Gabrielle Union has been in a relationship with Dwyane Wade for the best part of a decade. And the actress has opened up over the years about her struggle to have a child. However, in November 2018 the couple revealed some surprising news that they had been keeping a secret.
Union came into the world on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska. The star had a difficult time as a teenager, being assaulted and suffering a rape while working at a Payless shoe store at 19 years old in 1992. She began acting the next year, with her first tryout for Saved By The Bell .
The actress went on to appear in teen rom-coms such as She’s All That and 10 Things I Hate About You. Then Union got her big break with cheerleading film Bring It On. The movie led to her landing the starring role in medical drama City of Angels.
More recently, Union has appeared in Think Like A Man and its sequel. And since 2013, she has been starring in the drama series Being Mary Jane. The star has been highly praised for her work on the show and won an NAACP Image Award for the role.
Union dated Jason Kidd, who went on to become an NBA player, in high school. Then she married NFL star Chris Howard in May 2001 after meeting him at a party two years earlier. The couple separated in 2005, and four years later, she started dating Wade.
Wade made his entrance to the world in Chicago, Illinois on January 17, 1982. He developed a talent for basketball at school and then played for Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After college, the Miami Heat took him in the 2003 draft.
The basketball player helped the team to win their first NBA Championship in 2006 and was named the MVP of the NBA Finals. Wade was also on the United States 2008 Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal. Today, he is a 12-time NBA All-Star and returned to the Miami Heat earlier this year after less than two seasons playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In 2002 Wade wed his sweetheart from high school, Siohvaughn Funches. They began a divorce fight five years later, and later he gained full custody of their sons Zaire, now 16, and Zion, now 11. The 36-year-old is also rearing his sister’s son, 17-year-old Dahveon.
Union and Wade got together in 2009. But in early 2013, their separate work commitments put a strain on the relationship, and they decided to go their separate ways. After their break-up, Wade had a child with his friend, Aja Metoyer. Their son Xavier was born that November.
Wade reunited with Union that same year, and they got engaged in December 2013. They married in Miami the next August, and Union became a stepmother of three. And after the pair tied the knot, the actress knew that she wanted kids of her own.
“I never wanted kids,” Union wrote in her 2017 book We’re Going To Need More Wine. “Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.” However, the 46-year-old has been candid about the fact that she has struggled to have children naturally or through the use of fertility treatments.
“I was always having these early miscarriages. Some through IVF and some, you know, just naturally,” Union said on The Dr. Oz Show in 2018. And the previous year, she admitted in her book, “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant.”
According to Essence, Union revealed in August 2018 that she suffered from adenomyosis. The condition is a variety of endometriosis that caused her fertility problems. And the star admitted that it would become difficult when people would ask her about starting a family.
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’” Union previously told People. “A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause.”
Union revealed that she had experienced “eight or nine miscarriages” during her battle to have a baby. The 46-year-old decided to share her story to help other women who are trying to become mothers. However, she never gave up hope that she would one day be a mom.
The star explained in her memoir that she and Wade were still “bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.” And after years of trying to get pregnant, Union and Wade’s prayers were answered. In November 2018 they revealed some exciting news on Instagram.
Union shared a photo that showed them at the hospital cradling a newborn baby. And she announced that they had welcomed a daughter via surrogate on November 7, 2018. “We are sleepless and delirious but so excited to share that our miracle baby arrived last night via surrogate and 11/7 will forever be etched in our hearts as the most loveliest of all the lovely days,” she wrote. “Welcome to the party, sweet girl!”
After Union revealed her news, celebratory messages came flooding in online – including from the couple’s celebrity friends. “What a blessing!!! I am so happy for you guys!!!” actress and singer Janelle Monáe wrote. And director Ava DuVernay commented, “How wonderful!”
Miami Heat also congratulated the couple on Twitter and shared a photo of a onesie that they were sending for the new arrival. Wade has been signed to the team for one final season but is taking paternity leave to spend time with his daughter. And it’s clear that the new mom and dad are loving parenthood.
Although they kept the surrogacy a secret, Wade announced that they have named their daughter Kaavia James by sharing a photo of a tattoo he got on his shoulders of the moniker ahead of her arrival. The couple has also been posting snapshots with their baby on Instagram. And proud mom Union told fans that her little girl smells like “heaven.”