At the Academy Awards on March 4, Sandra Bullock sparkled in a Louis Vuitton gown but she had more on her mind than presenting the best cinematography prize. “I was just behind the Black Panther cast and I started to cry backstage when I was telling them how much it meant to me as a mother,” she said. As mom to adopted son Louis, 8, and daughter Laila, 6, both African-American, Sandra’s “so grateful to Marvel” for the movie’s presentation of powerful black superheroes.

She says “about five years ago, my son asked me if there were any brown Legos. And I said, ‘Yes, there are.’ And I got a Sharpie and I turned Spider-Man brown, and I don’t have to turn them brown anymore.” Sandra, 53, has always been determined to make sure her kids have the best role models, not just in what they see on the screen, but in herself and her longtime beau, photographer Bryan Randall, 51.

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Sandra and her son Louis.

“Both she and Bryan make sure the kids know their African-American heritage through the shows they watch, the books they read to them, even the video games they play,” an insider exclusively tells Closer Weekly. In fact, Sandra has put her kids’ welfare ahead of her own fame to ensure they grow up strong and proud of who they are — and who she is. “Sandra’s an exceptional mother,” the insider says. “There won’t any Mommie Dearest books in her future.”

To that end, Sandra is “completely and utterly hands-on” with her kids, notes the insider. “She tries to do everything herself: bathing them, cooking for them, feeding them, all of it.” She has help when she’s filming movies — like her latest,_ Ocean’s 8_, which premieres in June — but the rest of the time, she’s “a doting mom 24/7.”

Bryan, who has a college-age daughter and “loves being a father,” says the insider, is always there for the kids, too. “As doting as Sandra is, so is he. It’s a wonderful match.” Though rumors swirled recently that the couple had secretly married after Bryan was photographed wearing what looked like a wedding ring, Sandra’s publicist denies it.

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Sandra and her boyfriend Bryan.

“She’s been telling her friends that marrying him is a ‘no- brainer,'” the insider says, “but after all she’s been through, Sandra feels like it’s nobody’s business.” Following her bitter 2010 divorce from Jesse James, she has kept her romantic life private. But she credits that painful experience for helping her grow. “I had to step back and go, ‘I have the greatest gift in little Louis, and I’m gonna let him see the woman I want him to know,'” she says.

After adopting Laila in 2015, she felt doubly sure of herself. “All the pieces came together,” she says. “I went, ‘This is who I like. This is who I am.'” And that meant putting her family first. Now she, Bryan, and the kids spend time together playing card and board games, or outside hiking and playing soccer. “My family is blended and diverse, nutty and loving, and understanding,” Sandra says. “That’s a family.”

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