Some people say that adopting babies is a new trend in Hollywood. Stars like Angelina Jolie, Willie Robertson, Rosie O’Donnell, Jamie Lee Curtis and more are known to have created their families through adoption. The types of adoption these celebrities chose are diverse. Some chose international adoption from countries like South Korea, China, and several countries in Africa. Others opt for domestic adoption whether through private agencies or foster care. There are some celebrities who have adopted older children from the foster care system. Two of these celebrities are Nia Vardalos and Willie Garcon.
Nia Vardalos stars in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. According to the magazine Adoptive Families, she tried many options before deciding on foster care. Eventually in 2008, she was united with her toddler-age child and adopted her within the year. Willie Garcon, who plays in “Sex in the City” and “White Collar”, adopted his eight-year-old son from the foster care system in 2009 as a single dad.
While details of their own personal struggles with the children’s transition period are not public information (nor should it be), both Vardalos and Garson likely had to deal with children who were already fairly established in their personalities. The two children almost certainly had a few of their own “ways” set in place before finding their forever home. It’s possible that they even called other people Mom or Dad.
Fairy Tale Ending
When you read their stories, it’s hard not to see it as a fairy tale. It has the sentimental feeling of Little Orphan Annie and Mr. Warbucks tap dancing as they sing “Together at Last” and live happily ever after. There is nothing wrong with being happy that parent and child are united forever, but we should never forget what it took to get them there.
The Pain of Adoption
Every adoption has some form of pain involved. One family has to be destroyed before adoption can take place. Adoption doesn’t cause this breakup, but it does depend on it. As the mother of a beautiful girl who happened to spend way too much time in foster care, the seemingly fairy tale endings of celebrity adoptions don’t fool me. I know there is more to the story than what I read. I know that, when they say with a loving twinkle in their eye that there were some rough patches during transition, they aren’t just participating in some fleeting trend.
More than a Trend
By adopting older foster children, Garcon and Vardalos make plain what has always been true. Even if it seems like adoption is only a trend to celebrities, it is much more than that. Adoption is signing up to love and protect the child, for better or worse, for the rest of their life. Adopted children are not fashion accessories. They are little humans who have been through terrible heartbreak and need real, committed relationships with loving support.
I know that these two celebrities didn’t start a new trend. But, by their example, I hope and pray more people will have a heart change and decide to center their lives on a child who needs a forever family.