Jillian Michaels explains why she chose adoption from her ex
Jillian Michaels talks about her unique path to motherhood.
The The Biggest Loser alum shares two children – daughter Lukensia, 11, and son Phoenix, 9 – with ex-fiancee, Heidi Rhoades. Now in an interview with People Podcast me become a mom, Michaels explains how she became interested in international adoption – this is how the former couple became parents to Lukensia – after taking a trip to Africa.
“He came last in the game. I worked on a TV show. I remember thinking, “I wonder if I’m missing the point? Will I come to the end of my life wishing I had spent more days in the office? “It definitely opened the door,” said the personal trainer. “In 2010 I went on vacation to Africa and ended up in an orphanage… and that was before I knew you weren’t supposed to visit orphanages, but I thought, ‘Oh, I bring school supplies ”. I can’t say I’m sorry because this started me looking for international adoption.
At the time, she and Rhoades were also exploring Rhoades carrying a biological child to raise together. Michaels, however, also wanted to adopt in order to give their child “the gift of citizenship” to the United States. Adopting from Africa became difficult, so the couple turned to Haiti.
Michaels explained: “I have always been aware that if I had been born in another country – my father’s Syrian, I would know what was going on in the world in Syria – if I had been born in Syria in as a gay woman i would be dead.
Michaels and Rhoades met Lukensia when she was 18 months old, and both were convinced she was meant to be their daughter. However, at the time, she was already in the process of being adopted by a German family.
At the time, Rhoades was pregnant with Phoenix. However, during the pregnancy Michaels said Lukensia’s initial adoption plan failed – and the two ended up welcoming Lu to the house the week Phoenix was born.
“While Heidi was in labor, we received the notification that Lu got her visa,” Michaels said. “I have a photo of Heidi, with the oxygen mask in the hospital bed holding a photo of Lu’s visa.”
Michaels, who split from Rhoades in 2017, tends to keep her family life private, preferring to devote her social media to workout routines and nutritional counseling. However, she occasionally shares snapshots of her children on Instagram, including an adorable one of herself with Lukensia and Phoenix on Mother’s Day.
“Happy Mother’s Day beauties,” she captioned the photo. “What is going on until today.”