Tiffany Haddish has a lot of love to share — and not just with her boyfriend.
“I just want to bring to them survival skills, share everything that I know with them,” she explained after he brought up the subject. “I definitely want to either foster kids or adopt and get them at, like, 7 (years old) — where they know how to use the bathroom already on their own, they can communicate, they can tell you they’re hungry. They should have some kind of manners, and if not, they can learn them.”
Haddish continued: “Between 6 and 10, get them right in there, because you can mold their mind. They’re still malleable in a lot of ways until they’re 21, that’s what I think.”
The “Girls Trip” star speaks from experience when she talks about the foster system. In her 2017 memoir, “The Last Black Unicorn,” she shared details from her own time in foster care from age 13 to 18. She revealed that she had first or second grade reading level until the ninth grade, and that she was both bullied and molested.
All of that fuels her desire to create a different experience for children in need of a parental figure, she said. “I want the child to know, 'Hey, I chose you to be here with me, and I want to give you all the knowledge that I have.' That’s it,” she told Common.
Several people served as a lifeline in during Haddish’s own difficult childhood, she shared in the podcast. Her grandmother, aunts and social worker were among them, but the one who stands out most of all was a drama teacher.
"She made it so clear. She was like, 'Tiffany, it's important for you to know how to read, no matter what you do in life,'” Haddish recalled.
A teacher taking special interest in her education instilled confidence in Haddish.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to know how to read," she said. "It was that I thought I was stupid. I thought I was dumb because that’s what I was being told on a regular basis. ... When your parents are telling you that stuff, you believe that stuff. It really affected me, and it still to this day affects me, but I have a different way to communicate with myself to know, ‘Oh, well, that’s not necessarily true.’”