Parenthood (the show) & Adoption

Watching the episodes of parenthood the past year have made my heart ache, my chest tighten, I find myself holding my breath (literally), tears have definitely been shed. Watching the possible adoption unfold has felt very close to home and it’s weird to watch it on tv after you’ve been through it honestly. If you don’t watch the show Parenthood then I’ll give you the brief overview (on one of the story lines). There’s a family who wanted to have more children, were told they couldn’t, she (Julia) met a girl (Zoe) that works at her law firm who is pregnant and wants to give up her baby and ends up choosing this family. Over the course of the show Zoe and the family grow close, she even lives with them for a while, they go through the stress of getting the birth father to sign the papers, the nerves of sharing with their parents and family, preparing a room, all the while knowing in the back of their minds that something could go wrong and that room may remain empty. Then the phone call comes in, her water broke, the time has come. Their son is going to be born. The adoptive mom (Julia) is in the room with her when the baby’s born, she’s there for the pain of it all, and then Julia gets to hold him first. Oh the joy for her and the pain for the other. Hot tears streaming. Then Julia watches Zoe hold her baby, fear grips. Will she change her mind?! This is the most brutal time for an adoptive family. The baby is finally here, this is real, and yet, there is still a small chance it could all be gone. Oh the agony. And this story did end so sadly for the adoptive family. Zoe changed her mind and their hearts were broken. This isn’t just tv; It’s real life. Situations like this happen (in some form or another, whether you agree with how they portrayed it all on the show or not) and it hit home with me.

I’ve been reading blogs of other adoptive parents and also those of birth mothers. Honestly it’s hard to read sometimes but I want to hear others perspectives and how they go about the whole open adoption thing (because it’s not always easy). One blogger wrote, commenting on the episodes of Parenthood, that Zoe had every right to change her mind (which is true) and that even though it was sad for Julia and her family that they knew the risks and it wasn’t their baby anyway. I have to disagree. You don’t have to carry a child biologically to feel like it’s your child. The moment we said yes to Brittany and adopting Isaac, he was becoming ours. When I saw that ultra sound picture, I fully felt like he was our baby. When I held him for the first time, it were as if I had birthed him myself. I get asked all the time if I felt the same with Isaac as I did with Jenna? And yes, yes I did. I know this is just my perspective but this is how it was for me.

This show is real, raw and relateable and this story especially has been emotional for me.

2 thoughts on “Parenthood (the show) & Adoption”

  1. Hi Jody, I have been watching Parenthood too, and feeling the emotion of the adoption roller coaster they were on. Our situation was different so I probably didn’t feel it on the same level you did. I wonder how much this show is going to affect people’s view of adoption. I hope it helps call more to adopt, but I wonder if it will just scare more away – and cause more people to have doubts and tell hopeful parents that it’s too risky (like the Braverman parents did)….. Adoption isn’t easy, but it is BEAUTIFUL!

  2. I was so very heartbroken for both of them. I could not have imagined that ending for us. I knew as soon as I met you there was no going back. There is no way I could have ever watched you go through that pain because of a decision I had made. There are many people, things, coping mechanisms, and circumstances that allowed me to be strong enough to get through the birth without changing my mind; one of those being my belief that it was God’s plan for Isaac and another being my desire for your family to have what you had waited so long for.

    I do believe that baby became Julia’s in her mind; I have no doubt that she loved that little boy with every part of her. But I do agree that Zoe had the right to change her mind and part of me celebrated her decision to honor her responsibility as his mother (although wishing she had made that choice much earlier) while at the exact same time my heart was breaking for Joel and Julia and their daughter as I could not ever wish that kind of pain on someone!

    For me one of the greatest things this episode showed is that while sometimes yes adoption is beautiful, almost always adoption is also excrutiatingly painful.


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