Child adoption in India is not a simple process. Apart from all the legalities and procedures involved, there's this societal preference for adopting babies rather than older kids.
Fortunately, celebs like Sunny Leone and Sushmita Sen took a step forward shattering the long-held taboos by adopting older children and making them an integral part of their families.
Last year, Mandira Bedi and Raj Kaushal also adopted a 4-year-old girl, Tara. When the family introduced Tara to the world, people trolled the couple for adopting a older child and said mean things about the little one.
It's been almost a year since Tara came into the family. In an interview with The Quint, Mandira opened up about the day the family met Tara for the first time and how she handled the trolls, for the first time.
Recalling that it was Raj, who had first flown to Jabalpur to complete the legal formalities and a day later, Mandira and Vir took a private jet to bring Tara home, she said:
Woh Raj ka haath pakde hue thi. Uss waqt Vir bahot hi disturbed tha. Woh ro raha tha, main ro rahi thi. Ek bachi aayi thi jisko kuch pata nahi tha kya hone vala hai uski life mein. Bahot hi overwhelming experience tha. That day, I was asking myself if I'm doing the right thing. There's a 4-year-old readymade child with some thoughts and notions and history coming into our lives.
It was not easy for her 8-year-old son to accept that he suddenly had a sister. He did not talk to Tara initially and was always a little grumpy. By the festival of Bhai Dooj, the two started to get together well. And now Vir loves having her around and they are developing that brother-sister vibe and there is love and acceptance.
You cannot get a child to call you parents in a day or two. It's a process and Mandira and Raj made the effort to video call Tara several times before adoption to prepare her.
She revealed how Tara expressed herself the best during bath time. This was her first time under a shower. She was so happy and excited and curious too. She would ask:
Yeh kya hai? Yeh kaun hai? Kahan ja rahe hai? Kya kha rahe hai? She was very very observant.
When asked about how she prepared herself for the trolls and their nasty comments, Mandira said she has faced trolls for the longest time in her life and she knows they do it for attention.
When it comes to me I don't care. I've reached a stage where whatever you want to say, I don't care. But when I read something so nasty written about her, what has she done to anybody that you call her a street kid.
A few comments were:
This is how she responded to some of these trolls.
Not ready to take an insult for her children, she said:
You say anything to me, I have no problem. You say something about my children, I'm going to have a problem. She is a part of my family and I'm not going to take that insult. Who are you to insult me? People like these need to be called out.
You can watch the entire interview here.