Six years ago she saved him from a life of unimaginable hardship, as a child soldier in war-torn Rwanda.
And today Emma Thompson beamed with pride as she watched her African son graduate from university.
Wearing a cream suit and green satin jacket, the 50-year-old actress wrapped her arm around Tindyebwa Agaba as he clutched his ribbon-tied scroll.
Emma Thompson and husband Greg Wise with their son Tindyebwa Agaba, who graduated with a 2.1 degree from Exeter University in politics.
And along with Miss Thompson’s husband Greg Wise, the family proudly posed for the student’s official graduation photo.
Dressed in a traditional black cloak and mortarboard, 22-year-old Tindyebwa grinned with delight as Exeter University Chancellor Floella Benjamin presented him with his 2.1 honours degree in politics.
‘I admit I found my first year very difficult, the second year was less difficult and the third year was an absolute blast,’ he said after the ceremony.
‘So in a nutshell I’ve been from hell to heaven in three years.’
Miss Thompson and Mr Wise met Tindyebwa, known as Tindy for short, at a Refugee Council party in 2003, when he was 16 years old.
His father had died from AIDS when he was just nine and his mother and sister were listed as missing during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, having probably been abducted and raped by soldiers.
Tindy was forced to serve as a child soldier, but charity Care International eventually helped him flee to Britain, where he met his adoptive parents.
The 22-year-old was adopted by the actress in 2003 when he was aged 16. Also seen here are Thompson's mother Phyllida Law and daughter Gaia
‘He didn’t have much English, but we just got talking,’ Miss Thompson has previously said.
‘His experience had been awful and when he finally got to Britain after tremendous suffering, he told us the authorities didn’t believe him.
‘He spent two nights sleeping rough before they finally did. It was the only time he considered suicide.
‘He’s such a lovely, enchanting boy, so I said “Come and spend Christmas with us”. And he came for half the day. Slowly he became a permanent fixture, went on holidays with us and became part of the family.’
Adopting Tindy also helped the actress, who had tried and failed to have more children after undergoing IVF to conceive daughter Gaia, now eight years old.
Wise has described the process as ‘brutal’ and admitted it left him requiring therapy.
‘You try your hardest and, if it doesn’t work, it’s not your fault,’ he said.
After learning to speak English, Tindy studied GCSEs and A-levels before winning a place at Exeter University.
He said he chose Exeter because his surrogate family had told him of the ‘stunning beauty there, where they shot Sense And Sensibility’ - the 1995 film on which Miss Thompson met her 43-year-old husband.
From September, Tindy plans to attend London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where he will study for a Masters Degree in Human Rights Law.