Though many still think of her as Izzie Stevens from her six seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, Katherine Heigl has had a more important role for almost twice as long now: mom. Heigl and her musician husband of 13 years, Josh Kelley, first became parents when they adopted now 12-year-old daughter, Naleigh, from South Korea when she was just 9 months old. Since then, the celebrity couple has added to their brood with 8-year-old daughter, Adalaide, whom they adopted at birth in the U.S., and 4-year-old son, Joshua, whom Heigl gave birth to. In the April cover story of Parents, Heigl talks about how she juggles the kids, her career, and also five rescue dogs, three rescue cats, horses, donkeys, goats, and chickens.
In the interview Heigl joked about whom she prefers: “Animals are so much easier than children. Far fewer demands!” Like all parents, the Firefly Lane star has spent the last year hunkered down at home, and it’s definitely been an adjustment.
“This is the longest period I have consistently spent with my children,” she said. “At first I loved cooking inspired meals, but now I’m like, ‘Kids, just make yourself a sandwich.'”
Heigl has been open about adopting her two eldest kids, inspired by her parents adopting her own older sister Meg from South Korea. As her daughters get older, they are asking more questions about their adoptions.
“We have said to them, this is your story,” Heigl told Parents. “We don’t have any information about your biological fathers, but we do have a bit about your biological mothers. If you guys want to talk more about them, you can have as much or as little information as you want. Tell us what you’re comfortable with knowing.”
With two daughters already in the family, Heigl revealed she was “so relieved” when she found out she was pregnant with a boy five years ago. “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,” she said. “I just thought, another girl could mean lifelong therapy for all of us.”
Perhaps because of that, Heigl might be a little too doting on Joshua. “My mother has told me on more than one occasion that he’s totally spoiled,” she said. “Not wrong. I’m working on it.”
And if there were any lingering thoughts of adding more kids to the family, the pandemic has completely changed her mind. “I am very content with my three!” Heigl said. But more animals? “I could see myself fostering one more dog,” she said. “I just have to convince Josh.”