Monday, May 15, 2017

Sabrina's Life Continues to Implode on "Return to Amish" -- Fortunately, Her Gay Best Friend Matt Is There to Support Her!

I've really gotten sucked into the latest season of "Return to Amish" on TLC this month. Most of the season has circled around Abe, Rebecca, Jeremiah, Carmela, and Mary. Kate -- arguably the most stable and successful of the original "Breaking Amish"/"Return to Amish" bunch -- finally left the franchise this season.

And then there is Sabrina all by herself.

The others are raising their families and building houses and teaching each other to drive. Meanwhile, Sabrina is back in Pennsylvania fighting the state to retain her parental rights over her young daughter and her unborn baby. Sabrina is barely an afterthought to most of the rest of the cast -- except for Mary. Otherwise, she's pretty much on her own.

Fortunately, TLC decided to re-introduce Matthew to the "Return to Amish" franchise. Matthew was a cast member for one season during the "Breaking Amish: LA" spin-off series. He was conveniently invited to Mary's tupperwear party last week and reunited with childhood friend and fellow fallen Mennonite, Sabrina. He finally came out as a gay man after years of struggle.

At the time, I thought that it would be nice if Matthew was brought into the fold full-time. Or at least regularly. And it looks like someone else had the same idea. Matt spent some time again with Sabrina this week, making her some special Mennonite spaghetti and listening to her tales of woe. And woe is me! Sabrina's life is heart-breaking right now!

Sadly, Sabrina learned that her parental rights over daughter Oakley were officially terminated. She made some really bad choices early in Oakley's life, which led to her daughter being placed in foster care. She stabilized enough to regain custody of her daughter, but then made some no-so-bad choices while caring for Oakley. Unfortunately, her choices were being overly scrutinized by this point in their lives and Oakley was returned to foster care. She struggled to regain custody of her daughter, but it was too late.

Now Sabrina is pregnant and doing her best to prevent DCFS from taking her unborn baby from her as soon as the child is born. Her original place was to do a home birth, but the pregnancy was too high risk to risk delivering outside of a hospital. Now there is a strong chance that the hospital will notify DCFS social workers of the baby as soon as Sabrina gives birth and the child will be removed from her care and parental rights immediately terminated.

Matthew did a good job of listening to Sabrina's struggle and offering support -- even though it was clear that he was struggling with what to say. But he did okay. Sometimes you just gotta say something like, "I don't know how to respond, but I just appreciate you trusting me enough to share," y'know?

He did encourage Sabrina to keep fighting for her unborn child and even offered to rally behind her along with her other friends. But Sabrina's main goal right now is to get her parents to agree to adopting to the baby. She would rather the baby be raised in the stability of the Mennonite community as opposed to the instability of the English world.

That was the interesting thing. Both Sabrina and Matt gushed about life as Mennonites, but they both rejected that life for themselves and neither is allowed to return. Sabrina because she got divorced and Matt because he's gay. But they both say that they prefer that life to the English world.

Sabrina said that life has been a mess since leaving the Mennonites to become English. And it's true that she's led a horrible life: Drug addiction, homelessness, loss of her children. disrupted marriage. But that spun out of a series of bad decisions that Sabrina made when she was in her early 20s. It's too bad that she blames the world for her own choices.

Anyway, Matthew took off after the spaghetti was made and hasn't been seen since. It looks like Mary will be hosting a baby shower next week and it looks like some of the other "Return to Amish" folks will be attending. Maybe Matt will get introduced to the group to further cement his presence on the show?

One can only hope!

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