December 02, 2015 10:00 AM

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock opens up for the first time about fostering and adopting her 3½-year-old daughter, Laila. Subscribe now for instant access to the exclusive interview, plus the adorable family photos of Laila and brother Louis, or pick up PEOPLE on newsstands Friday!

He’s only 5, but Louis Bullock knew he was ready for a sibling before his mom did.

In this week’s PEOPLE cover storySandra Bullock reveals that when the topic of kids arose at a dinner with friends about three years ago, her son Louis made an announcement.

“He puts his hands behind his head and leans back and says, ‘I don’t have daughters,’ ” the star recalls. “And we agreed as well that he didn’t have daughters, and then he said, ‘but I’m gonna have a baby soon. I don’t know its name yet, but it’s coming.’ “

The conversation took place around the time that Bullock, 51, began the process in Louisiana of fostering daughter Laila, now 3½.

Cover Photograph by Bryan Randall/Getty Images

Louis, whom Bullock adopted in 2010, “is a wise old soul and often knows more than I give him credit for,” she says. “I think he was ready for her before she even arrived.”

During early talks with him, Bullock explained that he might end up with either a brother or a sister, and “he did specify that he wanted a sibling that has some brown skin,” she notes.

Recalling visits from Child Protective Service (CPS) during the fostering and adoption process, Bullock says, “There was an afternoon when we were outside and Louis saw their car pull up and he ran next to Laila and asked the CPS workers why they were there.

“They replied that they were there to see if Laila was okay. He replied, ‘You’re not going to take her away, are you?’ And at that moment, I knew I could stop worrying about whether I had found the right match. It was obvious I had.”

To learn more about adoption and fostering in the U.S., go to adoptuskids.org and kids-alliance.org.

— J.D. Heyman

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