You know that ‘Sister Wives’ is having a genuinely emotional moment when even my husband, Michael, starts to bawl during the episode. So did the judge approve Kody’s long hoped-for adoption of Robyn’s children: Aurora, Breanna and Dayton?
You have to applaud Kody Brown‘s first wife Meri for the gut-wrenching sacrifice of offering to legally divorce her husband. Her divorce cleared the way for Kody to tie the knot with fourth wife, Robyn, in more than just a spiritual sense. That meant that he could formally begin the process of adopting Robyn’s three children from her first marriage. Sadly, Robyn’s first husband rarely saw the children and paid nothing for their support.
Meanwhile, Kody embraces and supports Aurora, Breanna and Dayton, and they long to call him their dad in every sense of the word. As Dayton, 15, explains it: “I’ve always felt like I’m part of the family and I want to be with dad [Kody] even closer. My mom loved him and I love him, too. I feel happy to be around him.” Aww! Finally, the big day in court arrives and Kody and the sister wives are freaking out with fear.
Kody worries that the judge will give a thumbs-down on the Brown family’s polygamist marriages. “I’m worried that plural marriage is something [the judge] won’t get over,” he admits. If the judge denies the adoption, it will be a heartbreaking blow, especially to Robyn and her children. The whole family has been agonizing over the fact that if Robyn were to pass away for any reason, Kody and the other wives would have no legal rights to care for her children and they would be returned to their deadbeat dad.
Now, on the day before court, little Breanna worries that “the judge will be mean to me”. When the big date arrives, all 17 Brown children, dressed in their Sunday best, fill the courtroom, with Robyn’s children in the front row smiling nervously, hope spread clearly across their sweet faces. Whether the judge truly understands that these are all of Kody’s kids and his three other wives, is unclear. But Robyn looks like she is about to plotz when the judge asks a few basic questions.
Then, without any more fuss, he okays the adoption with a simple “Congratulations”, and everyone in the family bursts into tears. (That’s when my husband’s waterworks started, too.) And it was a beautiful moment, especially for Meri, whose selfless act of love — divorcing Kody — had paid off for the three children, who would now have a secure life. “This is what it was all about — it was all about the kids. It’s not about me. It was definitely worth it,” reflects Meri. Meanwhile, Aurora is in tears and Breanna is gleeful: “We’re officially ‘Brownese’!”
In other episode news, Madison is also gleeful. After giving Kody a minor heart attack — “you’re going to be a grandpa” — she tells him jokingly after asking to have a sitdown, she breaks the real big news: she’s in love. “There’s a guy and we’re pretty serious,” she reveals. Plus, the best news for the Browns is that they know and like the guy, Caleb Brush. It turns out that Caleb is the brother of Erica, who was Kody’s late brother Curtis‘ wife. Got that?
No, it’s not incest, or as an elated Christine put it, “this isn’t some weird second-cousin marriage thing”. Sadly, Kody’s brother passed away tragically two years ago in a motorcycle accident, and Madison met Caleb at the hospital. Love eventually bloomed and now Madison says that her romance is “serious, serious, serious” and headed for marriage. All the wives give the match the Brown family seal of approval: “He’s a good guy and that’s a good family,” enthuses Robyn. Now, it’s unclear whether Caleb plans to practice polygamy, but Madison has always been adamant that she would have no interest in sharing her husband, so we can assume that he’s a member of their religious sect who will nevertheless be a one-woman man. All in all, a stellar week for the Brown family!
Are you psyched, Hollywoodlifers, that the Browns were able to adopt Dayton, Aurora and Breanna? Let me know.
— Bonnie Fuller