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Jillian Michaels on Adopting Daughter from Haiti: I Had 'This Gift I Could Give … Citizenship' – Yahoo Entertainment

Jillian Michaels/Instagram
Jillian Michaels is looking back on her decision to pursue international adoption.
On a new episode of PEOPLE's podcast Me Becoming Mom, the personal trainer, 47, recounts her experience adopting her daughter Lukensia from Haiti in 2012, sharing why she decided to adopt internationally and not in America.
"I always was cognizant of the fact that if I had been born in another country — my dad's Syrian, I knew what was going on in the world in Syria — if I had been born in Syria as a gay female, I'd be dead," she tells host Zoë Ruderman, Head of Digital at PEOPLE.
"I knew that I had this card, this gift I could give, which is citizenship," she continues. "So I thought, you know what, I've got this awesome gift I can give and I want to adopt, so why not? I have the means. I have the time. I'm gonna do it."
Elsewhere in the interview, Michaels, who adopted her daughter with former fiancée Heidi Rhoades, recalls the day she became a mom to both Lukensia and son Phoenix, now 11.
Subscribe to our new 12-episode weekly podcast, Me Becoming Mom, to hear celebrity moms open up exclusively to PEOPLE about their extraordinary roads to motherhood.
RELATED: Jillian Michaels Explains How She Found Out She Was Becoming a Mom Twice in 24 Hours
Michaels explains that the same day Rhoades was in labor with their son, she received an alert that it was time for her to go to Haiti to adopt her then 2-year-old daughter Lukensia.
"While Heidi was in labor, we got the notification that Lu got her visa," she explains. "I have a photo of Heidi, with the oxygen mask in the hospital bed holding up a picture of Lu's visa."
"I'm like, 'Oh, okay!' " Michaels recalls thinking when she received the news, noting that she had to get to Haiti "ASAP."
Asked what Michaels was feeling when she was on the plane ride to Haiti, the Biggest Loser star says, "Oh my God, I was so relieved. I was so glad it was over."
The 12-episode weekly Me Becoming Mom podcast explores the various roads to motherhood through different interviews with both celebrity guests and experts in the field. Topics on the show include IVF, adoption, surrogacy, single parenthood, same-sex couples, home births, pregnancy loss, unexpected and surprising birth stories, among other subjects.
Guests on the show include Alyssa Milano, Hoda Kotb, Tamron Hall, Shawn Johnson East and more.
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