Monday, May 28, 2012 / 2:01 pm
Adalaide Marie Hope Kelley
Katherine and her husband Josh Kelley were thrilled to welcome daughter Adalaide Marie Hope into their family last month. The couple adopted the precious newborn baby girl early in April and in an interview with Hello! magazine last week, Katherine explained that the emotions of meeting the gorgeous brown haired little girl were something that they will never forget.
"It was late at night when Josh and I arrived at where she was being cared for. I walked in the house, threw down my bags and opened my arms so I could hold her. She was so tiny and delicate, and that moment they put her in my arms I just felt an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder that this perfect little being was our daughter. I don't cry easily or often but I'm not gonna lie, this was one of those moments where you can't help but be overcome with emotion. There were some tears and a lot of giddines and joy."
Adalaide's big sister Nancy Leigh Mi-Eun (Naleigh) was adopted from South Korea in 2009, and the couple felt it was the perfect time to have another child, with the age gap between the two sisters ideal for both parents and siblings. "We started planning in October," Katherine revealed, "and didn't know how long the process would take. The news of Adalaide came much faster than we expected and we couldn't be more thrilled with how it all worked out."
Adalaide Marie Hope Kelley was named after Katherine's great grandmother Adalaide, Marie after her own middle name, and Hope because of what the adoption process became. She explained, "family names are important to me and I love being able to honor our heritage and the people who truly mean something to us. I really wanted to use some of Josh's family names but they were already taken by his older siblings."
Katherine told interviewer Dawn Emery how she and Josh felt when the couple found out Adalaide had been born. "We knew an approximate date of delivery but we all know how unpredictable these things can be. So Josh and I were bouncing off the walls with excitement and anticipation just waiting for the call. It came late morning during the week and we were both home and on the phone together. Our first reaction was relief that all had gone well and that the baby was healthy and then it was a whirlwind of preparing to leave to get her and making sure we had everything we needed to welcome her home."
However, adopting domestically meant that it was not easy to keep the process secret. "It wasn't easy because we had to physically go get her and bring her back on a commercial flight. And we were excited to share the news with our friends and family. The best thing we did to keep suspicion at a minimum was to fly our nanny with us so she could hold Adalaide on the way back a few rows behind us. Also, when we got home we just never left the house. I sewed every day and Josh wrote her a song."
Toddler Naleigh has adapted well to the new family member, "She is great with Addey - she always wants to hold her new baby sister. At the same time her world as the only princess in the house changed immediately, so she was a bit wary at first of her new situation."
Motherhood has been different experience for Katherine second time around as daugter Naleigh was 9 months old when she and Josh became her parents. "This time we're dealing with a newborn, which was at first very intimidating because we didn't know what to expect; but it's been such a blissful peaceful time with this brand new person whose needs are pretty simple really. The one thing I'm doing different is making sure I have the time. I need to just be home with my family as we all adjust to the change and the ability to give all my attention and focus to my girls."
Having spoken openly in the past about the initial difficulty she had in developing a bond with Naleigh following her adoption, Katherine said "I'm very grateful for the honesty of the women I spoke to about it. They helped me not feel so alone in it and their [similar] experiences gave me hope that Naleigh would come around. And boy did she ever! It took several months and forced me to be patient and steadfast in my love for her, but when the tide changed and she wanted and needed me as much as I did her it was the most rewarding experience of my life."
Naleigh shares a unique relationship with her aunt Meg, who herself was adopted from Korea three years before Katherine was born. Katie described the special relationship that her sister and daughter share. "I think their bond is unique and beautiful because of their shared heritage but I also think it's as strong as it is because of the immediate connection Naleigh had with Meg and Meg's amazing and wonderful way with children. Naleigh adores my sister and vice versa. There's just a fantastic level of affection, comfort, and love between them."
Asked if she felt that speaking about her experiences of adoption would encourage others to do the same, Katherine said that although that result would be wonderful, she doesn't speak about it to preach to people or influence them, but because "it is a part of me, a part of my family, and now a part of the family Josh and I have built and I can't help but share my life with others when I'm asked."
As for more children in the future?
"We would love more children and Josh and I are in negotiations over how many more. I'd like two more, he thinks three's a nice number, so we'll see!"