National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on …Angelina Jolie.

Oh, mother…

Angelina Jolie; born Angelina Jolie Voight, June 4, 1975) is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and has been cited as Hollywood’s highest-paid actress. Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982). Her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), followed by her first leading role in a major film, Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999).

Jolie’s starring role as the video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) established her as a leading Hollywood actress. She continued her successful action-star career with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), and Salt (2010), and received critical acclaim for her performances in the dramas A Mighty Heart (2007) and Changeling (2008), which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Her biggest commercial success came with the fantasy picture Maleficent (2014). In the 2010s, Jolie expanded her career into directing, screenwriting, and producing, with In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), Unbroken (2014), By the Sea (2015), and First They Killed My Father (2017).

In addition to her film career, Jolie is noted for her humanitarian efforts, for which she has received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and an honorary damehood of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), among other honors. She promotes various causes, including conservation, education, and women’s rights, and is most noted for her advocacy on behalf of refugees as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As a public figure, Jolie has been cited as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. For a number of years, she was cited as the world’s most beautiful woman by various media outlets, and her personal life is the subject of wide publicity. Divorced from actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, she separated from her third husband, actor Brad Pitt, in September 2016. They have six children together, three of whom were adopted internationally.

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Angelina-Jolie-and-kidsOn March 10, 2002, Jolie adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan, from an orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia. He was born as Rath Vibol on August 5, 2001, in a local village. After twice visiting Cambodia, while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and on a UNHCR field mission, Jolie returned in November 2001 with her husband, Billy Bob Thornton, where they met Maddox and subsequently applied to adopt him. The adoption process was halted the following month when the U.S. government banned adoptions from Cambodia amid allegations of child trafficking. Although Jolie’s adoption facilitator was later convicted of visa fraud and money laundering, her adoption of Maddox was deemed lawful. Once the process was finalized, she took custody of him in Namibia, where she was filming Beyond Borders (2003). Jolie and Thornton announced the adoption together, but she adopted Maddox alone, and raised him as a single parent following their separation three months later.

Jolie adopted a daughter, six-month-old Zahara Marley, from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 6, 2005. Zahara was born as Yemsrach on January 8, 2005, in Awasa. Jolie initially believed Zahara to be an AIDS orphan, based on official testimony from her grandmother, but her birth mother later came forward in the media. She explained that she had abandoned her family when Zahara became sick, and said she thought Zahara was “very fortunate” to have been adopted by Jolie. Jolie was accompanied by her partner, Brad Pitt, when she traveled to Ethiopia to take custody of Zahara. She later indicated that they had together made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia, having first visited the country earlier that year. After Pitt announced his intention to adopt her children, she filed a petition to legally change their surname from Jolie to Jolie-Pitt, which was granted on January 19, 2006. Pitt adopted Maddox and Zahara soon after.

On March 15, 2007, Jolie adopted a son, three-year-old Pax Thien, from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was born as Pham Quang Sang on November 29, 2003, in HCMC, where he was abandoned by his biological mother soon after birth. After visiting the orphanage with Pitt in November 2006, Jolie applied for adoption as a single parent, because Vietnam’s adoption regulations do not allow unmarried couples to co-adopt. After their return to the U.S., she petitioned the court to change her son’s surname from Jolie to Jolie-Pitt, which was approved on May 31. Pitt subsequently adopted Pax on February 21, 2008.

Jolie is also the mother of three children born to her: Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, female, born May 27, 2006 (age 12), in Swakopmund, Namibia; Knox Léon Jolie-Pitt, male, born July 12, 2008 (age 10), in Nice, France; and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, female, born July 12, 2008 (age 10), in Nice, France.

 

Jolie’s adopted children

Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt

male, born August 5, 2001 (age 17), in Cambodia

adopted March 10, 2002, by Jolie

adopted early 2006 by Pitt

 

Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt

male, born November 29, 2003 (age 14), in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

adopted March 15, 2007, by Jolie

adopted February 21, 2008, by Pitt

 

Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt

female, born January 8, 2005 (age 13), in Awasa, Ethiopia

adopted July 6, 2005 by Jolie

adopted early 2006 by Pitt

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt

female, born May 27, 2006 (age 12), in Swakopmund, Namibia

***

frontcover“Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and how Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped” leads a couple through their days of infertility treatments and adoption. It is told with gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) humor from the perspective of a nerdy father and his loving and understanding wife.

Join Mike and Esther as they go through IUIs and IFVs, as they search for an adoption agency, are selected by a birth mother, prepare their house, prepare their family, prepare themselves and wait for their daughter to be born a thousand miles from home.

WINNER: 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Finalist, Non-Fiction Humor

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2015 New York Book Festival!

WINNER: Honorable Mention, 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival

Abby’s Road is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Smashwords.

 

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

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