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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National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … the lovely and wonderful Diane Keaton!

Diane Keaton (née Hall; born January 5, 1946) is an American film actress, director, and producer. She began her career on stage and made her screen debut in 1970. Her first major film role was as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather (1972), but the films that shaped her early career were those with director and co-star Woody Allen, beginning with Play It Again, Sam in 1972. Her next two films with Allen, Sleeper (1973) and Love and Death (1975), established her as a comic actor. Her fourth, Annie Hall (1977), won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Keaton subsequently expanded her range to avoid becoming typecast as her Annie Hall persona. She became an accomplished dramatic performer, starring in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and received Academy Award nominations for Reds (1981), Marvin’s Room (1996) and Something’s Gotta Give (2003).

Some of her popular later films include Baby Boom (1987), Father of the Bride (1991), Father of the Bride Part II (1995), The First Wives Club (1996), and The Other Sister (2001), The Family Stone (2005). Keaton’s films have earned a cumulative gross of over US$1.1 billion in North America.[2] In addition to acting, she is also a photographer, real estate developer, author, and occasional singer.

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Keaton has two adopted children, daughter Dexter (adopted 1996) and son Duke (2001). jml9xVFO8uswAF2zHer father’s death made mortality more apparent to her, and she decided to become a mother at age 50.

“Adopting my son and daughter late in life – and single – had a transformative effect on me,” she explains. “I’m not doing what seems to be the normal route of being 71. I have a 16-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. They’re still forming in some way, so you have to stay really interested and energetic and open to new thoughts and ideas all the time because of them.

“The fact I never married makes me unusual and then to go and have a family on my own… I don’t think that a lot of people do that.

“At one stage Diane didn’t think she would either. Speaking recently she said: “I remember when I was about 40, somebody told me about someone who adopted a baby at 50 and I remember saying, ‘Well that’s just ridiculous!’ I feel like that was a lesson in itself. Don’t judge… just don’t judge, because here I am, having done something that I said was horrible, or wrong, or a mistake. You do these things and they change your life and attitudes.”

Thanks to Yours for the adoption quote. https://www.yours.co.uk/features/celebrity/articles/movie-star-diane-keaton-on-why-she-decided-to-adopt-in-her-50s

***

“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

National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … Burt Reynolds!

 

Burt Reynolds died earlier this year. Anyone who went to the movies in the 1970s saw him. His obituaries gave great tributes to his stratospherically successful films (Cannonball Run is a personal guilty pleasure) and most of them shamefully neglected his wonderful sitcom Evening Shade on CBS in the early 1990s …

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From Wikipedia:

Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) was an American actor, director and producer. He first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965), Hawk (1966), and Dan August (1970–1971).

His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role in a number of subsequent box office hits, such as The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).

After a few box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997)

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Reynolds adopted Quinton with his second wife, Loni Anderson, whom he was married to from 1988 to 1993. The adoption announcement was made in the The Palm Beach Post.

“It is true. They are waiting for the baby to be born,” Anderson’s publicist, Mickey Freeman, told the outlet at the time. “My understanding is that it could be any day,” Freeman added. Quinton was born at a California-area hospital in 1988.

quinton-anderson-reynolds-e1536264991665“He is my greatest achievement. He’s a wonderful young man and is now working as a camera assistant in Hollywood. He never asked for any help with his career, he did it all himself, and I’m so proud of him. I love him very much,” Reynolds told Closer Weekly in July before his death.

Not much is known about Quinton, who has been shielded from the mainstream media. He spent his very early years growing up in Florida, but moved to California with his mom, after her split from Reynolds. These days, Quinton calls California home.

 

Quinton doesn’t appear to have any public-facing social media accounts. When he was younger, he accompanied his dad on a few red carpets, as evidenced by the photo above.

Thank you Heavy.com for the article and information.   https://heavy.com/entertainment/2018/09/quinton-anderson-reynolds-burt-son/

***

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

National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … Madonna (the singer, c’mon … )

Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958. In 1981, she went solo as a pop singer. By 1991, she had achieved 21 Top 10 hits in the United States and sold more than 70 million albums internationally. In January 2008, she was named the world’s wealthiest female musician by Forbes magazine.

Her biggest hits include ‘Papa Don’t Preach,’ ‘Like a Prayer,’ ‘Vogue,’ ‘Secret’ and ‘Ray of Light,’ among many others.

For more information, go to Biography.com. https://www.biography.com/people/madonna-9394994

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On February 1, 2017 Madonna confirmed on Instagram she’s adopted orphaned twin girls from Malawi.

“I can officially confirm I have completed the process of adopting twin sisters from Malawi and am overjoyed that they are now part of our family,” she captioned a photo of herself holding hands with her daughters. “I am deeply grateful to all those in Malawi who helped make this possible, and I ask the media please to respect our privacy during this transitional time.”

The singer, 58, also expressed her gratitude to those who have supported her on this latest adoption journey. “Thank you also to my friends, family and my very large team for all your support and Love,” she added.

Although Madonna had initially called the girls Stella and Esther in a previous post, she has most recently referred to her daughters as Stelle and Estere.

Prior to this, Madonna was already mother to four children: Lourdes Leon, 20, and Rocco Ritchie, 16. Two other children, David Banda, 11, and Mercy James, 11, were also adopted from Malawi.

The singer has a long history with the people of Malawi: She adopted David and Mercy from the African country in 2006 and 2007, respectively. And she’s worked to fight against poverty amongst the nation’s orphaned children for more than a decade with her Raising Malawi charity. This year, the philanthropic group will build Malawi’s first pediatric surgery and intensive care unit, the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care.

Thank you People Magazine for the information. https://people.com/parents/madonna-adopts-twin-girls-malawi-breaks-silence/

Original article by MELODY CHIU and JEFF NELSON, February 08, 2017

rs_650x650-170819094212-650-madonna-children-081817

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“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

National Adoption Awareness Month Spotlight on … Jamie Lee Curtis!

It’s National Adoption Awareness Month!

curtis-jamie-lee

Jamie Lee Haden-Guest, Baroness Haden-Guest (née Curtis; born November 22, 1958) is an American actress, author, and activist. She made her film debut in 1978, starring as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s Halloween. The film established her as a “scream queen”, and she went on to appear in a string of horror movies throughout the early 1980s, including The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train (all 1980). She has reprised the role of Laurie in four sequels, including Halloween H20 (1998) and Halloween (2018).

Curtis has compiled a body of film work that spans many genres, including the cult comedies Trading Places (1983), for which she received a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, and A Fish Called Wanda (1988), for which she earned a (well-deserved) BAFTA nomination for Best Actress. She won a Golden Globe, an American Comedy Award and a Saturn Award for playing the role of Helen Tasker in James Cameron’s True Lies (1994). Curtis’ other films include Blue Steel (1990), My Girl (1991), Forever Young (1992), The Tailor of Panama (2001), and Freaky Friday (2003).

Curtis received a Golden Globe and a People’s Choice Award for her portrayal of Hannah Miller on the ABC sitcom, Anything But Love (1989–1992). She earned an Emmy Award nomination for her work in the television film Nicholas’ Gift (1998). She also starred as Cathy Munsch on Fox’s Scream Queens (2015–2016), for which she won her seventh Golden Globe nomination.

Curtis is a daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis.

She has written numerous acclaimed children’s books, with her 1998 release Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day making The New York Times’ best-seller list. She is also a frequent blogger for The Huffington Post. Curtis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.

jamie-lee-curtis-kids

Curtis married Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984. The couple have two adopted children (Annie, b. 1986; Thomas b. 1996)

***

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