When Murs met his future wife Kate in 2009, the pair soon discussed a topic near to Kate’s heart: adoption. The pair has now adopted two children.
On October 23, 2012, Murs and his wife adopted their first son, Bishop Carter. He was only a few days old at the time. On June 5, the couple will welcome its second adopted child to their family, 15-year-old Alabama native Eddie.
Even though Murs and Kate are able to have their own children, they still felt a need to adopt. “We adopted because we wanted to help change someone’s life,” he says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “We both know kids in the foster system and it’s not the best place for a child to be raised. I hope I inspire more people to adopt. Hopefully some of my peers will get involved. Shout out to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ’cause they were definitely inspirations for me. Jane Fonda adopted a black girl when [the girl] was 16 or 17. There are a lot of people, but I want more of the Hip Hop generation whether they own a clothing label or deejay or b-boy [to know] you can change someone’s life as parents, especially in the conscious realm. I hope I can encourage a few people to do the same…that’s why I talk about it. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful.”
Kate, who has cousins who were adopted, had been wanting to adopt since she was a kid herself. She was moved by television commercials that said children could be helped by as little as $.30 a day. “I grew up extremely poor, but I thought even if they would be in our home it would be a thousand times better than their current condition,” Kate says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “It became something we were able to do now as an adult and then having four adopted cousins also showed me it was possible and something realistic. Just seeing how open adoptions work, I wanted that for myself.”
Murs also wanted something he saw in Kate’s family. “I love the way their family operates,” he says. “The first time I went to a holiday with them there was pictures of Asians, Native Americans, White people, Black people all for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I was like, ‘Who are all these people?’ ‘This is so-and-so’s parent. Then their birth father remarried and this is their daughter,’ and it just makes such a beautiful, for lack of a better word, eclectic family, such a rich experience with so many different personalities and cultures under one roof. I was all for it. I love kids. I also felt like I was financially blessed enough to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Murs and Kate commited to adopt during a 2010 volunteer trip they took to Ethiopia. They planned to adopt children from the African country and also made plans to adopt children in America, so when they were offered North Carolina native Bishop, they lept at the opportunity.
Being a father has given Murs newfound perspective. “Man, my respect for single parents is through the roof,” he says. “I always knew it was a daunting task and it’s a part of the reason why we wanted to adopt an older child. We didn’t wanna adopt a baby cause everybody wants a baby. There’s a lot of older kids in the system that need help, so we wanted to do it for that reason. Also, I knew babies were a lot of work. It’s a difficult but rewarding task. (He laughs.) I love my family. I love being a dad. I knew I always wanted to be a dad. I just didn’t know I would have two kids in six months, one 15 and one a baby.”
As he settles into fatherhood, Murs, whose The White Mandigos band is slated to release its debut album The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me June 11, isn’t sure how his new role will impact his music-making.
“I don’t know, man,” he says. “I have no idea. I’m sure I’ll have more stories about being a father and hopefully be making music that fathers and children can relate to more now since I’ll be around more children, but I feel like I don’t have to censor anything I have to say or change my direction now. I write pretty positive songs. There’s nothing I can’t show Eddie. There’s nothing I have to hide from him or be ashamed of. I think he fancies himself a bit of an artist, so I’m working with him to co-direct his craft and he helps me be refocused and better as well.”