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Angelina Jolie is the mother of six children, three of whom she adopted. In a new interview with Vogue India, Jolie got candid about the adoption process, and how she honors the heritage of each of her kids.
Speaking about how she came to adopt her eldest child, Maddox, Jolie explained, "Cambodia was the country that made me aware of refugees. It made me engage in foreign affairs in a way I never had, and join UNHCR. Above all, it made me a mom."
"In 2001, I was in a school programme in Samlout playing blocks on the floor with a little kid and as clear as day I thought: 'My son is here,'" she revealed. "A few months later I met baby Mad at an orphanage. I can’t explain it and am not one to believe in messages or superstition. But it was just real and clear."
After adopting Maddox in 2002, Jolie adopted daughter Zahara in 2005, and son Pax in 2007. Jolie also welcomed three children with ex-husband Brad Pitt—Shiloh in 2006, and twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline in 2008.
Of adopting her children, Jolie told the publication, "Each is a beautiful way of becoming family. What is important is to speak with openness about all of it and to share. ‘Adoption’ and ‘orphanage’ are positive words in our home. With my adopted children, I can’t speak of pregnancy, but I speak with much detail and love about the journey to find them and what it was like to look in their eyes for the first time."
"All adopted children come with a beautiful mystery of a world that is meeting yours," Jolie said. "When they are from another race and foreign land, that mystery, that gift, is so full. For them, they must never lose touch with where they came from. They have roots that you do not. Honour them. Learn from them. It’s the most amazing journey to share. They are not entering your world, you are entering each other’s worlds."
The actress beautifully explained, "I am very blessed to have been allowed to be their mom. I am grateful every day."
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