Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie inspire Jamie Oliver to adopt

Jamie Oliver has admitted he has been inspired to consider adopting a child, after seeing the “loving family environment” created by Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

By Lucy Cockcroft
Last Updated: 7:11AM BST 16 Sep 2008

The celebrity chef has spoken of his wish to have a son and said he would be prepared to adopt to give his daughters Poppy, six, and Daisy, five, a brother.

Mr Oliver, 33, said: “I live at home with three girls and I need a bit of testosterone.

“If I can’t produce a boy I will have to adopt one. I would consider it.

“We have two beautiful, healthy girls and we cherish them. But I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t be great to have a boy.”

Mr Oliver said he and wife Jools, 34, admire their A-list friends Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for their “humbling” decision to adopt.

The pair have three adopted children, Maddox, Pax, and Zahara, as well as three biological children, including newborn twins Knox, and Vivienne, and daughter Shiloh.

The couples have met before, and Mr Oliver cooked for Mr Pitt on a visit to England some years ago.

Mr Oliver said: “Adoption is such a selfless act and they have a lovely family environment. It’s humbling and beautiful to see.

“Jools would like to have another child but there are so many vulnerable orphans out there. Jools and I need to sit down and have a very serious conversation about it.”


A recipe for disaster

After my amother had a son (and subsequent hysterectomy), she decided what she really wanted was a daughter. 

A few years later, thanks to a private adoption agency in Canada, she got what she wanted.  I was chosen to be the white baby-girl that could pass as her-own.

Looking back, I see how much she needed me to reflect her perfect image of motherhood, childhood and family... and you know what?  I got hurt in ways I still cannot bring myself to discuss.

I am NOT one of those people who thinks adoption is a selfless act.  I believe it is just that:  An Act -- an act that still hurts very vulnerable children.

I have to agree...

That's the way it turned out in our family, too.  They were acts by people who had the money and the ?desire? for a
family.  But without having had a family, what was it I really wanted?  You can't "make" a family.  The Bible says,
"For it is God Who puts the unity in families." 
There is something lacking in an adopted family.  Something that can not be manufactured or willed into being.  I
gave all that I knew love to be... and they gave even more.  Yet, the burdens of the past proved to be too much to
handle and we all lost.
Is there happiness, now?  Yes, there is; but what could have been will never be known for any of us.  I strive to
bring happiness into our lives by being committed to what is left, and I know the others do, too.  We have seen
the worst and now long for better. 
It takes every single person in a family to find better:   babies are babies; children are children, but those
of us who have come through the fire are conquerors!  We face the horror that adoption was and seek the peace in each other; we know, we understand, and we are going forward.
We stand, together, waiting, ever vigilant of what more could be taken, and not allowing it to happen.  It hasn't
killed us, and yes, we are stronger.  We are the ones who are going to make it; beat the odds that adoption destroys
and continually hurts vulnerable children. 
I just want others to know that it can be done:  take what is given and mold it into something worth having.  We are
all worth being loved.  We are all lovable.  There is love.

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom

More on Acts and Performances

One of the things I hate MOST about people pontificating the virtues of "orphan saving" is this notion that each person is somewhere within the grateful spectrum of feelings simply because each has been given a new opportunity at life.

PAP's suffering from infertility are given "new life" via the adopted child.

A poor orphan child is given "new life" via opportunity provided by people and money.

First-families (as opposed to dead parents) are given "new-life" because the responsibility of parenting has been removed and replaced by those following the law.

With so much to be grateful about, it's easy to see how many tend to forget the sort of things the breeding grounds of opportunity can also bring.

With new-life comes new opportunities and chances, and some of these changes are not nearly as sweet and peachy as the adoption industry likes to sell them.  There are risks being taken, and it is the adopted child - not the adopting adults - who suffer most.

Adoption brought me many "chance opportunities" I wish I did not have to endure, and the truth is, I would have gladly traded AP's if I could have been promised "better".  First on my list of gripes I can't "get over" are the years of secret sexual molestation and various other abuses brought to me by various "friends" and "family" chosen for me by strangers on a mission.  In my case abuse did not take place before I was placed for adoption.  Neglect took place in foster-care and stronger types of abuse took place years AFTER final placement.

Adoption brought my AP's an opportunity to turn something very bad into something good, but instead they took a chance and turned their backs in disappointment and frustration, leaving me as the daughter no one wanted to have.

Adoption brought new opportunities for sibling rivalry to be explored, and I can't help but think many of these problems went well beyond anything that could be seen or explained as "normal" or "typical".  I can only describe what happened behind closed doors as being something akin to parental jealousy, with my Amother being the worst of all cases.

Adoption brought rage and loss in ways few people can prepare for, and these are matters NOT being discussed at the dinner table, especially when adopted children or PAP's are present. 

There is very much an element of SELFISHNESS involved in adoption, and I think it's time this side of adoption-discussions becomes more open and honest.


Tell me more...

"I can only describe what happened behind closed doors as being something akin to parental jealousy, with my Amother being the worst of all cases."

You know I want to know more...  I try to put myself in your description and see if I was the way you describe your Amother.
I've never heard this before and need to know more about it, please.

"the years of secret sexual molestation..."

This is very personal but I do want to know more about how it was kept secret?

"There is very much an element of SELFISHNESS involved in adoption..."

This I can understand, how hard it is for you to bear that people used you in such a way to please themselves and
then weren't!   Did they deny you "things?"  I know they denied you the most important things like: love, nurturing, and
themselves, but material things?

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom

Parental Jealousy (and all that went with it)

I saw many ways my Amother was jealous, and as I got older I saw more and more  how her insecurities ruled her half-played roles as wife, mother, daughter and friend.  So many of  her weaknesses, resentments and deeply-kept secrets spilled-down to hurt me and my relationship with her son, my non-related brother.  The worst part is knowing how much her ego was hurting me, and how little she cared to change certain situations.  God forbid my emotional well-being came before her own.

As far as being deprived "things", on paper they made sure I was given "everything a little girl could wish for".  In many ways, my life became very one-dimensional,  because all that was done "for me" was actually done to make them feel praised  and respected.  After all, only the best parents provide the best for a child with such obvious natural talent.  My skills in learning became my most hated burden and my ability to please became my greatest  grief.

A job-well done was their reward, and I grew sick of the image they needed me to portray.  Just once I wished someone could see me for who I was dying inside.  For once I wanted someone to see the choking sobs behind the many fake and forced smiles.


couldn't forget...

You asked how the molestation was kept secret?

Easy... I feared telling. I feared getting hurt by those I would get in trouble... and most of all I feared upsetting an already emotionally fragile woman.  The worst thing anyone could do was get her upset.  I still cringe how we all had to keep her protected from stress and anger.  Of all the things that happened in that house, having to walk on eggshells and keeping her as happy/comfortable (or I should say 'less miserable') as possible is what I learned to resent the most.


walking on eggshells

I recognize having to walk on eggshells not to upset my adoptive mother, something I truely hated. As if it weren't enough my a-mother was so friggin' unstable, my a-father did everything to maintain the situation, always getting at her defence, even when she was completely wrong and out of line. Those two had the most horrible marriage, although everything looked peachy on the outside.

My assigned role in the madness

I grew-up in a very traditional Italian family where "The Oldest Daughter" was expected to fulfill all the roles and duties the mother could not do alone.  I hated that my adad made her my responsibility.... and yet I could totally understand why he and my brother always wanted to flee the house of doom.  All one had to do was ask her "How was your day?", and the sigh in her eternal victim-voice screamed:  "RUN and don't look back!"

Because of her, and her unwillingness to get past her past, we all developed the-rolling-eye-response when she became sick or complained she wasn't feeling well.   

Because of her and her always-changing moods, my usual fun-loving dad was miserable and full of his own complaints.

Because of both of them, that house became a prison that would not let any fun or happiness survive without some crisis putting everything back to it's unhappy state.  Nothing pleased her... nothing but the act of "pleasing her" itself, and in time I  finally began to see the pattern that she needed to develop for herself:  as long as there was a crisis, she would get attention.  Ironically, since everything became a crisis, no one in our house wanted to be around her or give her the attention she believed she deserved.... it was just far too draining.

I remember when I was in high-school, I asked my dad if he every thought about divorcing the woman  who kept him and me lonely and miserable.  He said "no, I love her". 

That's when I knew love was really fucked-up... my mother got rid of me because I was loved, and yet my afather would live in angry misery because of love.   What in the world did that all mean?!?  For the longest time I didn't know what to think...I simply began to fear love because nothing good could come from it.

Since I became a mom, I learned love requires sacrifice, and I believe far too many people make the wrong sacrifices for the wrong reasons.  Over the years I also learned in some families, shared secrets are the gluey pieces that keeps family loyalty together.  These are the issues I'm now trying to work on and figure-out.

Pound Pup Legacy