Sandra Bullock is convinced her son Louis “led” her to adopt his sister Laila because he knew their family would be expanding before the thought had even crossed the actress’ mind.
The Blind Side star became a first-time mother in 2010, when she welcomed her boy at three-and-a-half-months-old, but she had no plans to give Louis a sibling when he first made a comment about adding to their family during a 2012 dinner date with her girlfriends.
After one pal shared a story about her daughters, Louis told the group, “Yeah, I don’t have daughters. But I’m going to have a baby soon.”
Sandra was confused by his confidence, and it was only upon later reflection that she noted the timing of his remark coincided with Laila’s birth – three years before the child, who had been in foster care in Louisiana, would become the Oscar winner’s daughter in late 2015.
“I realized at that time, maybe he knew something (about their future family),” Sandra shared with breakfast show Today. “And when I think about it, it would have been around the time that Laila was born.
“It’s Louis’ way. Louis has a very strong way. He’s a fine leader, and he led me to Lai.”
The actress, 53, has since prioritised her children above all else, because there was a time when she thought she was too old to start a family, until the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005 inspired her to seriously consider adoption.
“Katrina happened in New Orleans and something told me, ‘My child is there.’ It was weird,” said an emotional Bullock.
It took another few years before the star found Louis, but their bond was instant: “I looked at him like, ‘Oh, there you are.’ It was like he had always been there,” she recalled. “He fit in the crook of my arm. He looked me in the eyes. He was wise. My child was wise.”
“The beautiful thing that I was constantly told was, ‘The perfect child will find you. You will find your child,’” Sandra remembered. “But you don’t believe that when it’s not happening, when you’re going, ‘Where is my family?’ When it does happen, you know exactly what they’re talking about.”
The actress hopes her journey to motherhood will inspire others to consider adoption at any age, just as it did for Today show co-host Hoda Kotb, who sought Bullock’s advice before welcoming daughter Haley last year at 15 months old.
“I hope me telling my story lets people know that there is no end game,” Sandra said. “There are hundreds of thousands of children that are ready to be your child. You’re a forever parent the minute you accept the love of that child.”
“It’s amazing to me how we can take away people’s happiness by telling them, ‘This is the box you have to stay in.’ There is no box,” she added.