Katherine Heigl Admits Early Days With Naleigh Were “The Hardest Time In My Life”

When New Year’s Eve star Katherine Heigl and her husband, singer Josh Kelley adopted their then 10-month-old daughter Naleigh from South Korea in 2009, the 33-year-old new mom was devastated when the mother-child bonding process didn’t immediately transpire for the two.

“People are always talking about the strong bond between mother and daughter, this magical connection – but we didn’t have that,” Katherine reveals in an interview with German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

“[The early days with Naleigh were] the hardest time in my life,” The Ugly Truth actress adds. “I fought incredibly hard for my daughter to accept me as mother. Her rejection almost broke my heart.”

In all truth, Katherine admits that her daughter’s initial rejection was so upsetting that she threw herself into her work which, in turn, “made the already difficult process of getting closer take even longer. When I realized that, I immediately cut back on work.”

“At first I blamed myself and thought I was a bad mother,” Katherine describes, feeling even more confused when little Naleigh bonded with her father. “It took a while before I could admit to myself that the lack of trust had nothing to do with me.”

Now, the mother-daughter duo have overcome their obstacles and are definitely a happy, bonded pair – so much that Katherine has no reservations about taking their darling 4-year-old daughter to visit her birth country.

“I’d like to fly to South Korea with the family,” she says, “to show her the country that she comes from.”

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  1. I usually try to defend her but, she is the most obnoxious self absorbed delusional chic.
    First off, after she adopted the baby she spent months talking about how great motherhood was. NOW she says it was the hardest part time of her life.
    And who talks about lack of trust with an infant?!?! Be the mother you selfish twit. I can’t remember the last time that I had this strong of a reaction to a celebrity.

    • I agree! of course i dont know the time line but i remember reading 1st about how she instinctively knew what to do, and then on some late night show commented that its called “mothers instincts” for nothing, and basically implied that she was doing a better job than her husband. And then later reading how she quit acting to for awhile to bond right away….and now she is saying that her husband and the baby bonded better at first and that she threw herself back into acting because she was so upset. Make up your mind woman! I’m so confused! Wasnt she just talking about adopting again? Maybe thats not the best idea right now….

    • “I can’t remember the last time that I had this strong of a reaction to a celebrity.”

      …….. which says a lot more about you than it does about her.

    • Um, perhaps she was speaking of Naleigh’s lack of trust in her at the beginning?

      I think it’s refreshing hearing someone say something other than “motherhood is the best thing ever!” Because life is messy, motherhood is messy, and while people love their children, not all adoptive children immediately accept their adoptive parent. It’s an adjustment, and I think it’s safe to say that little Naleigh is a happy child today, and she clearly loves her mama.

  2. She’s being honest and she didn’t have to be. It obviously took the right time to decide to open up about this, after dealing with feelings of inadequacy and rejection. This is her first child and she’s learning the ropes like we all did. It isn’t great when the child wants only the other parent but you learn what fickle little creatures they can be! Oh and Anonymous, you’re right….Katherine Heigl is very “chic” – I love her fashion style too….LOL.

  3. I also find it refreshing when people speak the truth about how hard motherhood can be, it isn’t always rainbows and roses and this also isn’t the first time Katherine has spoken about their difficult bonding. I’m sure it took a lot of courage to talk about that knowing what kind of feedback she’d receive, good for her! My daughter had colic and it was hard for me to bond with her at first, so I get where she’s coming from. I wish more people were honest like that!

    • she adopted her when she was 10 months back in 2009. shes not 10 months old now. lol. reading comprehension is important

  4. Oh my God, get over it. She is an honest mother I hide sometimes from my toddler and smoke a cigarette on my porch,so there. No one is perfect. Being a mom is hard and amazing at the same time.

    • LOL.. Jen, if you were a celebrity, the Internet Hatemonger Hounds would be all over you, you bad mother you!

  5. Oh, God, I know. There would be shots of me in my pjs and starbucks looking all frazzled. The kids screaming. Katie, is really a sweet, down to earth mom with Naleigh. They’d have DCS after me.

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