Why Jillian Michaels' Daughter 'Smacked Me In the Face' Before Flying Home from Her Orphanage – PEOPLE.com

Jillian Michaels welcomed daughter Lukensia via adoption in Haiti back in 2012
Jillian Michaels' journey of adopting daughter Lukensia was not always easy.
The personal trainer, 47, opens up in a new episode of PEOPLE's podcast Me Becoming Mom about her experience when going to the orphanage in Haiti to pick up Lukensia, recalling a moment of anger from her then 2-year-old daughter.
"They told her I was coming. She runs to me, gives me this big hug and then pulls away from me and smacks me in the face," Michaels says, prompting host Zoë Ruderman, Head of Digital at PEOPLE, to ask why she thinks Lukensia hit her at the time.
"She was super pissed about the fact that I had left," Michaels explains, referencing when she had to say goodbye to Lukensia in Haiti before the adoption had been finalized. "Then she hugged me again and that child did not leave my side for six months."
"Like if I showered, she'd be outside the shower door, screaming on the shower door," she continues. "Or when I went through security, I think I put her down to take some stuff off, and she climbed me. She'd wake up in the middle of the night and stand up on her crib, and she's like, 'Mama!' I was like, 'I'm right here buddy.' "
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 Gets Emotional Talking About Leaving Daughter in Haiti Before Adoption Was Final
Elsewhere in the episode, Michaels, who is also mom to son Phoenix, 11, shares how difficult it was to leave her daughter in Haiti before the adoption was fully processed. "It was really hard on her," Michaels says.
Asked whether Lukensia knew Michaels was her mom at that point, the Biggest Loser star answers affirmatively and explains that the pair had been spending a lot of time together in Haiti.
"The second time I went, she stayed with me at the guest house — they call it the guest house. So she wasn't in the orphanage," she says, beginning to cry. "So they kept telling her like, 'This is your mama, this is your mama.' And she was like, 'Rad, you're my mama.' She liked me right away."
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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