Charlize Theron is the mother of two adopted children, Jackson and August, whom she identifies as her “daughters” in interviews. Jackson and August are both African-American, and there’s always been some conversation about Charlize, a white woman from South African, adopting two black children on her own. In an interview with Sunday Life magazine (via the DM), Charlize talked (again) about being an adoptive mom and the misunderstandings about adoption.
On parenting: “Ultimately, I know that I’m a great mum when I’m in a good place. But there is such a stigma around the idea of [asking for] help, or not being able to do it all yourself, or do it perfectly. We have to destigmatize it and say there’s no shame in that game.”
On adoption, Charlize feels, is still misunderstood. She bristles, for instance, at the notion of adopters being seen as doing something “good”, as “saving” children, and at the idea that not looking like your child is somehow problematic. “I think babies pick us as much as we pick them, so the idea that those packages are going to look exactly like you is such a myth. I believe that. The children ultimately find you.”
A story about taking Jackson to a grocery store. As a multiracial family, Charlize and her children come in for some, at times, uncomfortable attention. “Someone was touching my kid’s hair in the supermarket. I mean, stop! You can’t do that. How would you feel if I walked up to you and did that? People have good intentions, but they say the worst things. It’s ignorance, a lack of knowledge. We have to start talking about it properly.”
Staying fit, she says, is a pleasure. “I’ve never been a couch potato – I love to do yoga for an hour and a half. Not moving is not good for my head. I dealt with depression for the whole shoot and afterwards, until my body kind of equalised itself.”
“I think babies pick us as much as we pick them…” I’ve heard other adoptive mothers say similar things, but I don’t know how much I believe that. It goes to the debate of nature vs. nurture and fate and what is “meant to be.” I don’t think babies are fated to be with a certain parent, just as I don’t believe babies are these clean slates whose personalities are entirely shaped by nurturing and environment. It’s a combination of everything, but I completely understand how Charlize feels like her kids were “meant to be” with her. As for people coming up to touch her kids’ hair… what is wrong with people? For the love of God.
Photos courtesy of WENN.