Nicole Kidman is living the dream – she has a gorgeous and talented husband, beautiful young children and an award-winning career.
But despite all that, the actress has always battled an ongoing heartache over two of her kids, following her 2001 divorce from Tom Cruise.
While it has often been a strained relationship, for the past two decades Nicole never gave up on her "lost babies" Bella, 28, and Connor, 26, even after suffering further heartache as she missed out on her daughter's wedding in 2015.
However, happily for Nicole, 54, Woman's Day can reveal she has recently reconnected with both Bella and Connor.
Insiders say she's been "in close and regular contact" with them since lockdowns began early last year, marking a big shift from the occasional text message exchanges they'd previously had.
"It took a global pandemic to mend this bridge," says a longtime family friend.
"With Nicole in Australia, Bella in London and Connor in Florida, it was a scary time, but it helped break down the walls of communication."
"It's happened slowly over the past 18 months, even if it is only virtually via an Instagram DM here and a phone call there, but Nicole will take anything they throw at her."
In complete contrast to their famous parents, Bella and her brother have both chosen paths away from the spotlight, but still maintain strong ties to their 59-year-old father's beloved Scientology – the religion that originally tore Nicole's babies from her by discouraging their contact.
According to a US report last month, Bella has now achieved "auditor" status in the UK branch of the church, while Connor, who is building up a future in the restaurant business, remains in the upper ranks at its HQ in Clearwater, Florida.
The siblings have infamously kept their distance from Nicole due to her alleged excommunication status as an "SP" [Suppressive Person] following her divorce from Tom, but insiders say now they're adults they're free to make their own choices.
"Bella and Connor are VIPs in Scientology and have been able to do whatever they like since they turned 21 – and that includes contacting their mum," says the friend.
"They're both in solid relationships and are seeing things from a less polluted perspective now."
Both Bella, who has been married to IT consultant Max Parker for six years, and Connor, who reportedly wed fellow Scientologist Silvia Zanchi in 2019, have stayed away from the red carpet world of their parents, but sources say that's made it easier for a reconciliation.
"Bella sent out an olive branch to Nicole a couple of years ago by using her name in her clothing brand [Bella Kidman Cruise].
"That meant the world to Nicole," says our source.
"She's shown nothing but respect for those kids, and she kept to the agreement she made with Tom, who took full custody."
Friends say missing out on Bella's wedding in 2015 was a call to action for Nicole, who went on to declare that she would always be there for them with unconditional love.
"No matter what, the child has to know there is available love and I'm open here," she said in 2018.
"If that is taken away, to sever that in any child, in any relationship, in any family – I believe it's wrong."
The insider adds, "Nicole really went out on a limb talking about them, but it was important for them to know, even in an indirect way, that it wasn't what she wanted.
"And it seems it worked."