A British-American bluestocking living in the UK writes about politics, pop culture, and emerging new paradigms as they unfold on both sides of the Atlantic. (New content.)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

New Baby at the Furnish-John's!

Sir Elton John and his partner, David Furnish found a Christmas present under the tree....in the form of a new baby boy. The baby,  named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John,  was born in Los Angeles, California to a surrogate mother on Christmas Day. And could he have had any other name than Levon? No of course not...as the lyrics to the famous song state: "He was born a pauper to a pawn on Christmas Day." Perfect timing? Coinicidence? Divine intervention? Leave it to Sir Elton to choreograph things perfectly.

"We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment," US Weekly quoted the pair as saying. "Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents."

The birth came almost a year and a half after Sir Elton was denied the adoption of a Ukrainian boy that he had stolen his heart when visiting an orphanage in that country. It was reported at that time that the singer was devastated. Apparently, Ukrainian law does not allow homosexuals to adopt nor does it allow the age gap between child and parent to be more than 45 years. Sir Elton is 63 and Furnish is 47. It is reported that Sir Elton has continued to support the orphanage in finding a family to adopt the little boy.

There has been controversy  over the adoption. And not because the couple is homosexual. One of the greatest objections came from Andrew Pierce and Amanda Platell in scathing editorials in a leading UK newspaper. Both argued that the couple simply were simply indulging another fantasy without really thinking of the consequences and thinking of the child long-term. Pierce wrote:  "I have two very good male friends who are in a civil partnership and have adopted a little girl. They will make wonderful parents not least because they are absolutely ­committed to each other, but also because one of them has given up his job to be a full-time parent." He continued: "And it is the nagging suspicion that Elton — a man who is by nature an obsessive — has simply acquired a son to satisfy his latest fixation that I find repellent." And Amanda Platell had registered similar invectives when he had attempted to adopt the Ukrainian child.  They are entitled to their opinions but they are based on an old paradigm.

What's interesting to me is the assumption that becoming a parent doesn't intrinsically change you on some level. I don't believe for one moment that Sir Elton is going to think of his child as his "new acquisition" and then tire of it and leave it on a shelf somewhere for a string of nannies to tend. I have no doubt that there were a lot of late night conversations on this subject at the Furnish-John household. It wasn't something that was entered into lightly. Even the free-spending (his self-view) Sir Elton is not foolish enough to know that deciding to adopt a baby isn't just another "fad". He isn't that ridiculous or heartless.

Instead of looking at this as Sir Elton "at it again" and indulging a whim, I think that we are witnessing Sir Elton finally going through a life passage that is perhaps signalling the end of his old life of self first and the desire to nurture and care for another human being. While he has been incredibly generous throughout the years to charity and given so much...perhaps he wanted to give of himself now...and giving to a child is the one sure way that you learn to forget about yourself.  You have no other choice, really. That human being is wholly dependent on you to care for it. And remember that Sir Elton is not alone. He is joined by his partner who is known for his level-headedness (a perfect foil and opposite to Sir Elton) and both of them have been together for a long time. I was privy to an interview that Sir Elton gave to Piers Morgan a few days before the birth story broke. (Piers had no idea of the impending birth/adoption and Sir Elton never said a word about it.) It was touching to hear how much he loved David and how much David meant to him. There is probably more love in that marriage than most. And love is what a child...any child...needs most of all.

And as for the little Mr. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John (little boy with incredibly American sounding names)...the future is so bright...you will have to wear shades.

Ain't it grand that daddy has a couple of thousand giant colorful pairs for you to use?

"And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man..."
(from "Levon"--Madman Across the Water--Elton John/Bernie Taupin)

January 9, 2011 Update:

The singer is said to have chosen Scottish-educated magazine editor Ingrid Sischy and her lesbian partner, Sandy Brant as godparents. Sischy and Brant are old friends of Sir Elton and Brant (who was previously married to billionaire Peter Brant with whom she had five children) is also a friend of Prince Charles.