A teen in Thailand who met Kim Kardashian when her family visited the girl’s orphanage while filming their reality show said she turned down an offer of adoption from the star.
Laddawan Tong-Keaw, a 13-year-old with the nickname Pink, lives in Phang Nga, a poverty-stricken region of Thailand. Pink met the Paper cover model while she was filming Keeping Up With the Kardashians in April.
Pink was sent to the home because her mother was too poor to take care of her. The impoverished region she lives in was hit hard by the 2004 tsunami, when 4,000 locals were killed.
Pink bonded with Kim, who was so fond of the young girl she reportedly visited her at the Home and Life Foundation twice. Pink give Kim a bracelet.
“We had a connection straight away,” Pink told the Daily Mail, admitting she and the other children didn’t recognize the family. “I think she is really pretty and she has a very nice personality.”
“When you meet someone that you really connect to like this, you can’t help but think like how you could change their life,” Kim said on camera. “And I think that looking into adoption would be amazing.”
She added, “I literally cannot stop thinking about her. I told Kanye, I was like, honestly, this girl is so sweet and so cute, like, I would honestly adopt her.”
Kim seemed to let the idea go, though, after Kris Jenner told Kim it was “a little aggressive” and the resort manager said it’s “very, very difficult” to adopt a Thai child.
“I think you can’t just go to an orphanage and fall in love with a child and then take them home like you’re shopping,” Jenner said.
But when the home’s supervisors later went to Pink to tell her that Kim wanted to adopt her, the Daily Mail reported that she said a “polite but firm ‘no.’”
“Everyone wants to have a different or a better life, I suppose,” said Pink, who dreams of studying in Thailand and helping her orphaned peers. “But when I thought about it I realized it wouldn’t be good for me, because I would have to leave so much behind. I wasn’t ready for that.”
Despite saying no, Pink said she was “shaking” when she was told about Kim’s hope for bringing her into the famous family.
“When I found out she wanted to adopt me, I was shaking. I was so excited,” said the teen, who shares a dorm room with mattresses on the floor with five other girls. “It would be such a change of life for me.”
The change would be drastic: Pink currently travels 100 miles round trip every day to attend a top government school, waking up at 5 a.m. and getting home around 6 p.m.
The other family members on the trip also seemed to be affected by the conditions at the home, which was set up eight years ago for those devastated by the tsunami.
“These kids have almost nothing and can still find reasons to be happy, and I think my family can learn from them,” Kendall Jenner said on the show.
But Pink and Kim may still reconnect one day.
“I spoke to my mum about Kim and she said, ‘When you finish high school and you can look after yourself, I will give you permission to go and live with Kim if you want to go,’” Pink said.
She added, “But the other children here and like brothers and sisters to me and I couldn’t leave them behind. They are my family and I couldn’t just go away and leave them.”