As hard as it is to believe, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt is now twelve years old! And in just over a decade, Angelina and Brad’s eldest has done something quite remarkable: he laid down the foundation for what would become the Jolie-Pitt family and has influenced several parts of it’s evolution. Let’s take a look, shall we?
While in Cambodia to film Tomb Raider in 2001, Angelina paid a visit to a local orphanage. She met several babies while there, but one in particular captured her heart: three-month-old Rath Vibol. At first she wasn’t sure about the sleepy baby boy (who even snoozed through a bath!). “I wondered if he was catatonic or something!” she recalled later. But then he opened his eyes and “looked right at me”. That was all it took. “We became a family right then and there,” Angelina has said. Of course, there were a few more steps that needed to be taken before that could be official. But finally, in March 2002, the newly minted Maddox Chivan Thornton Jolie (the “Thornton”, was for Angelina’s then-husband, Billy Bob Thornton…and was dropped within just a few months when the couple’s marriage dissolved) was allowed to go home with his new mommy.
By summer 2005, it was obvious to just about everyone that Angelina and her Mr. and Mrs. Smith costar Brad Pitt were an item. But surprisingly, it wasn’t either one of them that ultimately decided that should be so. As Angie would later reveal, it was Maddox. The then three-year-old “just one day out of the blue called him (Brad) ‘daddy'” thus deciding “that we were going to be a family” Angie (who pre-Brad had made it clear that any man she was with long-term was going to have to be a father to her son, and therefore she wouldn’t introduce any man to Maddox unless and until she knew things were serious) has explained.
Not surprisingly, Maddox was jet-setting with his mother from a very early age. One of his favorite places was Africa, and it wasn’t long before he was making a very special request: a baby brother or sister from the continent (as his mother has explained, she schooled Maddox in his roots, and, by extension, the basics of adoption, at a very tender age)! Angelina (who had been thinking about adopting a second child for quite awhile) took that request to heart, and in July of 2005, Ethiopian-born Zahara Marley joined the family (which included Brad. Though Angie was the only parent named in the adoption paperwork, her beau accompanied her and Maddox to Ethiopia to welcome the new little girl!). Unfortunately, the six-month-old was quite sickly, and landed in the hospital (where she was found to be suffering from the triple whammy of malnourishment, dehydration, and salmonella poisoning) shortly after coming home to her new family. Happily, she survived, but that almost certainly wouldn’t have been the case had she remained in Ethiopia, according to the doctor that treated her. So Maddox may well have saved his sister’s life!
In a move that surprised a lot of people, Angelina gave birth to her and Brad’s first biological child, daughter Shiloh Nouvel, on May 27th, 2006. Before the baby’s birth, as Angelina put it, none of the children in the house looked like one another OR their parents. But now, suddenly, there was someone who “looks like mommy and daddy”, and Angie wondered how that might affect her older children. She felt that they might benefit from having someone in the house that looked like them, and that Maddox, as the only boy and the oldest by several years, might benefit from having a brother who was close to him in age. So, in March of 2007, she went to Vietnam and brought home three-and-a-half year old Pax Thien…who bonded quickly with his new big brother (as evidenced by the picture at left)!
On April 13th, 2012, after seven years together, Angie and Brad finally the made the announcement everyone had been waiting for: they’re engaged! One of the main reasons Brad finally popped the question? His children! According to the proud father, Maddox and his siblings (including then three-year-old twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, who were born on July 12th, 2008) had been putting a lot of pressure on he and Angie to tie the knot. They would say things like “give mommy a ring!” and ask why “Shrek and Fiona are married but you’re not”. Now Maddox and his sibs are pressuring their parents to set a date…which Brad has said will be “soon”. Let’s hope so!