Photo courtesy of OWN
Raising Whitley has followed actress and comedian Kym Whitley as she brings up her adopted son Joshua as a single mother. In Season 1, Kym became a mother when a young girl she was mentoring left her new born baby at the hospital with the actress’ name and phone number. Kym had to decide immediately if she would change her life forever and bring this baby into her world.
Through the seasons Kym has raised Joshua, or as the title implies, Joshes has raised Whitley, with the help of what she calls her Village. This includes her romantic entanglement with Rodney, the closest thing Joshua has to a father figure. Season 4 of Raising Whitley premieres on Saturday and it promises lots of laughs and life lessons along the way.
At a recent Own press event, Kym revealed that in the first episode of the season, she tells Joshua, who is now in pre-school, that he is adopted. She said the decision to show the discussion on the show was not a difficult one.
She divulged that she sometimes uses the show as a catalyst to have difficult conversations. “It forces me to do things that are uncomfortable,” she stated. “Sometimes I don’t want to do certain things. I don’t want to have conflict with Rodney, or discuss things. But the show forces me to put my big girl panties on and do things I normally wouldn’t want to do.”
Kym explained that her main motivation for doing the series is to help other single parents like herself. This was precisely her reasoning behind telling Joshua he was adopted in the public eye. She said, “I’m hoping that by telling Joshua he’s adopted at an early age that it will show other parents, don’t wait until they’re 13 and 14 where they can be angry. If they hear the word adopted from the day they’re born just like they hear mommy and daddy and any other word in the house, it’s not foreign to them.”
Kym has been an inspiration to other mothers out there. She revealed that the very morning of the event, she got a Facebook message from a mother who saw the trailer for the new season and told her, “My son is 7. And I feel like I can now tell him he’s adopted.”
According to the actress, that fact that she has helped single mothers gives her a great sense of accomplishment. “It’s been a huge, demographic and it’s getting larger. I didn’t even know it was this big… I’ve talked to a lot of single mothers about building the Village. It’s really just about their support system. It’s not literally a village. But a lot of single mothers think that they can do it themselves. And they don’t have to. They just need to open their mouths and ask.” She added, “So I have found comfort in that I have done good work.”
Raising Whitley Season 4 premieres on Saturday, November 21 at 10 P.M. EST/PST on OWN.