Tuesday, October 19, 2010 / 3:36 pm
Redbook has published a transcript of Katherine's cover feature interview for the magazine's November issue on their web site. In the interview, Katie talks about motherhood, family life, the adoption of daughter Naleigh and her new movie "Life As We Know It".
The Girl Who Changed Katherine Heigl's Life
By Susan Dominus
No one ever feels totally ready for a baby, but did you feel more or less prepared by the time Naleigh arrived?
Actually, she came to us two months early. The adoption agency told us she would probably come after Christmas and not to get our hopes up because with international adoptions the babies never come early. And so I had taken a movie project with a schedule that would allow me to be done in early November. Then we got a call and they said the baby was coming in two weeks. We were like: two weeks? I considered trying to pull out of the film, but they couldn't replace me. She came two days before we got on a plane to Atlanta to start shooting.
So she came to you? Did you consider going to Korea to get her?
Because I get followed by the paparazzi, we were trying to figure out how to do it without fanfare - we thought maybe we could go through Hawaii to avoid them, or fly privately, which is crazy. But we really wanted to get her here without all that chaos: It was about protecting her. In the end, we met her at the airport, and I had to stay in a van so no one would see me.
A social worker named Mr. Lee, from the adoption agency, came out to the van with Naleigh, and then we drove to a parking spot and he told us about the flight and what formula she's drinking and all that kind of stuff... But I don't remember much of the conversation because she was this little peanut - she just lay on my shoulder and had these big wide eyes. She had spent all this time on a plane, and they had just taken her away from her foster family, whom she loved and who loved her. So it was intense. She was really quiet, just watching everybody and everything, and I was kind of the same: I was kind of scared too. It was like, There's no turning back now. This is my child. Oh, my God, I hope I do this right.
The film is so honest about the difficulties that working parents face. Have you found that balance challenging?
Yes. I talk myself into working every day. Because I still feel guilty when I leave her. Sometimes she cries when I go and that's really bad. And it's even worse when she's like, "Bye!" [Mimes a friendly wave and a big smile] Because she's used to it - and that's horrible. But there's a part of me that believes I wouldn't be a better mother if I stayed home with her. I think I'd probably be a less patient person, because I love what I do. I just had no idea how hard making that choice every day would be.
I also think I'm setting an example for her, showing her that it's okay to be a working mom and have a career you're passionate about. And I'm very fortunate that I can work for two or three months, and then if I want to take six months off, I can.
To read Katherine's interview in full visit the Redbook web site or purchase the magazine which is on newsstands now.