Published July 11, 2013
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for portraying Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side." Now Tuohy is in front of the camera in the new TV show ‘Family Addition.’ The interior designer and mother of three, including NFL star Michael Oher, spoke to FOX411 about the show, adoption and her faith.
FOX411: So what's 'Family Addition" about?
Leigh Anne Tuohy: The main object is to show foster care and adoption and trying to show the obstacles and hurdles and issues in a family friendly way. It’s tough to adopt these days, there’s so many hurdles to overcome, red tape, paperwork to fill out. We decided to try to highlight a family each week going through the adoption process and walk with them through it and help them get their ultimate goal achieved which is to have them in a forever family. We’ve been offered every show you can think of, strictest parents, you name it, but that’s not who we are.
We really want people to realize that this year there were 37,000 kids that aged out of foster care and never had a family. We took care of them on Sunday when they were 17 and when they turned 18 on Monday we threw them into the streets. They’re not equipped for society, they’re ill prepared for life and they turn to crime, drugs, prostitution, you name it and this vicious cycle starts. Most of these kids were kids of parents who were in foster care.
It is not scripted. We get there in the morning, the cameras roll and we just go with it. This comes from the heart. I don’t use notes. You’re not going to give me a script because this is what I’ve done for the last 11 years of my life and our foundation gets thousands of requests every week and I hear the worst stories.
This is not me being Mary Poppins talking cupcakes and cartwheels out of my butt. The reality of the situation is we’ve got to get these kids in good homes and off the streets. I had a kid who was 24 tell me the other day that she’d never had anyone tell her that they loved her. That’s ridiculous. I thought how many kids are there like this?
Everyone has so much to offer. You don’t even realize what you have to offer. You know what? We were the whole world to Michael, and you can make a difference, you just don’t realize the difference you can make. So do I have to be doing this show? Heavens no! I don’t financially need it, I don’t want the attention, but I do know the value of investing time in someone.
Take a kid like Michael. He was from this system. You offer them hope, love and opportunity and it changes their lives. He’s a valuable, contributing member of society, and historically society has deemed someone like Michael 100 percent valueless and the bottom line is that we all have value and we just have to be there for each other.
There’s 420,000 kids in our foster care system right now. I think we have 460,000 faith based organizations in this country. If every faith based organization would be responsible for putting one kid in foster care in a loving home it would wipe out the need for foster care, and you know, it’s not easy, but what the hell in life is easy?
FOX411: Do you think gay couples should be allowed to adopt?
Tuohy: I think it’s stupid. We need to find a cure for cancer, but more than that we need to find a cure for stupidity. To leave a kid lingering in a system when there are two loving people willing to take him or her in and offer them a forever family is just absolutely stupid. I’m all for a gay couple adopting a child, absolutely 100 percent. I think it’s the greatest thing in the world.
FOX411: Are you still friendly with Sandra Bullock?
Tuohy: She’s one of my inner circle dear friends. It’s private and personal. We don’t have to go out and talk about it. We have a relationship and we keep it between she and I.
FOX411: Do you believe God led you to do this?
Tuohy: Absolutely, there’s nothing in my life that’s coincidence. I don’t’ go around talking about it. We live our faith, talk is cheap, these people that get up and do word vomit, I have no use for whatsoever. That’s the easy thing to do. The tough thing is to do the right thing. This is what we believe. It’s God and family for Sean and myself. That is our life. All you can do is look at my life and see if it interests you and you want to emulate me. I’m not going to sit there and tell you about it. Anyone who has one grain of sense knows what the Bible is. If you don’t choose to believe the story that’s your little red wagon you’ve got to pull, you’re going to have to deal with it, not me. But this works for me.