It’s a girl… and a boy! Jillian Michaels is a mom, a job title she’s been seeking for about two years. It was one of the main (or at least most public) reasons for her exit from Biggest Loser last year. And it’s no doubt her main focus from here on out.
Just announced today by People Magazine, Michaels’ adoption of a two-year-old girl from Haiti, Lukensia, has finalized. The adorable little girl is seen in a photo snuggled in her mom’s arms. And sitting in Jillian’s other arm is her newborn son Phoenix, born May 3 to she and partner Heidi Rhoades.
“We’re swimming in babies over here,” Michaels told People.
The fitness star and former Biggest Loser trainer hasn’t been shy about her adoption proceedings, letting everyone know she was in baby mode for quite some time. The latest update came back in January when her adoption referral came through. It was then that Jillian learned that Lukensia would soon be calling her home in Los Angeles home, too. It was previously thought that she would adopt from the Dominican Republic of Congo (DRC). (more…)
One of the most exciting parts of the adoption process is determining which child will be referred to you, well, besides when the new child gets to join your family and home. Jillian Michaels is in the midst of that moment, announcing that she has accepted a referral for a little girl in Haiti. I wonder if this is behind her seemingly sudden departure from the Doctors, although there has been no confirmation of that. From what I am reading she is still pursuing an adoption in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but she was concerned about the viability of the pilot program with the agency she has chosen.
While Jillian is not working with MLJ Adoptions, Inc. where I am Director of Adoption Preparation and Support Services, we have an active program in DRC and have worked in Haiti in the past.
Following acceptance of a referral, several things must occur with some variation based on the country program and the agency who is facilitating an adoption. Jillian has stated that her adoption in Haiti could take a year before her new daughter is able to join her home. Historically, Haiti has had a wide time variance in the time that it takes to complete an adoption. Until Hague becomes a reality for Haiti that variance is likely to continue. Jillian can count on specific steps that must occur prior to the finalization of her adoption, even if she does not know exactly how long they will take.
There is a legal process in country, an application to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for a visa for the child, and the passport must be obtained. Many times there is also an investigation to ensure the child is an orphan and additional exit approvals that must be obtained. Those few basic milestones are very detailed and can require several appointments, signatures, and months for each. (more…)
Jillian Michaels has stated that although she is interested in parenting, she is not willing to put her body through a pregnancy. It is now being discussed as an irresponsible thing for Jillian to say as a role model for healthy living and healthy body image. Some view it as a dangerous, unhealthy message and a wasted opportunity to show women that you can get back into shape after pregnancy. Jillian herself has defended and explained the statement via social media. I, for one, support her decision as a responsible personal choice.
Jillian has been open that she had to work hard to get to her current weight. Sometimes being an emotionally healthy person means avoiding unnecessary stressors. For some, this means not being hungry when you shop for groceries or not adding a negative person to your Facebook friends list. For Jillian, maintaining emotional health may mean not feeling out of control of her body. No matter how healthy a woman is during pregnancy, there are some things outside of your control. Even if she maintains the epitome of a healthful diet, the hormones of pregnancy change your body in more ways than weight.
Imagine if you were told that you couldn’t adopt a child because you were too heavy. That’s what happened to Damien Hall of Leeds, England.
After finding out that Hall and his wife Charlotte could not bear their own children, they wanted to adopt. But that dream came to a screeching halt when officials told Mr. Hall that he would have to lose weight because his risk of dying or becoming ill was too high.
Officials ruled the couple are not suitable because he weighs 24-and-a-half stone (343 pounds) and has a body mass index (BMI) of more than 42, classifying him as very obese.
Needless to say, the couple is perplexed. (more…)