Ever since she was a little girl, Mary-Louise Parker knew that she would someday adopt.
“I would daydream about it all the time,” the Weeds star told People magazine – speaking for the first time about the subject – earlier this summer at a benefit for Worldwide Orphans Foundation hosted by La Perla in Beverly Hills. “I thought about the fact that there were children who didn’t have anything, and I felt like I could help. It was something that weighed on me.”
In August of 2007, Mary-Louise, already a single mom with William Atticus, her son with former boyfriend Billy Crudup, went to Africa with Worldwide Orphans and adopted Caroline Aberash, whom she calls Ash.
“It was something I did for the world and for my son and then for me,” Mary-Louise, 44, said of adopting Ash. “And when I say the world, I also mean my daughter. Once I knew her, she became part of that. But it’s hard raising two kids as a single person. It’s a lot of pressure.”
When asked if she wishes she had a fulltime partner to share that pressure with she replied, “Sometimes, sure.” Mary-Louise has been single since her on-again off-again relationship with actor Jeffery Dean Morgan ended earlier this year. “I wish I could give them everything that was a perfect little family paradigm, but I can’t. Honestly, I feel like that doesn’t even exist, or at least I try to tell myself that when I am feeling bad about not providing it.”
Another challenge was introducing William to the idea that he would be getting a baby sister from halfway around the world.
“I didn’t want to give him too much time to ruminate about it,” shared Mary-Louise. “I talked to him about adoption and asked him what he thought about it, so he understood what it was all about. Then one day he said out of the blue, ‘Mommy, a brother or sister is something that I don’t have, so I think that we should go to the store and get me a brother or sister.’ ”
A few weeks later, William got the news that he would be getting a baby sister in August. “His response to that was, ‘Is that today August?’ When I said no, he said, ‘Good, because I want to go to the park.’ When the time came to go to Africa, you’ve never seen anyone more excited – never ever.”
Mary-Louise shared that William, now 5 and a big Gene Kelly fan, is a very protective older brother. And Ash, who turns 3 in August, is already taking after her mom.
“She’s really tough,” said Mary-Louise. “She can hurt herself and then get up and dust herself off. But at the same time, she’s really girlie. For her, it’s all about purses and panties and sunglasses. She has a massive ‘fro that she loves to put flowers in.”
Though she has a very successful career as the star of HBO’s Weeds, her children are what matter to her the most. “Sometimes I just look at them and I think, You are the two coolest people I have ever met,” she says. “I was getting ready to come here tonight and my son came up to my trailer and said, ‘Where are you going, my beauty?’ I hear that, and I don’t really need anything thing else.”
Mary-Louise Parker is truly the most luminous woman in Hollywood. She possesses a truly radiant inner-beauty. If you haven’t seen Weeds it is worth checking out if only for her inspired performances in it.