April 19th, 2007
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I’m a big fan of the medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy which airs Thursday nights on ABC.

I didn’t see tonight’s story line coming. The show is mainly about a group of residents who work together at a hospital in Seattle. One of the residents is a young woman named Isobel, commonly referred to as Izzy (played by Katherine Heigl). In tonight’s episode, a couple comes up to Izzy at the desk and starts saying something abut their daughter who has cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant. Izzy starts giving them directions to Pediatrics when they tell her that their daughter looks just like her. She looks confused for a moment and they say, “You are our daughter’s birthmother.”

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I wasn’t paying too much attention until that moment and then I was glued to the screen to see how this would play out. Apparently, the daughter, Hannah, is eleven years old and has cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant. Hannah’s adoptive parents had sought out Izzy thinking that she might be a match since she is her biological mother.

So here is this birthmother standing in the hospital where she is a doctor, obviously very few of the other doctors know she is a birthmother and her daughter, whom she has dreamed about meeting is sick a few floors above her. She asks if she can meet her and the adoptive parents say they will have to ask Hannah first.

Later on, we hear Izzy explaining to George (another character) that she got pregnant at sixteen and that her mother wanted her to keep the baby but Izzy wanted her daughter to have more than the trailer park she grew up in. Izzy mentioned dreaming of the moment she would reunite with her daughter, but in her dreams she was always more mature, more prepared than she felt at that moment.

I know this is just television, but this story line had my heart going. My heart was aching for Izzy to be able to see her daughter. The adoptive parents asked Hannah and then came out of the room and told Izzy that she was just too tired to meet her at that moment. My heart was breaking for her.

Izzy ends up being a match and going through the painful bone marrow procedure as any mother would to try and save the life of her child. After the procedure, Izzy is able to peak through a window and see her daughter. She smiles and comments on how beautiful her daughter is.

And for the most part, I think I am pleased as to how the story writers and producers portrayed this storyline and characters. I’m sure as I reflect more (since I literally typed this while watching – I was excited!) that I may find a few things they could have done differently. It will be interesting to see if this storyline continues or if it was just a one episode occurrence. In real life, adoption isn’t a one time occurrence, it follows you, it would be nice for them to portray that, but I am not sure if they will.

5 Responses to “Birthmom Story Line on Grey’s Anatomy”

  1. Jan Baker says:

    Thanks for the heads-up Coley, I don’t usually watch the show, but will tonight, or at least TIVO it for later.

    Is interesting how they have adoption as a one time reunion and then that’s it.

  2. Erin H says:

    Just so you know….This isn’t a new storyline. Throughout the history of the show Grey’s Anatomy (this is the second year), they have talked about (in different situations) Izzy being a birthmom… There was even an episode where she was sort of “counseling” a young, pregnant mom who was in the hospital and considering adoption (that mom chose to keep her baby).

    So, it hasn’t just been a one or two episode storyline…this one has been going for awhile (although obviously is a much bigger story line now that Hannah and her adoptive parents have shown up in Izzy’s life). I thought last night’s show was all handled pretty well… it will be interesting to see where the show goes with it. I hope they don’t mess it up, because it’s my favorite show!

    I’m an addict. :)

    Erin

  3. Heather says:

    I agree in that I could not stop watching the show last night and I think they did a pretty good job with it.

    I also don’t see this story line going away. As a fan of the show, I am happy that Izzy is the birthmom out of all of the female characters on the show. To me she is very likeable and relateable.

  4. Coley S. says:

    Just so you know….This isn’t a new storyline. Throughout the history of the show Grey’s Anatomy (this is the second year), they have talked about (in different situations) Izzy being a birthmom… There was even an episode where she was sort of “counseling” a young, pregnant mom who was in the hospital and considering adoption (that mom chose to keep her baby).

    TY Erin! I was thinking that it had been hinted at or come up before, I just couldn’t remember specifics of when or what was said. I started watching it a little into the first season, so I might be a bit behind although I try to catch the beginning episodes when they re-air them on Lifetime.

  5. lahdh4 says:

    I was alittle disappointed. I felt like Izzy was being “used” by the adoptive parents to just get her bone marrow. A friend of mine, whose only connection to adoption is being my friend, thought the same thing when we were talking about it last. It just felt like they haven’t told Hannah that she was adopted.

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