|Lorraine and her daughter, 1982|
Well, last night in the opening moments of the show Catelynn and Tyler came smack up against some hard reality from one of the other people on this show, Flava Flav, whose own really tacky reality show seemed to be about him finding a girlfriend. Now here he is with his own real life girlfriend, the mother of his son, who has been there all the time. What happened when Flava Flav and Catelynn and Tyler meet is priceless. He wonders why they could be in couple therapy--they are young and in love, right?
When they tell him who they are--Catelynn says they "chose adoption" for their baby--he is shocked. They list the reasons why, starting with alcoholism in her family. Then Tyler quickly reels off a laundry list of reasons: No diploma, no licence, no car, his dad is a crack-cocaine user and in and out of prison, they were sixteen, they wanted a better environment for their baby. So, they gave the baby away--a "gift" to an infertile couple, they quickly add. (How do we hate this concept of a gift? Let me count the reasons...)
Flava Flav is not impressed: "You took a gift away from that child because the best gift you could give the child is to have that child have both of his parents."
Catelynn says: "I agree with you." She nervously chews the inside of her cheek. My heart went out to her. No matter how we feel about their running around promoting adoption--you used to be able to buy a video of them talking about the great decision they made to "chose adoption,"--she is still a birth mother, a sister in sorrow. Bringing a baby home without family support and financial aide would have been difficult. Even though (as I recall reading) Catelynn's mother was against the adoption, it is obvious it would have been difficult for them to cope with a baby in those conditions. However, we do know their lives are certainly changed because they became the dramatic center of the show once they chose adoption, and thus were thrust into the realm of Reality TV stars. They are obviously paid for their work in reality TV (they bought a nice house) and almost certainly as Bethany spokespersons promoting adoption to other young couples and teens. Despite my regret and disgust that they have been turned into adoption promoters, Catelynn genuinely seems sweet, and struggling with the reality of having given up a child. About Tyler, I don't feel so empathetic. He is too self-righteous about having given the gift of his daughter to another couple. He is too eager to promote adoption, as we have written about here before.
Flava Flav responds: "So you all gave away, you took away something more precious than you gave."
His girlfriend steps in to provide a kind of buffer between what he is saying and Catelynn and Tyler. He says that while he respects what they did, he then adds: "In the same token it doesn't change the feelings of that baby, of what that baby is going to feel."
Well said, Flava Flav. We have nothing to add.--lorraine