When it comes to opening up to her kids, Katherine Heigl jumps right in to tell her adopted children about their origin stories.
In her cover interview for Parents magazine’s April issue alongside husband Josh Kelley and their kids Joshua Bishop, 4, Adalaide Marie Hope, 8½, and Naleigh Mi-Eun, 12 — Heigl is hopeful the girls, who are adopted, will “have more questions as they get older” regarding their origin story.
“We have said to them, ‘This is your story. We don’t have any information about your biological fathers, but we do have a bit about your biological mothers,’ ” the Heigl, 42, said of Naleigh and Adalaide.
” ‘If you guys want to talk more about them, you can have as much or as little information as you want,’ ” she added of their conversations. ” ‘Tell us what you’re comfortable with knowing.’ “
Heigl, who was “raised with adoption,” felt she was “so naïve” about her sister Meg’s experience when she was younger, “I had to realize, okay, this isn’t about how it makes me feel. It’s about how I need to protect my daughters and prepare them for the world, because I can’t change society in one fell swoop.”
Naleigh is “one of two kids in her grade” at school without a phone of her own, which has been tough for the preteen.
But Heigl’s oldest has “been sneaking my iPad and creating TikTok videos without my permission,” she said.
“I know she thinks I’m being a tyrant, but I worry about the effect of social media on kids her age. I watched The Social Dilemma. So I’m like, ‘Go ahead and hate me. I’m trying to save you!’ “
As of late, Joshua is “obsessed with Spider-Man and the Hulk,” while Adalaide adores the great outdoors. As when it came to her “fearless” middle child she put it bluntly: “She’s my pistol, all piss and vinegar.”
“She actually wants to start barrel racing,” Heigl shared of Adalaide’s love of riding horses on their ranch. “And she loves to make Naleigh laugh.”
Heigl admitted she “was so relieved” when she found out Joshua was a boy while she was expecting, saying, “It was actually a big reason why I was vacillating between trying to get pregnant or adopting again, since with adoption you can specify the sex.”
“I just thought, another girl could mean lifelong therapy for all of us,” she joked.
Hiegl informed Parents how she initially “thought that we needed one more child to complete this home,” be it biologically or via adoption or foster care.
But since the pandemic hit, “I have completely changed my mind,” Heigl said. “I am very content with my three!”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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