Singer and director Sia went from being a single woman with no kids to becoming the mom of two and a grandmother at 44. That escalated quickly! In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe on Tuesday, she described the “roller coaster” of adopting two Black 18-year-old boys out of the foster care system last year, and how much they’ve opened her eyes to racial injustice.
“They were in 18 different locations in their 18 years,” Sia said of the boys, criticizing the foster-care system that completely failed them. She also had some sharp words for most people who only want to adopt babies or very young children: “It’s about their ego, and they want to make a little version of themselves. … You want to have the most influence on their outcome.”
Not that taking in teenagers who’ve had traumatic lives has been easy for her.
“They told me one thing, I discovered another,” she said of their relationship at first. “But I just stayed really like a kind of Al-Anon Ninja. I just kept really strong boundaries. I would say, ‘You could do this, or you could go back to where you came from,’ which is not a nice life. It’s not a good life, and I’d say, ‘I’m doing this because I’m your mother. I love you. I have no other agenda other than the fact that I love you. I don’t want to see you in prison. I don’t want to see you as that 5 percent that end up in prison for life.'”
Both of her sons have been in trauma therapy since she adopted them, and she said it’s helped them immensely.
“Trauma has to come out when you’re in a safe environment, when you’re psychologically ready,” Sia explained.
Without giving details, she revealed later in the hourlong interview that she has also become a grandmother.
“My youngest son just had two babies,” she said. “They call me Nana. I’m trying to get them to call me Lovey, like Kris [Jenner]. I’m like, ‘Call me Lovey.'”
She also explained that her desire to become a mother came in part from her relationship with dancer and frequent collaborator Maddie Ziegler, of whom she felt very protective when she was younger.
But caring for Ziegler couldn’t have prepared her for how she feels now as the mother of two young Black men.
“I’m embarrassed that it took me to adopt two Black sons to really understand what they go through on a daily basis,” Sia said, crying.
It has made Sia feel reluctant to promote her own work instead of fighting for racial justice.
“I’m embarrassed that there are bikini pictures up on the Daily Mail when this reality is happening, and it’s what we should be addressing more than anything else, more than any dumb movie I’m putting out or any song I’m putting out or any music I ever loved,” she said. “There are things we can do. We can actually act, and we can actually try and get justice for Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain. We can have an effect. We don’t have to feel sad.”
Sia is one of many celebrities who are proud parents of adopted children.