“I Always Knew I Would Adopt,” Michelle Pfeiffer Shared How Her Daughter’s Adoption Radically Changed Her Life
Being a mother is a beautiful experience, and Michelle Pfeiffer knows it. Like many other women, she dreamed of finding the right man, having children, and starting a family. But time passed, and the actress found it more and more challenging to make that happen.
After a while, she decided to do things her own way and leave the traditional path behind. People had many things to say about that, but she didn’t care. She focused on what she considered essential and suddenly found everything she was looking for.
1. She was born in California in 1958.
Michelle was one of the most sought-after actresses between the ’80s and the ’90s. She has an unmistakable beauty, perhaps due to her great ethnic mix. Although both she and her parents were born in the United States, her ancestors came from many different places, such as Germany, England, France, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, and Italy, among others.
When she was younger, she studied stenography, but before finishing her degree, she decided she wanted to try acting. She became known for using her beauty to her advantage and participated in multiple beauty pageants, such as Miss California in 1978. After that, she soon got an agent and started auditioning for movies and television.
2. She reached the top in record time.
She became a successful actress very quickly. In just a decade, she went from landing small supporting roles to starring in movies and grossing up to a million dollars. She was famous and had money, but her luck was not as good regarding matters of the heart. She experienced several failed relationships and even got married, but soon after, she divorced.
After a while, she thought it was time to focus on her personal life. “My life and my career were intertwined. My career is still important to me, but after you achieve a certain amount of success, all that time you spent obsessing about your career turns against you, so the focus naturally has to come back to you.” After coming to this conclusion, she applied to start an adoption process as a single mother without defining in her application the preferred sex of the baby: she was open to whatever fate had in store for her.
3. With the formalities already in place, she just had to wait.
“I always knew I would adopt. I assumed I would give birth first and then adopt. But the time came to be a mother, and I just reversed the order,” she later said. Everything was already in place, and as if it were a pregnancy, all that remained was to wait for the big moment to arrive. One day, during that sweet wait, Michelle’s best friend convinced her to go on a blind date.
At first, she refused because she had had several bad experiences. But after her friend insisted and under the promise that this would be the last blind date she would ever arrange for her, Michelle agreed. The plan was dinner and bowling with producer David E. Kelley. To the actress’s surprise, the date went very well; the rest is history.
4. Fate brought her face to face with the man of her life.
Two months after meeting David, Michelle was approved for adoption. Her baby was a beautiful baby girl. She didn’t know how he would react, but she wasn’t about to back out of the adoption and her dream of becoming a mother. Surprisingly, he agreed to support her and was committed to taking matters into his own hands and serving as the baby’s father.
“We had been together for about two months. So we had this baby right away. Most people don’t have that. He totally rose to the occasion. We were both adults and were at the age where we were ready to start a family. So we were parents before we progressed in our relationship. In a strange way, that took the pressure off us as a couple. We had something else to focus on. It was kind of like perfect timing.”
5. She understood that money and fame are not everything.
Later that year, the couple decided to get married, and almost thirty years later, they are still together, happy and closer than ever. David became a wonderful stepfather and loved little Claudia so much that he legally adopted her, officially becoming her father.
We usually imagine celebrities always have employees to do the “dirty jobs” for them, but this was not the case for Michelle; she changed diapers, gave bottles, and woke up several times through the night, like any other mom. She wanted to enjoy motherhood to the fullest, and while she never stopped working, she always stayed close to her daughter: “She comes with me to the sets. She loves people. People from other movies come to visit her. She has a contagious personality.”
6. Her little family kept growing.
Michelle’s family expanded with the arrival of the couple’s first biological child, John Henry, who has always gotten along great with his sister. Pfeiffer stresses that being a mother also made her a better person: “Having children, especially considering my career, forces you out of your narcissism. I mean, in my career, my product is me. So it was nice that someone came along and took that focus away from me. I really needed a distraction from myself.”
Today, Michelle and David’s children are fully grown. The youngest, John, chose to keep his personal life away from the media and keep it completely private. Claudia, on the other hand, has always been a great student, and after finishing a university degree in Slavic languages and literature, she is working towards a doctorate.
What do you think about the actress’s initial decision to adopt as a single mother? Do you know any couples who have adopted a child? We would love to hear their story.