As an actress, model, Yale graduate, and mother of two boys, Jordana Brewster’s accomplishments transcend through her personal and professional life. Brewster might be most recognizable for her role of Mia Toretto in the celebrated Fast & Furious franchise, with the ninth chapter, F9, being released June 25. But, throughout the action-packed Fast & Furious journey, Brewster was also on her own personal journey to motherhood. The 40-year-old teamed up with Clearblue to support their #Conceivinghood campaign that encourages open conversation about fertility and conceiving children. “I think it’s really, really important for women to know that they’re not alone and that they’re held and that there’s a space for them to share their journey,” Brewster says. “And that there’s a space to talk to women that are going through similar struggles. I didn’t have that when I started trying to get pregnant when I was around 30.”
Brewster welcomed her two sons Julian (6) and Rowan (3) via surrogate and admits that the process can be stressful and emotional. “I think there’s a level of embarrassment because culturally we’re just sort of programmed to think you get married and have children,” she says. “It shouldn’t affect those things but it can and it does.”
Through partnering with Clearblue, Brewster says that it has been so comforting to hear that other women also shut down emotionally during rounds of IVF and finally allowed themselves to grieve and cry. “It’s amazing to hear how women go through different situations and I think it’s only in hearing other women’s struggles that we learn it is okay.”
2020 was admittedly a transformative year for Brewster and her family. “I separated from my husband and I now have a partner who has kids,” Brewster says. “We’re sort of forming a new family, in a sense.” The idea of a typical nuclear family has been challenged for Brewster and she admits that every day she is learning how to redefine what family is for herself and her two sons. “To me, family means whoever is nurturing my kids’ souls and whoever is putting in the time. To me it’s not about genetics. It’s not about the last name. To me it’s about who’s loving and putting in the time.”
While the past year has taught Brewster how to have conversations with her sons about family, she realizes that she has been learning from her sons since before they were born. “My conceiving journey taught me that I can’t control anything because I can’t control whether my embryos are healthy. I cannot control what my gestational surrogates doing, which was also huge for me. I had a wonderful relationship with her, but I couldn’t be there 24/7,” she says. “So little by little, my control just kept getting picked away at.” She adds that before her sons were born, the student in her consumed every parenting book she could. “I was going to be the best, calmest, chillest mom ever,” she says reflectively.
“And then my kids were born. I was so neurotic. I was crazy. I mean, I am crazy, and I’m getting so much better, but, I just wanted to micromanage my kids. I’m realizing as a mom that they respond to everything I do. If I’m super stressed out, Julian is going to be really stressed out.” For Brewster, who had always believed that controlling things paid off in the professional world, had to adjust her own behavior for the betterment of her children.
From fertility to redefining family, the journey for Brewster is constantly evolving and moving forward.