Angelina Jolie’s enlarged family is no secret to anyone. The actress has created a loving and diverse family, with both her biological and adopted children. When it comes to her daughters, Shiloh and Zahara, Angelina has cultivated unique relationships with each of them, and, the reasons behind these distinct connections run deep in their individual childhoods and upbringing.
Zahara faced a challenging upbringing, grappling with serious health problems.
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While shooting Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, something clicked inside Angelina Jolie’s heart. It was like a lightning bolt of change that sparked a fire in her soul. That’s when she made a gutsy move that would alter her life forever: she decided to adopt a child all on her own. And that’s how Maddox Chivan entered the picture, becoming the very first kid she welcomed into her loving arms.
After a couple of years, Angelina made the decision to adopt another baby, and it was during that time that she crossed paths with Zahara. The moment they met, an immediate bond formed, and she quickly became an indispensable presence in Jolie’s life. In July 2005, Angelina officially adopted Zahara.
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She was immediately loved by everyone, especially by her older brother. “Mad loves her. When Z came home she was older, she was seven months old, so for Mad it’s like having this tiny pet he can just hold and look at. He’s great,” Angelina said.
However, there were quite a few difficulties at the beginning. Just hours after little Zahara set foot in her new home, something stirred deep within Angelina Jolie’s heart. The baby weighing a mere 9 pounds, raised concerns and was swiftly taken for a medical check-up. What Jolie discovered left her shaken — Zahara had suffered from severe malnourishment since birth and was now battling a stubborn bacterial infection.
Little Zahara was grappling with salmonella, a ruthless foe that claimed the lives of countless infants and children. But love knows no bounds, and with a mother’s unwavering devotion and expert medical care, Zahara defied the odds, emerging from the hospital with a newfound glow of health.
Angelina welcomed her biological daughter: the outcast of the family.
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In 2006, Jolie and Pitt joyfully embraced the arrival of their first biological child, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. From the very beginning, it was evident that Shiloh shared a remarkable likeness with both of her parents, particularly Pitt. Jolie keenly observed this striking resemblance, which set Shiloh apart from her adopted siblings.
Recognizing the uniqueness of her daughter’s features, Jolie held the belief that Shiloh would leave an unforgettable imprint on the world, forging her own path and making a lasting impact. The actress said, “she’s almost going to be the outcast in the family because she’s blonde and blue-eyed.”
Despite always wanting a child of her own, when questioned about her feelings towards having Shiloh, Jolie made it clear that she didn’t want to favor her biological child over her adopted ones. Her inclusive approach emphasized that family is built on love, regardless of blood relations, and that each child brings their own unique and cherished presence to the family dynamic.
The bond and emotional connection Jolie shares with Zahara run even deeper.
Jolie also openly shared that she would have been perfectly happy without having a biological child of her own. However, her perspective changed when she witnessed the deep connection between Brad and their adopted children. In her own words, she said, “I saw Brad with her and Maddox, and I realized how much he loved them — and how a biological child would not in any way be a threat.”
When discussing her children, Jolie emphasized the importance of a love that goes beyond biological ties. She acknowledged that while the moment of seeing Shiloh for the first time after birth was a lovely experience, it didn’t overshadow the profound emotional connection she felt when she first met Zahara.
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Angelina Jolie said that it is the shared experiences of pain and adversity that have forged an unbreakable bond between her and her adopted children. She revealed, “I felt so much more for Madd, Zahara, and Pax because they were survivors. Shiloh seemed so privileged from the moment she was born.”
It was through their collective journey of healing and growth that the actress found solace, as she lovingly provided a nurturing environment for her adopted children. However, Jolie recognized the individuality of each child and the responsibility she holds to meet their unique needs, ensuring that her love and attention are equally distributed.
“But I’m conscious that I have to make sure I don’t ignore her needs, just because I think the others are more vulnerable.”
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Angelina Jolie is much more than just an icon known for her acting prowess, timeless beauty, and stunning red-carpet appearances. She embodies the essence of a compassionate human being, a devoted mother, and a tireless humanitarian. Jolie has utilized her privileged life to make a positive change on the world through her philanthropic endeavors.
Angelina Jolie’s unique parenting approach emphasizes experiential learning, allowing her children to explore the world beyond traditional classrooms. She promotes a balance of freedom and guidance, ensuring her children can express themselves genuinely. Despite the challenges of fame, Jolie prioritizes her children’s well-being, shielding them from the harsh realities of divorce and media scrutiny. Her commitment to celebrating diversity and the beauty of adoption is evident in her family’s values.
The bond between Angelina Jolie and her adopted son Maddox is truly inspirational. Adopted from a Cambodian orphanage in 2002, Maddox transformed Jolie’s life, teaching her a profound love she had never known. Jolie has always emphasized the importance of honoring Maddox’s cultural roots, evident in her efforts to incorporate his Cambodian heritage into his upbringing. Maddox, now 21, has grown into a multifaceted young adult, pursuing biotechnology in South Korea and collaborating with Jolie in the film industry.
The children of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, though shielded from the public eye, have grown into distinct individuals with diverse interests. Maddox, now studying in South Korea, was Jolie’s first adopted child. Pax, adopted from Vietnam, has shown interest in photography and acting. Zahara, from Ethiopia, aspires to be a supermodel. Shiloh, their first biological child, is recognized as an LGBTQ+ icon, while twins Knox and Vivienne, born in France, have also ventured into acting.