Of Course This is How It Ends

When the story of Brandon Davies’ (an adoptee, btw) violation of the BYU honor code first broke, I knew it was because he had gotten someone pregnant.  Come on folks, let us all stop lying to each other and just deal with reality. Any of us who grew up in the shadow of those ever lasting hills has to be truthful and acknowledge the only reason any of those athletes get publicly admonished for honor code violations is if they do something that BYU can’t cover up. Jayci Stephen’s swelling belly is something they can’t hide. Even when rumors where swirling around that he had been suspended because of other reasons, I knew in my heart it was because someone was pregnant with his baby.

Since Jayci is LDS (linky to her FB page where she states this), there was never any doubt in my mind of the outcome of the situation. Never. Her only choice would be adoption. If not at birth, then people would continue to tell her, “It’s never too late to do the right thing” until she finally caved and gave in to societal and parental pressure.  While parenting might be given lip service by the social workers at LDSFS and by church leaders, tremendous amounts of pressure is placed on a single expectant parent to “do the heroic,  and right thing” and “make an adoption plan.” After all, that’s what good mothers do. Good mothers let other people raise their baby. Good mothers never parent on their own.

How do I know this is what she is being told?

Because it is my story.  It is our story.

Naturally, she selected a very white family to raise her mixed-race baby. Naturally, they will be there in the delivery room with her when the baby is born.

And naturally, the LDSFS adoption community is swooning over this latest “miracle and blessing.” So get ready folks for the blog of another LDS birth mommy who is simply overjoyed to be the vessel carrying someone other woman’s baby to hit the ‘net.

It should prove to be an entertaining ride.


12 thoughts on “Of Course This is How It Ends

  1. I just read her blog. I had a friend once who told me, it’s like watching a train wreck about to happen. You feel so helpless, so unable to do anything to stop the disaster (a.k.a. – pain, loss, grief) that is about to happen.

    My heart breaks for her. She has no idea how much of what is happening to her right now is influencing her to “do the right thing.” I wanted to scream at everyone of those who told her how wonderful, unselfish and God-loving she was being for giving up her baby. It sickens me.

    • Yes, Cassi, my heart breaks for her and her sweet son that is going to be raised away from his people and his tribe. For a church that places so much emphasis on the importance of family and the permanence of familial relations, it never ceases to astound me at how infants and mommies are treated as interchangeable.

      I hurt for Jayci and her son but I know there is nothing any of us can say or do that will cause her to think otherwise. She has now reached rockstar/near God-like status in the LDS community because of her “heroic” and “selfless” act of making other people parents….well, as much of a rockstar as an girl who got herself knocked up can be. Sheesh, who doesn’t want to be treated like a god? Especially when before she made this choice, she was her daddy’s disappointment and the shame of the BYU sports community. As we all know, through choosing adoption, she is “redeeming” herself in the eyes of her religious community

      What she doesn’t realize is that when the “miracle and blessing” crowds fades into the distance and she is left with empty arms and a shattered heart, very few in the LDS community will be there to help her through the hard and difficult days of existing 10, 20, 30 years past relinquishment. That isn’t entirely true. LDSFS will be there, seeing as how they offer free lifetime counseling. However, nearly every woman I know who has tried to utilize their services in the decades post-placement have come away feeling like the only “services” they offer is to ensure that a woman keeps spouting the “miracle and blessing” rhetoric. If an LDS first mother dares speak out against the party line they get smacked down, just like Brother O did to me last winter. And if you think an LDS first mom has it bad, if LDS adoptee dares question the status quo of adoption practices in the LDS culture, the gates of hell burst open and rain down fire and brimstone on them.

      What I wouldn’t give to have a one on one, heart to heart conversation with her and let her in on what it is like once the anesthesia wears off.

  2. I wondered what was really underneath the original story…ya know, if she wasn’t pregnant would he have confessed type of thing. Makes sense now that all the facts have come out. I just wish every girl who thinks she’s doing the very best thing for her baby would talk to one of us who have lived with this for almost 20 years! This is not something you get over and if effects you for the rest of your life and like a ripple effect in a pond you never know where it’s effects are going to end or who will be touched by your decision(ie. future children, spouse, extended birth family, etc).

    What a nightmare to plan to have the adoptive parents at the birth. This is the only time she will ever have to be ALONE with her baby, but she won’t be alone because they will be there.

    Also, if they did a study of post placement first moms who were close to the adoptive couple before the birth, I wonder how many of them changed their mind about placing after the birth but felt pressure to place anyway because they didn’t want to disappoint that nice couple? That’s just too much pressure!

    And don’t even get me started on the whole “vessel” thing!

    • Nicole, I have often wondered about this first moms in these open adoptions and their strangely joy, almost exuberance, at being “allowed” to see their child grow up. How many of them say and do the “right” things (as sanctioned by LDSFS and the adoptive couple) so that the adoption isn’t slammed shut because they did something the adoptive parents don’t like or “feel comfortable” with? Adoptive couples can (and do many, many, MANY times) buy first mothers complicity and silence by allowing or disallowing access to the child.

      If these same first mothers were allowed to speak their Truth with NO FEAR of recrimination from the adoptive couple, their case workers, or the LDS culture at large, I have a hunch they would be singing a different tune about the “miracle and blessing” of adoption. Perhaps we are more fortunate than these first mothers in open adoptions. At least we can speak freely without worrying about the adoptive parents closing the adoption because we said or did something they did not agree with.

      In her second blog post, Jayci mentions how grateful she will be to just “move on” with her life….I felt like saying, “Sweetheart – there is no moving on. That is a myth and a lie being foisted on you by a multi-billion dollar industry in an effort to strip you of your motherhood.”

    • Oh yeah – if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, he wouldn’t have confessed. In fact, the only reason he most likely confessed was because she told her parents and they told other priesthood leadership.

      I grew up there in Utah Valley. I don’t mean to be negative on BYU because it has many positives, but the honor code and star athletes is JOKE, an absolute joke. BYU has its own police force and as such, they don’t have to report a variety of crimes to local authorities which means that breaking and entering, petty theft, etc., etc., that happen on campus don’t always get reported to Provo city. You would be ASTOUNDED at the number of crimes committed by athletes living by the “honor code” there at BYU. Just about the only time an athlete is sanctioned for honor code violations is because (a) he got someone pregnant and her parents are TICKED OFF about it or (b) he committed a crime off campus and BYU administration can’t hush it up.

      Then there is always the case of my lesbian roommate who was a member of the Young Ambassadors and the Cougerettes dance team. She was opening living the lifestyle and loved to rub it in our faces that she was pulling the wool over her church leaders eyes about her “honor code” violations and still able to maintain her full-ride scholarship. I could not care less if she was a lesbian, but it rankled me that she so openly flouted the “honor code” with no recrimination because she was one of the senior members of the YA.

  3. Dorky question here: why can’t Brandon and Jayci just get married and keep their son? LDS condones marriage, even while in college, right? Wouldn’t that solve the problem? Or is the big problem that the baby was conceived out of wedlock?

    Seems that if they’re in a committed relationship, what’s wrong with a shotgun wedding? Don’t people get married while in college?


  4. Kara, they could get married, a lot of people in the LDS community and especially at BYU get married while still in college. However, Jayci mentions on her blog that Brandon is focused on basketball and that he would not be around for their son. She said he would support her in whatever choice she made, but that she wanted her child to have two parents around. Sounds like to me he isn’t willing to get married at this point in his basketball career. This of course is all just assumption on my part.

    • Here’s yet another sad thing about this whole situation: She is probably being told that if she keeps her son and raises him, the chances of her getting married are very slim. But lets get realistic – she is probably going to be married within a few years after his birth anyway. Giving her son away doesn’t magically make her a virgin again. Her future husband is still going to have to “deal” with the reality that she had a baby with some other guy whether she is parenting her son or not. And if Brandon is willing to sign away his rights to some random surfer dude, then why wouldn’t he be willing to sign away his rights to her future husband?

      Jayci says that she wants her son to have a daddy around who can baptize him, etc., etc., etc.,…what she doesn’t realize is that her future husband could very well be that man. Instead, she is bartering away her son and grandchild and great-grandchildren ad infinitum into the eternities to buy a few more years of “freedom” to go to school. But as you and I know Nicole, that “freedom” is a ruse – first mother status is a prison from which there is no pardon or release.

      • No Crap. This is what I don’t understand. These are two relatively well educated young people who are NOT even teenagers. They are truly young adults. For all the pressure that the LDS community places on young unwed mothers to place their baby for adoption– in cases like this one– Why the hell don’t they put pressure on both the young man and young woman to get married???!!

        Not that I necessarily think that is the right thing to do either– but it does seem really whacked to pressure a young woman to place a child for adoption and NOT to pressure the young man to propose marriage. It may not be the easiest life in the world to start, but these two, or even Jayci as a single mom, could raise the baby.

        I left a comment on her blog last week– when I checked-in today I found that her blog has been removed.

  5. Thank you for the clarification. I am deeply saddened that Brandon is not stepping up to his responsibilities, and I am even more saddened by the immense pressures that are being visited on Jayci by the powers-that-be. You’re right; she will likely be married within four years, and her son cannot be erased from herself and her soul. I wish that she could get the support and love she needs to know that she CAN raise her son with her head held high until the right man comes along, who will love the both of them with all his heart.

    I applaud you, M, for going in there and saying what you feel and KNOW to be right. I get so overwhelmed by the tides of the naysayers who feed the machine, and yet I know that if we don’t get out there and speak out, nothing will change. Sigh.

    Adoption is not a gift. It’s a curse.

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