Katherine Heigl has opened up about adopting a special needs baby girl from Korea, with husband Josh Kelley.
In an interview set to air Friday on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the “Grey’s Anatomy” star, who grew up with an adopted Korean-born sister, said her little bundle of joy will arrive stateside very soon, but she has yet to meet the girl the couple will call Naleigh.
“They sent us a picture. They told us that it was a little girl and who she was and the information about six months ago,” Katherine said of the adoption process. “It was meant to take a long time. This sort of thing can take years.”
Katherine explained that one reason the adoption process was quick was because their daughter is a special needs child.
“She has special needs. She is a special needs baby and because of that it all moved so much faster. They wanted to get her to us as quickly as possible,” the actress said.
The actress explained that the couple is giving their bundle of joy a name with some family significance.
“I am naming her after my mother and sister — Nancy, Leigh. So we call her Naleigh,” Katherine said.
However, the baby’s name could change.
“We have to meet her first. We assume it’s a Naleigh,” she added.
Although she hasn’t met her daughter yet, Katherine said she already has a special bond with the baby.
“She was actually born the day before me in November, which I thought was really serendipitous and just kind of like a sign,” the actress, whose birthday is November 24, said. “I realized just recently that I basically forfeited my birthday for the rest of my life.”
In order to adopt the child, Katherine told Ellen that she and Josh had a significant amount of paperwork to go through.
“We had to fill out a pamphlet that was about 40 pages that were super, super detailed — what kind of people we were. How we expected to raise the baby. What kind of parenting ideas did we have. How were we raised? What would we do the same and what would we do differently,” she said.
The star said the questions forced the couple to really examine what they wanted.
“These are very valid questions. You think about some of these things. You talk about some of these things but you don’t really get into the mix of it until you’re looking at these questions going, ‘Oh my god! We better answer these right otherwise they won’t give us the baby,’” the actress said.
Katherine said the couple discussed adoption before Josh put a ring on her finger.
“We started talking about adoption even before we were engaged because it’s really important to me. It’s been a big part of my life and my family. My sister is Korean and my parents adopted her back in the ‘70s and so I just always knew that this is something I wanted to do. I made that really clear because not everybody is down with that. Not everybody thinks that,” she told Ellen. “I just wanted to make sure that I was marrying a guy who understands that this was going to have to happen. So about a year ago is when we said, ‘OK! Let’s start the process and the process is intense. It’s just as intense I’m sure to have a baby biologically because you’re going through the whole physical sort of thing of it.”