Gerber recently announced its new spokesbaby for 2020. Little Magnolia Earl is a beautiful little girl—and the first adopted baby to win the title of Gerber Baby.
One look at her sweet face and you can see why Gerber chose her.
Gerber began its contest 10 years ago in response to the countless photos it receives every year from people who want to share images of their own “Gerber baby.” Now, each year, thousands of hopeful parents send in pictures of their beautiful babies hoping that theirs will be chosen as the next Gerber Baby. This year, Gerber received over 320,000 photos.
Many people may see this as just a beauty contest. Some may gloss over it as “fluff” news. And some may even dismiss it as irrelevant.
But when I read stories like this, I see something totally different. I see a forum for others to learn the value of babies of all kinds—regardless of race, ability, or position at birth or conception.
There’s a lesson to learn from stories like these. All babies are valued. All babies are loved by God and deserve love here on Earth.
And the more we tell stories like these, the more normal they become. People see beauty where they may not have seen it before. For instance, last year, Gerber chose a spokesbaby of Hmong descent. And, in 2018, Gerber chose a little boy with Down syndrome. Gerber is showing the world that beauty shines through in a smile, in twinkling eyes, and in an expression. In other words, beauty is inherent. It’s something inside all of us. It’s not something we are born with. It’s something we are created with.
The Earls understand this and want others to know the beauty of adoption and of every baby. In an interview, Magnolia’s mother, Courtney Earl, told Motherly: “Adoption is such a special part of the way our family was created. We look forward to the day when adoption and the incredible selflessness and bravery of birth parents is truly celebrated. They are the real heroes in our story.”
Heroes indeed. It takes true courage for a mother to give birth to her child and then gift that baby to a couple who longs for a baby to love and care for. The Greeks taught us of agape love—an unselfish love that gives of the self. Giving a child up for adoption or adopting a child is a perfect example of that love.
Stories like Magnolia’s normalize a selfless act, and that’s what we need in today’s world. Yes, selfless acts are laudable and should be praised. But they should not be rare. With every story that celebrates the love of a parent—adoptive or biological—we grow one step closer to the day when we will celebrate all babies, born and preborn.
We need more stories of love. We see many stories about organizations like Planned Parenthood killing babies and hurting mothers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Pregnant mothers who feel scared need to know that there are people out there willing to take their child and raise him/her as their own.
So when I look at Baby Magnolia’s face, I see love. I see hope. I see goodness. I see a birth mother who did one of the most unselfish things possible. And I see the possibility that a country so steeped in the culture of death will come to understand the value of life.