“The boy smiled at her and stood up instead of crying”: How did Angelina Jolie love Maddox when she decided to adopt him?

Angelina Jolie is an activist who promotes kindness and justice around the world. Along with her humanitarian and charity work, she made a splash in 2002 when she decided to adopt baby Maddox from Cambodia.

At that time, Angelina Jolie did not want to be a mother

Angelina Jolie, Maddox, Brad Pitt

Currently, Angelina Jolie is the mother of 6 beautiful children, 3 of which have been adopted. Many people find it difficult to believe that the famous actress never wanted to have children, but she strongly affirmed this by saying, “ I never wanted to be pregnant. I never babysit. I never thought of myself as a mother.” 

After her trip to Cambodia, she changed her perspective and started looking at things differently.

Jolie’s trip to Cambodia

Angelina Jolie, Maddox, Brad Pitt

Angelina Jolie and her adopted son Maddox.

Cambodia has a special place in Jolie’s heart – it is the country where she filmed the hit movie “Tomb Raider”, in 2000. Since then, she fell in love with the people and was captivated by what was happening. taking place in this country at that time.

The country ignited her humanitarianism, and the actress reached out to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to become a goodwill ambassador in 2001. “That trip,” she recalls , made me realize how little I knew and started searching for that knowledge.” And if this wasn’t enough to cement strong ties with Cambodia, she visited an orphanage and met her first adopted son, Maddox.

She chose Maddox among hundreds of orphans across Cambodia


Angelina Jolie, Maddox, Brad Pitt

Together with her then-ex-husband – Billy Bob Thornton, the Hollywood star visited an orphanage in Cambodia and the actress saw baby Maddox. Jolie and Maddox both had an instant connection.

According to an old friend: “As I understand from Jolie , when she visited this place and saw Maddox, he smiled at her and stood up instead of crying like all the other children. It touched Jolie’s heart , which is why she chose Maddox.”

Maddox wasn’t the only person whose life changed that day. After that, the actress helped less fortunate children around the world.

Adopting Maddox was not an easy task

Angelina Jolie, Maddox, Brad Pitt

Due to baby trafficking in Cambodia at that time, it was not easy for a foreigner to adopt a Cambodian baby. Jolie, who was struggling with legal issues, turned to her friend and former Cambodian business associate Sarath Mounh.

He added Maddox to his family records so Jolie could legally adopt him from a Cambodian father.

Maddox was officially adopted by Jolie on March 10, 2002, as a single mother. She named him Maddox instead of his birth name Rath Vibol.

Cambodia will always be part of Maddox’s identity

Angelina Jolie, Maddox, Brad Pitt

At age 15, Maddox encouraged his mother to make the globally nominated film, “First They Killed My Father.” This is a film that reflects the experiences in the memoir of Cambodian human rights activist, Luong Ung, as a young girl under the brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge.

Maddox knew the Cambodian activist and wanted to document what was happening in his country.

Jolie was very sure about her choice

Angelina Jolie, Maddox, Brad Pitt

While working on the film, she recalled Maddox’s involvement: “He read the script, helped take notes, and attended production meetings”.

 The film was directed by Jolie, and Maddox actively worked with her, which helped him learn the country’s history and connect with his roots.

Angelina Jolie ‘s strong ties to Cambodia led her to establish the Maddox Jolie Foundation in 2003, which eventually became the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

It is dedicated to reducing extreme rural poverty, protecting the environment and conserving wildlife in rural Northwest Cambodia. The association of Maddox’s name and Cambodia demonstrates that she is raising him to be a proud Cambodian.

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