The whole concept behind having sister wives is interesting to me. I'm not sure how having many wives is pleasing/serving God, but to each his or her own.
I don't know what it is about the Brown family, but they appeal to me, and I enjoy watching their show on TLC each week. They are as "normal" as any other family, and I often forget that it's one man (Cody) with four wives. They just seem like the kind of people that you'd meet out and about and like. They're nothing like the image that I originally had of polygamists like Warren Jeffs. To their credit, they speak out against what Jeffs does, and they try to educate others about how they are NOT LDS Mormons.
Here's a family tree:
It's hard to read, so I'm going to do a synopsis of each family (to the best of my memory).
Cody Brown is the man of the family. He married Meri first, and she's his only legal wife. They have one daughter. I think she's my favorite because she's very grounded, down to Earth, and struggled with unexplained infertility after having her daughter. She and Cody tried to get pregnant for YEARS and it just never happened for her. Cody has said that Meri is the love of his life, and his soul-mate.
Now... Cody married Meri, Janelle, and Christine and THEN they had kids. So all their children have grown up only knowing them as their moms, and the three sister wives have been apart of the raising of each child.
The second wife is Janelle. She's very business-like and isn't into frilly things. Cody says that Janelle is his best friend. He likes being around her because she's easy to love, their marriage is easy, and they're genuinely friends above all else.
Janelle has six kids... one of her kids (Hunter) is kinda going through a lot of teen angst. He's not accepting of the newest wife (Robin). Janelle is a working mom and handles a lot of the finances for the Brown family.
Christine is wife number three and by far, my least favorite. She's rude, obnoxious, and I just find her to be arrogant. For the longest time, she was the third and last wife, and I am sure felt that Cody preferred her over the other two. She has a new baby and stays home to take care of the Brown children that are not school-aged. I just find her to be full of herself when it comes to how she deals with Meri and Janelle.
She has six children as well, and one that I can't stand (Gwendolen). When Robin was brought into the picture, Christine immediately felt threatened and jealous and as a result, has had a lot of marital issues with Cody.
The most interesting thing about Christine is that her mom became Cody's dad's second wife (sister wife). His dad and mom were together and not plural and then when his dad met Christine's mom... he added her as his second sister wife. WEIRD!!
Then there's Robin. She was married before, has three children with her ex-husband and she and Meri were friends prior to her joining the family. She was not on the first season of the show. She was introduced to Cody by Meri, and then Cody courted her, and asked her to marry him. This caused a stir in the home, because the Brown's had children in high school, and they were old enough to put things together.
Many of the older children have not accepted Robin as their mom. Robin is kind of annoying to me... she's insecure and whiney and I just don't really like her that much.
Cody is in love with Robin and they've been on their honeymoon for quite some time. She's made it clear to the other wives, that her parents were in love for her entire life, and she wants that kind of lovey-dovey relationship with Cody. The other wives (especially Christine) have said that they think Cody is much different with Robin than with them, and Christine has come out and said she thinks he prefers Robin over all others.
Robin announced her pregnancy at the beginning of this season, and we've been watching her pregnancy progress and the way the other kids and wives have been dealing with the new baby.
Okay... so now you have the back-story and now I want to write about this season finale and how it made me feel.
As I said above, Meri and Cody have been trying to get pregnant for years without any luck. Their daughter is like 14 or 15 and so, for like 12+ years they've been trying to have another baby. He shared that he wanted to do IVF, but Meri said no because she didn't think it'd be worth the money or heart-ache if it didn't take.
So she's yearned for a baby, and when Robin announced her pregnancy, she wanted to tell Meri first, and in private. When she told her, Meri was excited, but also sad at the same time. I could totally relate to her feelings. I feel the same when friends tell me that they're pregnant... I'm totally excited for them, but it's like another reminder to me that I'm not.
So, she has her baby in the last episode... and Meri is like super excited and because she and Robin were friends before she joined the family, they share a very special bond. All the wives and kids come to the house to meet the baby (Solomon) and take pictures and of course I was crying while watching because it was so sweet.
Then Robin tells everyone that she needs to talk to Meri alone.
As Meri is holding baby Solomon, Robin tells her that she'd been thinking about something for a really long time, and wanted to finally share her thoughts with Meri. Then she offered to be a surrogate for Meri. It was incredible. I had (and do right now) tears streaming down my face as I watched.
Meri didn't give her an answer, and Robin said that she didn't have to answer her, but she wanted her to know, that she whole-heartedly wanted to offer to be a surrogate for her.
This got me thinking... what an incredible gift. I don't know what goes into surrogacy and how expensive it is in relation to adoption, but it totally got me thinking. I don't think I'd ever want to use someone that I didn't know-- too much risk involved and not something I could handle.
The thought of someone offering to carry a baby for me... it was mind-blowing and of course had me crying. Obviously, I don't have anyone asking me to do this, but it just got me thinking and had me super emotional. I'm not sure why we aren't able to get pregnant. I'm working on losing weight... trying to eat better, but as I'm getting older, it's that much more difficult.
I just don't know why we're on the path that we're on. I try to let go and leave it up to God, but it's so hard. I know that adoption was something we were meant to do and God was calling us to adopt. The timing was impeccable, and it all happened as it was meant to happen. I just don't know about the rest of the plan.
As much as I want another child, and I REALLY REALLY DO. I just don't know about adoption. It's super hard... and so stressful on a family. Obviously, the easy thing would be to have your own child and you avoid all the drama that comes with adoption... but that's not happening.
So I don't know. I just know that the gift of someone offering to be a surrogate is something that I can't even fathom. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Meri accepts the incredible offer that Robin made, and she will get to hold her own baby in seasons to come.