Actress Angelina Jolie hugged her newly adopted son and spoke a few words in Vietnamese to him as she sought to comfort the child ahead of their planned trip to America together, newspapers reported Friday.
Reports said the child, almost 3½ years old and renamed Pax Thien Jolie, cried when he saw his adoptive mother Thursday at the Ho Chi Minh City orphanage where he has lived since infancy.
The Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper said Jolie was quick to embrace the child and told him in Vietnamese, “Khong sao dau, khong sao dau” (No problem, no problem), and immediately started playing with him.
A report in the city’s Phap Luat (Law) newspaper said Jolie had apologized for the global media attention focused on the boy.
“I would also like to say sorry because I have brought this into Pax’s life,” the paper, published by the city justice department, quoted her as saying.
It also quoted Jolie as saying she was taking a break from acting to help the child adjust to his new life.
The Oscar-winning actress kept out of public view after taking custody of the boy, but her photograph was on the front pages of several of Friday’s newspapers, which are all state-run in communist-ruled Vietnam.
Lao Dong’s headline read: “A peaceful Vietnam sky in Jolie’s family.” The name Pax Thien combines the Latin word for peace and the Vietnamese word for sky or heaven.
The boy’s caregiver said his favorite dishes include fried noodles and yogurt and that he can count from one to 10 in English, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
Jolie collected the boy from the orphanage Thursday and signed adoption papers with authorities in the southern city, formerly known as Saigon, with a population of 8 million.
The adoption will become final once U.S. Embassy officials in Hanoi approve the paperwork for the child to travel to the United States, Vietnamese officials said.
Reporters, photographers and TV crews amassed outside the hotel where Jolie was staying have not seen her since a car took the actress from the government building where she signed adoption papers Thursday.
Jolie, 31, has two other adopted children — a son, Maddox, from Cambodia and a daughter, Zahara, from Ethiopia — and a biological daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, with paramour and fellow Hollywood star Brad Pitt.
She flew into Ho Chi Minh City by chartered plane Wednesday night from Japan, accompanied by her three children.
Jolie visited Vietnam in November and filed papers in early March through an unidentified U.S. adoption agency. Pitt was not included in the paperwork because, under Vietnamese law, an unmarried couple cannot adopt a child, while a single person can.