On September 18th, fans who follow the creator of hit shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal saw the awesome tweet announcing news that Shonda Rhimes welcomed baby number three. “Been AWOL from Twitter. I totally have a good reason: TINY HUMAN #3 is here and she’s perfect! Babies are good. Life is good. #2shows3kids”
A few days later, Dan Bucatinsky, one of the stars of Scandal, revealed the name of Shonda’s new addition. “Beckett is adorable. I saw pictures and I’m really excited for her. I’m so happy for her.”
Beckett joins big sisters Harper and Emerson, who were adopted — Harper in 2002 and Emerson in 2012. When the news of Beckett’s arrival broke, many news outlets assumed she joined the family in the same way. A quote from US Weekly celebrating the 2012 arrival of daughter Emerson was reused in many of these articles: “I’ve been writing adoption into story lines on my shows and only a few people close to me knew about my plans. I think the response was ‘oh my goodness’ from a lot of people.”
The assumption that Shonda adopted her third daughter is an interesting one. I happen to be a single woman with fertility issues. I also happen to have married friends with fertility issues. If you put all of our children in the same room (that we are oh so lucky to have) not a single one of our kids arrived here the same way. It’s amazing! Our kids are here because of: IVF, donor sperm, donor sperm + IVF, closed adoption, open adoption, and our one friend who had the s-e-x. How a child arrives in your family can be different from child to child. This doesn’t make any one child’s creation or arrival story more special or unique, but what is theirs does belong to them.
Shonda’s third daughter arrived via surrogacy. I have a friend who was a surrogate for a family, and friends who built their family thanks to the gift of surrogacy. It is a truly amazing beginning story. I completely understand why Shonda felt the need to educate news outlets on how some babies are made.
Last week Shonda — brilliant writer Shonda — wrote what she calls, “A Very Long Post About How Babies Are Made.” She shares how she tweeted the news of the arrival of her daughter, and then how a few days later she realized the world had made the adoption assumption. She says, “When I was finally back online in a real way because I was tweeting about the Emmys, I noticed that something weird had happened.
There seemed to be a lot of people out there who think I adopted again. Like, a LOT. Like, there were actually articles in which RHIMES ADOPTS THIRD CHILD was the headline.
But, um…I didn’t. Adopt.”
She continues to talk about how wonderful adoption is and briefly touches upon why she wanted to do things differently this time.
“This time, I had my baby via gestational surrogacy. Yes. You heard me. An incredibly awesome woman gave me the incredibly awesome gift of carrying my baby for me. It was equally as incredible as the experience of adoption. Different but still just as special and as wonderful as adoption.”
Her post is perfect, it’s Shonda, and you should read the rest of it to get swept away by her clear baby bliss.
It’s been a pretty great month for Shonda. Last week, in between explaining the birds and the bees, she was appointed by President Obama to the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees. According to Deadline, President Obama, who also appointed several other new members to the board, said in a statement, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Congratulations on everything, Shonda! (And we can’t wait until the premiere of Scandal in October!)
Image Credit: PR Photos, Screenshot from Huffington Post
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