Cable would frown on that. We did have one little spat when I got back from vacation, though. It stopped recording when it got full, which was a bummer because I really wanted to see what Ruby is up to. I also watched the episode of Intervention where Bret finally got sober and then . . . died of esophageal cancer. I cried my mascara right off when his son said, "he died a dad - not an alcoholic." I still have an episode of Obsessed to watch as well, so that I can be reminded that, at the end of the day, I'm probably downright normal. Did you see the one about the lady who was terrified of pooping? Yowza.

But back to Brittney. Brittney became pregnant at 15 and her parents were understandably upset. Dr. Phil sat Brittney down with three young women who had made three different choices when they became pregnant (say what you will about Dr P, but I thought this was an excellent approach). Each was at peace with her decision. One chose abortion, one chose adoption, and one chose to parent. Brittney knew right off the bat that abortion wasn't the right choice for her. So that left her with two options. When the girl who chose adoption was speaking, I liked that she said, "I didn't give away my baby. I made a plan for him." I know I'm always kvetching about this, but the term "give up for adoption" drives me batty. No child should go through life thinking that someone gave him away or gave up on him. She also listened to the young woman who chose to parent. Many, many teens do choose to parent, with varying levels of success. A lot depends on how much family support they get.

In the second episode, Brittney revealed that she had chosen adoption for her baby. I have to confess that I felt there was a good chance she might change her mind. Dr. Phil also introduced Brittney to a woman who'd endured FIVE failed adoptions. I know of stories like hers, and this is a major reason why P and I have not pursued another adoption. Even if we had the money, the emotional risk is very, very high. By bringing her into the picture, perhaps it helped make Brittney aware of the full import of her decision. Adoptive parents are painfully aware that birthparents have the legal right to change their minds, but that doesn't make it any less wrenching.

In the postscript after the show, it was revealed that Brittney did indeed make (and carry out) an adoption plan for the baby. She seemed at peace with her decision, though I think her parents were still struggling a lot. I felt buoyed by Brittney's courage. Just when you want to shake your fist at all the world's teenagers and carry on about those young upstarts . . . you remember that Olympic gymnasts are bringing home gold medals at 13. And then you remember that your mom was a teenager when you were born and well, maybe you don't know what you are talking about after all.

4 comments:

Eliza said...

I saw that too!!
I thought it was well done. The only thing I would have done differently is that he has one woman talk about how she was against open adoption (she was an adoptee herself). Some people may feel that way, but open adoption can be great for other families, so it would have been nice if he would have also had someone talk about how great open adoption can be..
just my 2 cents..

Selena said...

I just watched "16 & Pregnant" on MTV for the first time last night. It was the season finale, and a young couple had chosen adoption for their baby. I was very impressed by their decision, and the reasons behind it, especially because neither of their parents supported it. I got emotional several times, and thought of you. I'm sure you could catch a rerun-- it was Catelynn and Tyler.

Liz said...

Sorry but it is a rerun! I could tell ya how it ends but that might make ya mad! LoL

As for Interevention I saw that too! And I cried! Sad!!

Liz

Lisa said...

I love all the shows you mentioned. I cried sooo hard and was sooo shocked about the guy who died AFTER he went for treatment! Anyway, I did not see the episode you are talking about with Dr. P but it sounds great. I always think about Poopie's BM because her mom was trying to convince her to hold him and to keep him and she knew he needed something better. All that at just 16.