The struggles of motherhood are universal to every woman—no matter your race, economic status or sexual orientation. And Gabrielle Union is no stranger to it.

The 47-year-old actress, who has always been open about her infertility struggles and later her family’s decision to welcome a child via surrogacy, is now basking in the joy of motherhood and welcoming a baby to the party of life.

In an interview via ESSENCE’s Instagram Live, Union shared how the birth of her daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade, inspired her new children’s book Welcome To The Party.

“She came into our lives and changed everything,” the actress told ESSENCE’s deputy editor-in-chief Allison McGevna.

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The book, which is a universal love letter from parents to little ones, was created “to celebrate family creation and family expansion that happens a little non-traditionally,” continued Union.

In 2018, Union revealed that she had been diagnosed with adenomyosis, which affects a woman’s uterus. The issue caused her to suffer approximately “eight or nine” miscarriages, along with the actress attempting in vitro fertilization with no success. She and her husband, retired NBA star Dwyane Wade, would later welcome little Kaavia thanks to a surrogate.

In addition to her own journey, Union said she wrote this book for all types of moms, including adoptive parents, like her own mom. “My mom at 60 years old adopted her first child,” she shared.

The L.A.’s Finest actress and her husband have been open about her family and parenting decisions, and Union said she doesn’t care about your opinions either.

“There’s nothing that we’re ashamed about with our family,” she said during the livestream. “I don’t want to hide myself. We are imperfectly perfect. If you have a problem with it, then it’s going to be your problem.”

This isn’t Union’s first book and it certainly won’t be her last, she hinted. But what makes this book special is the young woman who helped bring it to life. Because Union has always been one to advocate for Black voices and stories, Welcome To The Party is no different.

“There’s no point in getting to the table if you’re the only one that looks like you sitting there. There are all Black women on this project,” she said, referring to the book’s illustrator, Ashley Evans. “That’s a special accomplishment for me. Centering us, and including us was important.”

Welcome to the Party is available at book retailers now.


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