Love at first sight!
When Jillian Michaels met her now 2-year-old adopted daughter Lukensia in Haiti for the first time, she knew they were meant to be together.
“I’ve been to Haiti on and off since I was 27. I met her a year ago on a trip visiting orphanages for All Blessings International, an organization I work with,” Michaels, 38, tells Ladies’ Home Journal‘s July issue. “I was visiting this one orphanage and the next thing I knew she jumped into my arms. She just grabbed me and clung to me and I immediately felt something. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is my daughter.’ “
But adopting Lukensia was not an easy process. The baby girl had already been placed with a family in Germany, but it didn’t work out. “I do think there’s a certain amount of fate involved,” the former Biggest Loser trainer explains. “Life has a way of working out the way it’s meant to.”
Now, Michaels and her partner, Heidi Roades, 31, are the proud parents Lukensia and son, Phoenix, who was born on May 3. And their children have two very different personalities.
“He is the calm one. Patient. She is a firebrand,” Michaels shares. “Actually, she’s incredibly shy. She’s clever and adventurous, but it’s kind of heartbreaking because you have to understand she has been here since she was 9 or 10 months old. She’s now 2 and the only time she left the orphanage [prior to the adoption] was when I would take her to the Haitian guesthouse where I stayed nearby.”
While Michaels has received much support with the adoption of Lukensia, there was one celebrity who wasn’t so supportive.
“Ann Coulter. I met [her] during the first segment I ever did on The Doctors. She said I was a selfish narcissist for wanting to adopt as a single parent—that a child who grows up without a father is greatly disadvantaged,” she recalls. “I’m a brawler, so when she said that I was like…come here, I’ll knock you out. I completely appreciate the importance of fathers but millions of children are without loving homes. I think a child is lucky with one parent who truly loves her.”
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