In a new interview, Charlize Theron is revealing the complications she endured adopting her first child, Jackson, and the life changing moment when she saw her "lizard baby" for the first time in March 2012.
"The first adoption was really rough, the process," Theron admits on W Magazine's podcast Five Things with Lynn Hirschberg. "Because Jax I think was the eighth baby that came around. So a lot of them fell through. A lot of them were high risk pregnancies. You get emotionally attached and then it doesn't turn out the way you're hoping and you get crushed."
"It was probably the lowest part of my life going through that adoption period," the 44-year-old actress, who also adopted August in July 2015, explained. "You spend months and months thinking that this is gonna be your baby."
But her connection with Jackson was instantaneous.
"I remember vividly seeing Jackson through a window. I got out of the car and I saw her through the window. Somebody was holding her and my heart just jumped out of my body and I almost couldn't catch it," she shared. "It is just a visceral, emotional feeling that... the fact that I'm keeping my shit together right now is so impressive. Yeah, it's really incredible, it's really incredible."
"The second time around I remember I had to wait for two hours to meet her and it was the worst two hours of my life and I met her and she looked like a little lizard," she continued. "I'll never forget it. She had severe eczema and she was just covered and I remember the woman who was looking after her and she was like preparing me she said, 'She looks a little rough.' And I was just like, 'This, this is my baby! I was meant to have this little lizard baby!'"
"She doesn't look like a lizard anymore," Theron added. "Her eczema weirdly got under control when she was like six weeks old, someone recommended an acupuncturist and she has been totally managing it very well."
In the interview. Theron revealed how losing her father at the age of 15 — he was murdered by her mother who killed him in self-defense — has made her appreciate life that much more.
"It is pretty well known that he died very tragically," she explained "It's definitely something that you don't wish anybody to go through anything like, but at the same time it gives you a value for life that is a gift. I am really grateful... that I can take something that was so unfortunate in my life and turn it into something that now gives me value every single day."
"There is not a day that goes by that I don't say to myself, 'Shit, how will I feel if it is done? If this is it? If I die in my sleep tonight? How do I feel about my life right now? And I do that on a regular basis because I experienced that."
She continued, "I have a full awareness when I look at my kids that this may not be forever," adding, "It makes you live life to the fullest."