Everyone looks at life with a different perspective; there are no right answers. People make choices in life and hopefully, take the right path for them when confronting a situation. For people who are ChildDrenched—drowning in the passionate need for a child — adoption can be a wonderful answer. For some, adoption is the answer to months or years of praying for a child. For others, adoption is a calling, as much of a calling as wanting to experience pregnancy and give birth.
This week, I became aware of two recent celebrity adoptions. Their stories resonated with me for different reasons. Actress Charlize Theron, age 36, appeared on Live with Kelly on June 1st to discuss her recent adoption of a black baby boy she named Jackson from an American orphanage last March. “I always knew I would adopt. Always,” she said. For her, adoption was a calling from when she was a child. “My mother found a letter I wrote 28 years ago. It said, ‘Would you please take me to an orphanage so that I can go and adopt a baby?'” Ms.Theron said she hopes the relationship she creates with her son mirrors the one she has with her mom. “[I hope] to be like my mom– fair, tough, loving and supportive. My mom has made it possible for me to be who I am. Our family is everything,” she explained.
Her story struck me because I too, always wanted to connect with my children the same way my mother connected with me. However, I was surprised to hear about her “calling” to be an adoptive mother from childhood. I looked toward adoption because I was ChildDrenched and unable to conceive my third child. Ms.Theron always intended to adopt, regardless of her fertility. Ms.Theron’s comments were honest, extremely revealing and I hope, helpful to others who may not view adoption as a viable solution, let alone a goal in life.
For other people, the adoption calling may happen later in life. In People Magazine dated June 4th, television personality Jillian Michaels talks about her recently adopted two-year-old daughter Lukensia from Haiti. It wasn’t until she was in her mid-30s that Michaels felt this calling. She said, “I felt the calling to adopt. There is something in you that can’t be denied. You just know in the deepest part of your being that you are meant to find this little soul and guide them through life.” Her story was closer to mine– adoption was not always in her life plan, but turned out to be one of the best things she ever did.
Ms. Michaels explains further, “The adoption process was not a simple or easy one. There were moments where I was starting to think it was not going to work out.” Michaels said the two-year wait was all worth it. “That moment of getting Lu out of Haiti and the wheels of the plane touching down in New York … she was an American citizen after two years,” Michaels recalled, tears welling in her eyes. “It was a heavy moment.” I too, remember those tough moments during my adoption process, as well as the joyous days after my daughter was born and when our plane landed in Seattle.
Over the years, many celebrity adoption stories have been told and I find it stunning how sincere many of these people are when it comes to their children. These adoption stories may not be as salacious as the romance gossip that often surrounds celebrities, but the emotions they emit are real and sometimes fascinating to people who may have taken the same path, or want to.
Finally, the actress Meg Ryan also struck me with her comments about her daughter Daisy True, adopted from China a few years ago. “I am convinced, completely convinced, that there was nothing random about [the adoption],” Ryan told Redbook in 2007. “She is the daughter I should have.” I loved the simplicity of her statement. I have always felt that my adopted daughter was meant for our family. Ms. Ryan’s comment validated that feeling even more. My daughter’s disposition and appearance are very similar to my mother’s but even more than that, she has fulfilled the lives of my husband and two sons in a way that reassures me that we chose the right path for us.
It is clear to me now that our adoption was meant to be and it saved me from feeling incomplete and ChildDrenched. It has been a privilege to be her mother and I am grateful for the luck, fate or divine intervention that brought our family together. I hope others, celebrity or not, continue their search, keep trying, and remain patient because someday, life may just offer up a wonderful gift.