Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

A star is born. If you’re a fan of the hit Oxygen reality show I’m Having Their Baby then chances are you witnessed the taped birth of 18-year-old Alexa Lindsey‘s beautiful daughter Enslie. You also saw her decision-making process as she ultimately decided to give her newborn child up for adoption.  All pretty personal stuff, as I noted in my review of the show last month. In the piece I gave the show, in which cameras follow young mothers in difficult circumstances as they give birth and consider whether to keep their children or put them up for adoption, credit for its basic storytelling and for bringing attention to the positive option of adoption. I did question, however, the impact voyeuristic television in general has upon its subjects. I wondered whether participants could be left feeling exploited.

Well, I’m happy to report that, at least in Alexa’s case, that’s not the case. The new mother — who, as I mentioned, made the unselfish decision to have her baby and give her away — recently spoke with me about the experience of having such personal moments be videoed for all to see.

Alexa, BTW, became pregnant after losing her virginity to her boyfriend on her high school graduation night. Her story will be updated on tomorrow night’s edition (9/5) of I’m Having Their Baby airing at 10:00 PM ET on Oxygen.

JWK: So, how are you doing after participating in the program?

ALEXA LINDSEY: I’ve been really good. You know, it’s been such a positive experience! I couldn’t be more blessed than to have had the opportunity to share my story.

JWK: How long has it been since your episode was taped?

AL: They came out in May so it’s been three months since the last shooting.

JWK: In the end, you decided to put your baby up for adoption.

AL: Yes, I did.

JWK: Obviously, that was a hard decision. Are you pleased with it?

AL: I could not be more at peace with my decision. It’s really benefited myself and it’s benefited Enslie. She’s got the most incredible parents ever.

JWK: So it was a good decision for both yourself and the child?

AL: Yeah, definitely.

JWK: Are you planning on being involved in Enslie’s life?

AL: Yes. It is a very open adoption. I see pictures of her almost daily and I see her about once or twice a month.

JWK: Why did you choose adoption over raising the baby yourself?

AL: I chose adoption because I was raised by a single father and, you know, placing this baby in that environment right off the bat wasn’t something that I was willing to subject the child to. I grew up in that (environment). I know the struggles. My dad did a wonderful job but it’s just not something I’d want to place my child into.

JWK: So, you were raised by your father?

AL: Yes.

JWK: What happened to your mother?

AL: They got divorced when I was five. She needed some time to put together her life before she could take on her own kid.

JWK: Was it hard for you to go through the pregnancy, the birth and the decision-making process on camera?

AL: People ask me that a lot. It was actually not that bad because they did a really good job of being that fly on the wall. A lot of stuff just happens naturally to the point where you almost don’t even realize it.

JWK: How long were you filmed for? How long was the production crew around — from beginning to end?

AL: They came around when I was almost seven and a half months pregnant. They filmed a little bit and then they filmed again for the birth.

JWK: You allowed them to film the birth.

AL: Yep.

JWK: But you found them to be not obtrusive?

AL: Yeah, I was definitely an open book.

JWK: What do you see for your own future?

AL: I know I’m going back to school in the fall but I think I’m just getting my Gen-Ed classes done. I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to pursue.

JWK: What do you feel like you’ve learned from this whole experience that you’d like to share with others?

AL: When you think that you have your life all put together, even when it gets derailed you’ve just got to keep on persevering and keeping that strength and know that it’s gonna get better…I always try to look at it that it’s going to be positive. What ever thing I’m facing something positive is going to come out of it and, in this case, that’s certainly what it is. You know I come out of this with…a relationship with (Enslie’s) parents and they’re are great — and I know their parents. You know, just a big sense of family came out of this experience.

JWK: Has your father been supportive?

AL: Yeah, my father has been very supportive.

JWK: Have you reunited with your mother?

AL: Yeah, she’s definitely been here. She came back around when I was 13. She was good support too.

JWK: You have a good relationship with her now, as well.

AL: Yeah.

JWK: So, you have a good support system. That’s great. I love happy endings.

Note: For more on Alexa’s initial episode click here.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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