Saturday, May 22, 2010 / 6:24 pm
The press junket for Katherine Heigl's new action comedy "Killers" is taking place this weekend at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, which is where she sat down to chat with The Insider and Entertainment Tonight about her baby daughter's heart surgery and the decision to leave Grey's Anatomy.
Speaking to The Insider's Chris Jacobs, Katherine explained the harrowing experience of being continents apart from her daughter while baby Naleigh recovered from heart surgery.
Naleigh, who Katherine and hubby Josh Kelley welcomed from Korea last September, underwent the surgery in her native country before the couple began the process of adopting her. Once she'd been assigned to them, however, waiting to bring Naleigh home was the hardest part, Katherine said.
"I was dying because I just wanted to know. I wanted to know: How is she being cared for? And how is this going?"
"If you're really lucky they'll send a picture every once in a while… And you're going, 'I can't tell if she's happy or well or cared for,' but she really, really was. She was in a wonderful foster family. Her foster mother sat with her every night in the hospital all night during that surgery," Katherine said with an emotional exhale.
She added that meeting her baby daughter for the first time was a profoundly moving experience. "It was surreal. I just sort of grabbed her out of the social worker's arms... and held her against me, and was just like, 'Okay, now what?'" she laughed.
"For days and days we just held her all the time... and she would lay on us like a little pea pod and watch. Just watch everything, and I'm sure she was terrified," Katherine recalled. "At that point, all we wanted to do was tell her she's loved: 'You're safe and you're loved.' To see her now - boy, does she know she's safe and loved!"
Katherine told Entertainment Tonight's Samantha Harris that although she regrets leaving "Grey's Anatomy" every day she is grateful that she chose to raise her baby daughter Naleigh full-time instead.
"It was a really hard choice to make and you never quite know, 'Was it the right choice or the wrong choice? But the only thing that gives me solace is knowing that if I hadn't, I wouldn't have had these months with Naleigh that have just sort of solidified our relationship."
"I needed that to happen," she continued. "I really needed her to get that I'm her mom. And I needed to show her that, I couldn't just tell her."