Sunny was enraged when she learned her mom, Carolyn, was adopting Sunny’s 36-year-old ex-boyfriend, Chris, and begged her to not go through with the process. Carolyn says she always wanted a son and was over-the-moon when she finally adopted Chris. She says no parent has to ask their child for permission to have more children, so why should she need Sunny’s approval to adopt Chris?
Sunny dated Chris in college for a year and half, and when they broke up, he maintained a relationship with Sunny's mother, Carolyn, even living at her home for a period of time. When Carolyn went through a divorce, she says Chris was there for her. "Chris played a huge part in my life for the last 17 years," she reveals.
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Sunny says the adoption has driven a wedge between her and her mother. "I felt devastated, hurt. I was very upset and emotional," she shares. "I am her daughter. I should come first ... I feel like she's chosen Chris over me."
Chris, a married father of three, says Carolyn has been there for him since he was 17, when he says his biological parents asked him to leave home after he joined a church. "Carolyn is my mom," he says. “I felt a ton of different emotions when I was finally adopted. I cried. I felt accepted, loved." He adds that Sunny doesn’t understand the adoption. "She’s projecting other problems that she does have with her mother and using the adoption as a focal point to place her anger. She thinks that by hurting her mother, that might give her some satisfaction.”
Why did Carolyn adopt Chris?
Is Chris concerned about Sunny's feelings?
What does Sunny want from her mother?
Chris is not the only grown man whom Carolyn thinks of like a son. Brian, his wife and their children are currently living with Carolyn, while he goes to school. Does Brian also want to be adopted?
Rebuilding Their Bond
After more than six months of not speaking to her mom, can Sunny move past her feelings of
betrayal? And can Dr. Phil help mother and daughter mend their broken bond?
"You don’t seem to have much care or compassion."
"For you to think your mother loves you any less is unfair to you and to her.”
Sunny was five months pregnant when she learned about the adoption, and has since given birth to a baby boy. Carolyn finally meets her newest grandson.