Sheryl Crow Hits the Road – Sons In Tow

11/09/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Peter Kramer/AP

Sheryl Crow says bringing her two boys on tour gives a whole new meaning to the word “afterparty”.

She tells The Guardian that before she arrives in a new city for a show, she Googles the location to plan the day for herself and sons Wyatt Steven, 3½, and Levi James, 6 months.

“It’s parks, aquariums, museums in the mornings,” Crow, 48, explains.

“Then lunch, a nap for them, soundcheck for me, dinner all together, and then I tuck them in their bunks before going on stage. As soon as the show is over, I’m back on the bus and to sleep — hopefully.”

Opening up about her decision to adopt both boys rather than bear children herself, Crow reasons that “there were already so many kids in the world that needed [a mom].”

She decided to pursue domestic adoption, preferably closed — “It would be extremely hard for a mother to watch the child she gave away then grow up in the magazines” — citing a desire for an infant but leaving the child’s race and sex to fate.

“I said I would take whichever baby I was supposed to have,” she says. “My philosophy was that souls find each other; you don’t end up with the wrong child.”

— Helen Hwang

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 44 comments

Meghan on

I really liked this interview. She seems really down-to-earth and it’s nice that she can incorporate being a mom with being on tour. I also liked what she said about adoption, about how there are children who need moms and the souls find each other. This has nothing to do with views on adoption or anything, I just thought it was really sweet.

kazumi on

her simple but heartfelt words brought tears to my eyes, i am now a fan of this wonderful woman

Allison J on

As an adoptive parent myself, I totally agree with what Sheryl says – “souls find each other – you don’t end up with the wrong child.”

We felt pulled to pursue an international adoption from China, since we have family members with Asian heritage. The way it worked was that the orphanage matches you with a child – you don’t get to “pick” your child.

In many countries, like Guatamala and some Russian countries, the orphanages send you a list and photos of 5-9 children and basically say “pick a kid.” That might be fine for some people, but I just wasn’t comfortable with that.

That’s also a reason why we chose China for adoption. Our little girl is perfect for us and fits into our family just the way she is supposed to.

There is an ancient Chinese saying that goes: “There is a red thread that connects all those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread can tangle and stretch, but it can never break.”

Our red thread led us directly to our daughter, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Alicia on

Really touching article, love Sheryl!!

momof3 on

motherhood fits Sheryl.

CelebBabyLover on

I wish we could see a picture of Levi!

madisonsmom on

Allison J just so you know you are so wrong about Guatamala. I adopted my daughter from there. I was only given the referral of my daughter. You are given the choice to accept or not but in my experience you are not given pics of 5-9 children to choose from.

Belinda on

I’m also an adoptive mom and just love the idea of souls finding each other – so beautiful, and so true! Sheryl has obviously embraced being a mom – how lucky these boys are to grow up with such an incredible mom and to have found their true family through her!

Guatemama on

To Allison J –

I, too, am an adoptive parent and my daughter is from Guatemala. Your information about Guatemalan adoption is wildly inaccurate. I’m sure you didn’t mean to offend but it’s unfortunate that you chose to spread misinformation.

Like madisonsmom, I was given a referral for my daughter only – not a bunch of photos for me to select from! I believe that God chose my daughter and I for each other. My adoption of her was certainly not based off something as shallow as a photograph. I know many, many families who have adopted from Guatemala and I can assure you that none were given a group of photographs in which to select from.

Adoption is a beautiful, personal way to make a family and I am so blessed to have my daughter in my life. It nauseates me to think that people actually believe I selected her from a photo line-up.

lpt on

you are not given 5-9 individuals to choose from in russia-we adopted a boy from vladimir russia in 2005-we were given one referral with the right to decline or accept-i have not heard of anyone from russia being given more than one referral at a time

Lila on

She is a wonderful person with a big heart.

proadoption on

As an adoptee I agree with Sheryl that souls find each other. I have the family that I was meant to be with not the one I was born into.

Diane C on

Allison J,

You shouldn’t speak about countries you clearly aren’t familiar with. We adopted both of our children from Guatemala and neither times were we given a stack of pictures and told to “Pick your kid”. I just think you should consider what you say, before you say it, when you are clearly not familiar with the facts. Especially being an adoptive mother yourself, you don’t want to perpetuate falsehoods.

All of that being said, I think Sheryl Crow is an awesome woman and sounds like she’s a really great mom to her two boys!

Simi on

Some countries in the former USSR do actually give you a line up of photos and allow you to choose you child. Other do it on interview basis. You get to sit in a room and they send in child after child for you to talk to. Once you find a child you want to keep they put your request through and hopefully within few months your paperwork is finished you fly back and pick up your kid. Now that being said, only one or two counties still have that practice. Others have switched a a single child match and the parent is given the option to accept said child or not.

As to how I know this about some of the old USSR countries a friend of my and her husband wanted to adopt from that area of the world, the agency they went through was not a very good one in my opinion and did not prepare them for what they were about to go through. After an hour of my friend and her hubby seeing and talking to kids they had to leave. They both felt like they were shopping for a child and not trying to build a family. But since that day they have given up on adopting or having kids ever so now they own four dogs which to me is what’s really sad.

Also keep in mind that interviews many kids before you choose used to be done in the states as well and that didn’t change until not too long ago. Adoption is amazing and a true gift of mother nature to give you an opportunity to have a family from around the world. But the main thing is to have a good agency and support system in place that will help you do it legally and safely.

I am glad that Sheryl Crow decided to adopt and that she is such an amazing mom to those two beautiful boy. I wish them all the luck in the world.

Teg'smommy on

Our family choose domestic adoption as well. It is the best thing we have ever done. Our youngest daughter is the biggest blessing we have ever been given.

I only wish this country would make the adoption process more affordable for the average joe’s. I would adopt more if I could afford the fees associated with it. I just don’t think you should have to go into debt to bring a child into your home. It makes me very sad to know what a cash cow adoption is for this country. Thank goodness we were able to complete our adoption without an agency because we could never have done it with the fees those “not for profit” agency charge.

Carla on

Souls do find each other. You know when it’s right.

At 37 I thought I would be married with children but that didn’t happen. I decided to be a foster mom and my first placement was with a 20 day old little girl. Instantly I knew I would be her mother, than sadly 3 days later she was placed with a family member. I knew she would someday come back to me but when I saw her placement worker she encouraged me to rethink being a foster parent because I get too attached. Long story short, days later they found that the placement was not a good fit and she was back with me.

Since than I have adopted her and her biological sister who was 2 days old. They are now 3 1/2 and 2. I couldn’t be happier. God bless all mothers especially those who choose the adoption route!

Julie on

Carla, Thanks for taking the time to post your story. I just turned 40 and had pictured my life a little differently also (married with children). It’s women like yourself and Sheryl that open up the possibilities for women like my.

kim on

how beautiful, so giving and down to earth, I’m sure she makes a wonderful mom! lucky boys!

Joan on

I also an adoptive parent from Guatemala. We received our referral a week after our daughter was born. Did not have 5-9 babies to choose from. We also believe our daughter was a wonderful gift from God!

Erica2 on

Link to a picture of Sheryl Crow with both of her sons! We can finally see Levi! Wyatt is so grown up and handsome.

Linda on

I too am an adoptive mom of a child from Guatemala. I would like to chime in on what the others have said to Allison J. Your statement was so inaccurate! We too, accepted our referral based on nothing but a name and age of our daughter. We didn’t see any pictures until a couple of weeks later, after we accepted our referral and the process was underway. Unfortunately, that is how misinformation is spread.

Guatemama said it the best! I too, strongly feel like God brought us together.

CelebBabyLover on

Erica2- Thanks for the link. Levi is a cutie!

Teg’smommy- There IS at least one form of very affordable adoption here in the states: adopting through the foster care system, which is free, or nearly free (I forget which)! 🙂 Maybe you weren’t talking about the U.S. now (you never specified the country you were referring to). If not, then feel free to ignore my comment!

mari on

-She decided to pursue domestic adoption, preferably closed — “It would be extremely hard for a mother to watch the child she gave away then grow up in the magazines” –

Wrong. It would be a lot easier for the actual mother to follow her child’s upbringing rather than to have to perpetually be wondering what became of the child she lost.

It seems Ms Crow is not at all concerned about the feelings of the boys’ mothers. Closed adoptions make it as difficult as possible for them to ever reunite with their boys. Even open adoptions often close. There is nothing legally binding about those contracts – they are based on nothing more than a handshake.

Shame on anyone who is instrumental in permanently severing family ties. Adoption, closed or open, domestic or international, robs children of their identities by amending their original birth documentation. Every human being has the right to know who they are related to.

Daniel Ibn Zayd on

I am an adult adoptee who has come home to his country of birth. From what I know now of all adoptions and not just mine, I feel qualified to say the following:

Adoption is, in and of itself, a violence based in inequality; it is candy-coated, marketed, and packaged to appear to concern families and children, but it is an economically and politically incentivized crime that stems culturally speaking from the “peculiar institution” of Anglo-Saxon indentured servitude and not family creation; is not universal and is not considered valid by most communal cultures, globally speaking. It is a treating of symptoms and not of disease; it is a negation of true families and an annihilation of their vital communities that are not imbued with the intrinsic human value taken for granted by those adopting for reasons having to do with race, with class, and with a preconceived notion of what makes for a valid life in this world.

joy21 on

Sheryl Crow was more than likely to old to “bear a child of her own” and the barfy line, “there are so many kids out their already who need mothers” not infant kids. With her money she could have really helped a mother and child. She thinks it would be hard for the mother to see the child she gave away grow-up in magazines.

More likely she doesn’t want to expose herself and her sons to the disparities in wealth between her and the boy’s respective mothers.

Souls find each other! HA! translation “money talks”

gdfg on

“With her money she could have really helped a mother and child.”

It’s her money and she does not have to use it for charity if she doesn’t want to. Sheryl’s intent wasn’t to help someone else’s family out, it was to be a mother, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

gdfg on

Daniel, I’m sorry you didn’t have a great experience with adoption! Thankfully, I and most people I know HAVE had a great experience with it.

gdfg on

Mari, the birth mothers of Sheryl’s children obviously didn’t WANT open adoptions or they would have had one. If Sheryl didn’t want one and the birth mothers didn’t want one, then I don’t see what the problem is.

mari on

gdfg, it’s not so obvious. agency says: high profile adopter wants closed adoption. kid will have every toy imaginable. private school guaranteed. lots of horses, a cement pond and everything. it would be selfish to deny your child all of these wonderful things…

the problem, gdfg, is that adoptees lose their identities when adoptions are finalized. no amount of material possessions can ever replace that.

no one should have the right to strip someone of their true identity.

dory on

“Souls find each other, you don’t end up with the wrong child” – bwahahaha – yeah, talk to my adoptive mother about that one. I’m sure she’ll tell you a different story.

Christina on

Mari –

An adopted child does not lose his or her identity by being placed with an adoptive family. I am an adopted child, and my identity is firmly intact and relates to both my family (adoptive) and birth parents. And my adoption was closed as well. I have never met, nor have my parents ever met my birth parents. My identity attched to my birth parents is that they loved me enough to place me into a home they thought would be better for me.

Also, I think you are confused about the adoption process. While it is probably true that a person of higher status can receive what it is that they request, if the mother of either of these boys wanted an open adoption, the adoption agency would never have placed these boys with Sheryl.

I have volunteered at my adoption agency and have done a lot of research on domestic adoption. Closed and open adoptions have to be the choice of both parties, the birth family and the adopting family.

Daniel – I am truly sorry you have had a bad experience as an adopted child. Although experience seems like a trivial word, I am sorry that your story appears to be painful. But as another poster mentioned, and I can attest to as well, adoption can be a remarkably wonderful process. I have great love and respect for both my birth and adoptive family. I know many adopted children who feel the same.

I sit on panels for my adoption agency for prospective adopting families, adopted children, and pregnant women considering adoption to answer questions. While adoptions have and can cause tremendous pain for one or more parties, it is not an absolute and rather an exception. I am terribly sorry your adoption has caused you pain.

Christy on

Birth mothers may get to “choose” open adoption, but it is the adoptive parents that get to decide whether they stay open. So to say that they would have an open adoption if they wanted one is false.

Open adoption is not binding…there is nothing that says that if you agree on an open adoption that it has to stay that way. The adoptive parents can close it at any time they choose and for whatever reason they want… and those birth mothers are left in the dust with empty promises and empty hearts. Many many many mothers would have never chose adoption if they knew it would get closed.

And it isn’t even really about the parents anyway. Open adoption is much better for those adopted because it gives them a name to their origins, it gives them a knowledge of their genetic history, who they look like, where they came from. Yet sadly, it still seals their original birth certificates.

Erimentha on

“there were already so many kids in the world that needed [a mom].”

Maybe, but they are older children in foster care who have probably been abused and really are in need. What Sheryl got was newborn babies from women with no support or resources to look after their children – hardly the same thing. If she really wanted to help children who needed a family she would have adopted from foster care. This woman is not a hero so stop trying to make out like she is.

Rose on

@Christy: I think you’re missing the point. You’re right that a birth parent can choose open adoption and then back out on any promises made. But that does not change the fact that the birth parents chose closed adoption.

And you have no idea if Sheryl has the knowledge of her sons birth parents. Closed adoption does not automatically mean the adoptive parents and the child have no knowledge of the child’s background. In some cases it does and in some it doesn’t – there are different forms of closed adoption and you have no idea what version Sheryl has.

Christy on

No I said ADOPTIVE parents can back out…not the birth parents. ADOPTIVE parents are the one that have the children and can do WHATEVER they want once the birthparents sign the relinquishment papers. The birth parents are not the one who chooses whether the adoption will be closed or open, the Adoptive parents do.

A closed adoption is just that if it starts out closed. Neither sets of parents know about each other…there is no identifying information and no updates given. Semi open there is some identifying information given pre-birth and possible updates-usually through a third party ie the agency. There are many forms of open adoption, from knowing each set of parents names to knowing all information – phone, last names, address etc. and any form of update (pictures, letters, visits). When it states in this article that she had closed adoptions, it means exactly what it says. If they knew the birthparents or the birthparents knew them, they would know that it was their child on the magazines, exactly what she didn’t think a birthmother could handle.

I did not miss the point.

Christy on

I wanted an open adoption, I only placed because I was promised an open adoption. It was closed on me…. so now I have a closed adoption. I did not choose to have a closed adoption.

Get it? The birthparents do not have the power to choose what happens in that relationship after the papers are signed and the adoption is finalized.

CelebBabyLover on

Erimentha- But Sheryl’s boys DID need a family. As you said, obviously the birth mothers couldn’t take care of them. So the boys needed someone who could. So Sheryl DID give a family to children in need. 🙂

Rose- I couldn’t agree more!

Lind on

Mari, open your eyes. If you’re an adopted child with issues regarding your birth culture then I have sympathy for that but stop trying tell adopted children who they should be and what they’ve lost. It gets old real quick when someone has the audacity to presume that knowing my skin color and birth country magically gives them the key to proclaiming who I am supposed to be. I’m not supposed to be Ethiopian because I was born in Ethiopia. I’m not supposed to be African because I have dark skin. I’m not supposed to be American because my parents are American. I’m not supposed to be anything. I am African, Ethiopian, and American. But not because I’m supposed to be and certainly not because you think I should be.

gdfg on

Mari, that’s a personal belief that probably differs from person to person. For me, my identity has NOTHING to do with my DNA and everything to do with my family, culture, the people who raised me, and what I’ve been able to make of myself. I can see you feel otherwise. Everyone is different.

Christina on


You are correct. The birthmothers cannot control, nor do they have any legal right to continue an open adoption in an instance where an “open” adoption contract was not legally set in place. There are instances where both sets of parents create a legally binding contract with dates of open communication, but that is probably rare I assume.

I am very sorry that your open adoption did not stay open. i can only imagine the heartbreak that has caused you.

Rose, a “closed” adoption is just that, closed. No names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. are passed between the birth and adoptive families. Anything else is legally considered “partially-closed” or “partially-open.”

Again as to the identity issue, please be careful what you are saying. I know I need to choose my words carefully because every story is different, and I have complete respect for birth mothers and the difficult decision they reached.

However, my “original” birth certificate, is the one with my adoptive family listed as parents. I was placed for adoption, and while I have a 8×11 piece of paper with various bits of medical and person interest (like my birth mother liked painting), my identity is formed as I grow. I might have Italian heritage in my DNA (who knows) but the fact that I don’t know for certain doesn’t make it any more or less true. I am who I have become.

I have great respect for my birth family although I am not certain I want to pursue finding them at this time. My adoptive parents have always told me they would support me if I chose to search.

The story of my birth family and how I got to be here is one I may never know, but I am not deprived of anything. I have not been robbed of anything. I have been blessed knowing that someone loved me enough to birth me and give me to a family she had never met hoping this family could provide more for me and I am blessed because my adoptive family loves with everything they have. I am in no way deprived of anything. To imply otherwise is hurtful. And incorrect.

Rose on

@Christy: yes you did miss my point. You were saying that birth parents can’t really choose an open adoption. And I agree with you that they can’t control that. My point was that some birth parents don’t want things open to begin with, so nothing is being taken away from them if the adoptive parents agree to that and give them no information. They are getting exactly what they wanted to begin with. It’s a totally different situation than a birth parent choosing open and having the adoptive parents back out of the deal.

And I’m sorry to hear that your situation didn’t work out well. That must be very difficult for you.

James on

Christina, I am an adoptee too. I respect your wish not to meet or be curious about your birth heritage, but please do not argue that we don’t lose our identities in a closed adoption.

I was reunited with my birth family after a very long struggle through years of searching and lobbying my jurisdiction for the opening of adoption records. Even then they did not open all the records. ALL of my birth family has welcomed me warmly but there are many people I never had a chance to meet, including my natural mother.

I very much believe that my identity was lost and that I and my natural parents were greviously hurt by the closed adoption system. Yes, the reunion could have happened earlier if we had all signed up to a reunion registry but given the circumstances and the experience they had I can’t blame them for not having done so.

My government removed my identity and kept it hidden until I was thirty-one years old. In turn they fashioned me a new one, and I have only love for my adoptive family, but it does not make up for the first part.

If all you know about your birth parents is that they gave you up, then you don’t know enough to have a “birth identity”.

Christina on


I don’t see how I don’t have a birth identity.

And let me say that I do understand that for some people the desire to meet their birth family is stronger than mine. And in fact, I do sway back and forth with wanting to meet them and choosing to not. My decision is based on the point I am in right now in my life. I am starting a family and the registry process I have requires both registration by me and one of my birth parents or a sibling. I am not sure that I can handle the emotions of registering and not hearing back, because my birth parents may or may not have registered themselves. The “rejection” that I might feel may be more than I can stand. And I am completely aware that they may feel the same if they have chosen to register and I have not.

My point is that I don’t feel I am missing a part of my identity because there are and perhaps always might be unknowns in my life. is the knowledge of what city my birth mother grew up in going to affect who I am today? Probably not. It would be interesting to know, but I am not incomplete by not knowing. I understand that others may feel differently.

I have mixed emotions on finding my birth parents, but I am happy when adopted children reunite and everything goes well.

Unfortunately, through volunteering at my adoption center, I understand that some birth parents may make a decision that is difficult for them, but feel they are better off ending the process when the baby is born. I have seen heartache in adopted children as well as birth parents when adopted children go through legal and occassionally illegal channels to uncover their birth families which have in these instances (obviously not all) cause tremendous problems for the birth parents. Perhaps my view is jaded by these instances, it may well be, but I have seen too many families hurt by what is found on the other side. I am extremely glad you have a happy reunion with your family, and wish that could happen for everyone.

I would love to meet my birth family, have everything fall into place and end up with 2 supportive familes that are welcoming and happy. I just do not know whether that would occur and the uncertainty outweighs my curiousity. I feel that I will be reuninted with my birth family in heaven (my belief) and for now that is fine with me.

I do like your use of heritage. I think that probably changes my thoughts a little, identity to me is who you are based on the decisions you make and the environment you are in. I can understand the feeling of lost heritage, thank you for helping me understand that point better.

CelebBabyLover on

Christina- “and while I have a 8×11 piece of paper with various bits of medical and person interest (like my birth mother liked painting).” I think that’s what Rose was referring to when she said Sheryl might know something about her boys’ birth parents even though she has a closed adoption. She may have pieces of paper with the stuff you described on it for her boys if they’re interested in it someday. 🙂