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Sandra Bullock Reveals The “Judgement” She Experienced When She Adopted Her Two Children

Plus, why she owes "everything" to her kids.

Sandra Bullock usually keeps her private life under wraps, but every so often, she makes an exception—this week posed the perfect opportunity for that.

Sitting down with Willow Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith on famed Facebook talkshow Red Table Talk, the 57-year-old spoke candidly about motherhood and adopting her two children—a topic she rarely touches in media interviews. 

While discussing her new film The Unforgivable, which follows a woman who has to adapt to society after serving 20 years behind bars, Sandra opened up about some of the difficult themes it addresses and how she hopes it will spark more open conversations around foster care and adoption. 

Bullock herself adopted two children, her eldest son Louis when he was three months old (he’s now 11) and her daughter Laia (now nine), who went through three different foster carers before Sandra adopted her when she was three-years-old. 

The Oscar winner described the difficulties that lie in the adoption process, and how she felt when she was doing it herself: “When I first went through the process myself, you have to prove that you are a capable parent and you’re in the judgment cage. I got halfway through it and I said, ‘I can’t do this.’ It was an out of body experience.”

sandra-bullock
(Credit: Red Table Talk)

She added that the process was “incredibly hard” and that, “People don’t know about it because it’s a difficult thing to talk about.” 

She elaborated on how she also had to help her children process the trauma from their pasts, particularly Laila’s, telling the hosts that she’d sometimes find her daughter hiding in the closet fully clothed, prepared to leave at any given time. 

“She’s always telling me she’s leaving,” Bullock explained.

“Sometimes it was hilarious, because she was just all power and she says, ‘I’m leaving you’ and I was like, ‘Okay, well, I’m going to be right behind you. So just know you can leave, but I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.'”

The actor also spoke of her children’s skin colour, both of whom are black. She explained that she tries to talk to her children about systemic racism, which is something that continues to distress her. 

“To say that I wish our skins matched, sometimes I do,” the actor admitted. “Because then it would be easier on how people approach us. And I have the same feelings as a woman with brown skin being her babies or a white woman with white babies.”

Willow chimed in: “It’s the mother-child dynamic. There is no colour.”

To which Bullock replied: “Maybe one day that will go away. Maybe one day we will be able to see with different eyes.”

The Blind Side star also discussed how she’s battled some of her personal demons in response to some of the confronting events she’s experienced over the years, including a break-in at her house and being bitten by a poisonous spider. 

The events led her to a dark place, telling Jada and Willow she had thought: “If I don’t pull it together, I’m gonna die.” 

But ultimately, her children gave her the strength to pull through. 

“It was my children who showed me that unless I pull it together right now, I’m not gonna be around to have the moments that I want to have,” she explained, adding: “I learned to ask for help, I’m not good at asking for help, it’s not how I was raised. I had to ask for help. I’m still not great at it, but I’m getting better.” 

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