Katherine Heigl is widely known for her role as Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy. Besides this role, the actress has also had roles in well-known films like Knocked Up (2007), 27 Dresses (2008), Life As We Know It (2010), and The Big Wedding (2013). Although the celebrity’s life as an actress has slowed down in recent years, her personal life hasn’t.
The actress has been married to singer Josh Kelley since 2007, when they wed in a simple ceremony in Park City, Utah. They had become engaged in 2006 after meeting on the set of Josh’s music video for “Only You.” “I think I just wanted to save something for the actual marriage… I wanted there to be something to make the actual marriage different than the dating or the courtship,” Katherine explained of why she and her husband didn’t live together before marriage.
Since then, the couple has welcomed three children. They adopted their eldest daughter, Naleigh, in 2009, while their second daughter, Adelaide Marie Hope, was adopted in 2012. They also welcomed a son, Josh Jr., in 2016 after expressing uncertainty if they would ever have biological children. Keep reading to learn more about this celebrity family!
20. HER ELDEST CHILDREN ARE ADOPTED
Katherine has revealed that she always knew she wanted to adopt children before having her own biologically, if ever, since it’s played such a huge part in her own family. Her sister, Meg, was born in South Korea and born three years before she was born.
“We still talk about having biological children as well. I’m not ruling anything out,” she told Us Weekly. “Adoption has been a part of my life and a part of my family, so it was how I wanted to start.” In 2009, the couple adopted their daughter Naleigh from South Korea. In 2012, they went on to adopt a second daughter, Adelaide Hope, in the US. The couple has since welcomed a son in 2016.
19. HER DAUGTHER REJECTED HER AT FIRST
Katherine has been honest about the challenges that have come from adopting. She first adopted her eldest daughter, Naleigh, when she was 10-months from South Korea in 2009. However, the actress admits the little one wasn’t warm towards her initially and didn’t respond well to her affections.
“I fought very hard to be accepted as a mom by my daughter. Her rejection almost broke my heart,” she explained, Hollywood Life reports. Katherine added that Naleigh seemed to get on better with her husband, which she says made her “a little bit envious.” That would definitely be a difficult situation!
18. SHE LEFT GREY’S ANATOMY FOR HER KIDS
When Katherine was having difficulty transitioning her daughter Naleigh when they first adopted her, the actress says she made the decision to put her professional life on hold.
So much so, this prompted her to abruptly leave Grey’s Anatomy despite her character’s storyline feeling unresolved. Reports have suggested the actress was also feuding with her co-stars and the show’s creators.
“The minute I realized [that], I immediately stopped working so much,” Katherine explained, Hollywood Life reports. “It takes time for a child to trust this new situation and to trust you,” she continued. “My advice is don’t be discouraged. The reward [of adopting] is so great.”
17. SHE PREFERS ADOPTION TO PREGNANCY
Now that Katherine has experienced both adoption and pregnancy, many fans were curious to know which process the celebrity preferred. While she acknowledged both are extremely different from the other, the actress has said she prefers adoption.
“One minute you’re weirdly obsessed with this baby, like ‘Don’t take him out of my sight,’ and the next you’re kind of blue, you’re a little sad and a little freaked out,” Katherine explained to People. “I actually prefer the adoption way because I wasn’t subject to hormones.”
However, she did go on to describe pregnancy as “pretty easy,” and added that she was grateful for the experience.
16. SHE ALMOST GOT DIVORCED TWO YEARS AGO
Despite being married for over a decade, it sounds like Katherine and her husband Josh have gone through some rough times recently. Back in 2017, sources said that those close to the couple were worried their marriage could be in jeopardy following the cancelation of Katherine’s TV series Doubt.
“Josh was thrilled to play house husband and have Katherine working long hours again. Their marriage has always thrived when Katherine is busy, and Josh is holding down the fort.” a source told Radar Online. “Katherine has been in an especially foul mood since Doubt’s cancellation. She has a wicked temper and takes it out on Josh.”
15. SHE ADMITS HER PARENTING PRIORITIES WERE WRONG
Back in 2014, the actress opened up about how she felt she didn’t know how to balance parenting with her professional life when she first became a mom. In fact, she thinks her priorities were in the completely wrong place until she took a break from work entirely.
“I felt like my priorities were messed up,” the actress told Time. “I was putting so much time and energy into just my work, but I was raised [to believe] that family comes first.”
“I would come home angry and frustrated that I’d missed everything with my kid that day,” she continued. “I didn’t get to wake her up from her nap, or do bath time or bedtime. I’d have to sneak into her room and kiss her when she was sleeping, hoping not to wake her up.”
14. THEIR SON SAVED THEIR MARRIAGE
Many fans were surprised when Katherine gave birth to her son, Joshua Jr., in 2016. The celebrity had long been an advocate of adoption and previously said she didn’t see herself having biological children. She and her husband adopted their two daughters almost a decade before welcoming their son, leading some fans to question why they changed their mind.
While speaking to Radar Online, a source implied the couple believed having another child could help their marriage woes. “They’ve been ¬bickering nonstop lately and friends are wondering if Katherine’s latest [work] setback could wreck their marriage once and for all,” the insider explained. “Josh was breathing a sigh of relief, believing [Katherine’s TV show] Doubt and their son were marriage-savers. But the honeymoon is definitely over now.”
13. SHE HAS A NANNY (WHO TRAVELS WITH HER)
Katherine has lamented about the struggles of traveling with her young children. But it’s so overwhelming for the star, that she often has her nanny accompany her when she travels with the kids. In 2010, while speaking to Hollywood Life, Katherine spoken about how handy a nanny having is on the flight.
“This is a funny story,” Katherine began. “[20-monnth old Naleigh] was with the nanny on the plane trying to sleep. Then I lifted my nose and noticed the entire plane seemed to smell like poopy diapers. I said to the nanny, ‘We better wake her up…” Now, I’m so committed to potty training.”
12. HER MOM MOVED IN WITH THEM (AND IT’S NOT GOING WELL)
Back in 2017, Katherine and her family made headlines when reports said her mother, Nancy, was moving in with them. Given the star had given birth to baby no. 3 the year before, it seemed like her mom was about to give her a helping hand. But the problem is that her mom and husband don’t sound like they get along.
“Josh and Nancy have never really clicked, so he feels like he’s walking on eggshells at home. He can’t even have a private conversation with his wife because Nancy’s always hanging around,” a source told Ok! Magazine.
“The power struggle between Josh and Nancy has been going on for years,” they continued. “Katherine’s mom is her best friend; she needs her close by. She’s not willing to change the situation.”
11. AND HER MOTHER-IN-LAW LIVES DOWN THE STREET
It sounds like Katherine has a lot of help when it comes to raising her kiddos! In 2017, after welcoming her son, the actress’ husband revealed that she would have a big support system to help with the children when she went back to work.
“My mother-in-law lives up the street,” her husband Josh told Hollywood Life.“[There’s] a nanny, and then it is just me.”
When asked if he was hoping for a son, the dad-of-three replied, “You know, what I was doing was that I conditioned my brain not to care. And if I figured my brain not to care then you know, I don’t know. Between me and you, I was pretty stoked for it to be a boy because I am surrounded by girls!”
10. HER HUSBAND ORIGINALLY DIDN’T WANT MULTIPLE KIDS
Katherine and her husband have always spoken highly of their choice to adopt. But the actress once revealed her hubby wasn’t originally as keen on adopting a second child as she was.
She explained that the couple began the adoption process thinking they’d have years before getting approved to adopt baby no. 2. So when they got the news earlier than expected (only months after starting the process), Josh was evidently hesitant to accept.
“I had to talk Josh into that one,” Katherine told Us Weekly. “He thought it was gonna be a few years, and that we were gonna end up with more of like a 9-month-old or 10-month-old, and he looked at me and said, ‘You’re telling me [that] in a month we’re gonna have a newborn?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, it’s perfect timing, don’t you think? Look, we’re both here, we’re not working. This is great. We can spend time with her.”
9. HER KIDS HAVE BEEN ON TV
Although we wouldn’t classify any of Katherine’s children as child actors, one of her children have made an appearance on TV already. So, showbiz could be in their future!
During aa 2017 appearance on the Late Late Show with James Corden, Katherine surprised the audience by getting an up-close glimpse at her new baby. The camera suddenly flashed to the actress’ dressing room where she was seated with her husband and their son.
“Shh, look it’s a little baby in there! Who’s this Katherine?” James said. “This is Josh Jr.,” Katherine replied, “He’s got a bow tie on. Come on, right?
8. SHE’S DESCRIBED HER MARRIAGE AS “TRICKY”
It’s not just so-called sources that say Katherine and Josh’s marriage has gone through its fair share of low points. In interviews, the actress has also hinted at the difficulties they’ve had to overcome in their relationship.
“I think that can be tricky. When it starts to become too much of a friendship and not enough of a romance, that can also be a problem,” Katherine told Us Weekly in 2014.
“That doesn’t mean there was a lack of communication,” the starlet continued. “It was just a lack of hearing, and it was assuming what the other person meant and needed or wanted.”
7. HER KIDS ARE OBSESSED WITH FROZEN
Honestly, we’d love to meet a household with children that wasn’t obsessed with Frozen. Katherine made herself totally relatable when she admitted in 2014 that this was the only show her kids would watch before bedtime. She probably has all the lyrics memorized by now!
“My 5-year-old [Naleigh], I mean… everyone says it, but she’s so obsessed with Frozen. So that’s what we do every night after dinner and bath. She sings to every song,” she told Us Weekly.
Of her then-2-year old Adelaide, Katherine said, “She’s kind of—every week—a different human being. It’s a bit overwhelming: One minute she’s this sweet, cuddly lovable thing, and the next minute she’s independent and stubborn, kind of like a wild animal!”
6. SHE HAD A COMPLICATED C-SECTION
Even though Katherine has described her pregnancy as “easy,” her labor doesn’t sound like it was the smoothest in the world. When delivering her son, the actress had to get a C-section.
“Joshua Jr. had been in the breech position for over a month and had still not moved an inch a week before his due date so I made the decision to have a cesarean and was incredibly nervous and a little scared this time last year,” she shared in a social media post celebrating her son’s first birthday.
“My doctor struggled to get him out because he was really wedged in there and not quite ready to leave the womb,” the star continued writing. “When she finally pulled him out at exactly 12:33pm he didn’t start breathing and they worked quickly to get oxygen in him and start his tiny lungs.”
5. HER HUSBAND IS JEALOUS OF JOHN MAYER
When Katherine was first dating her husband in 2005, she says that they once ran into her pal John Mayer while on a date. But evidently, the actress appeared so friendly with the singer that it gave her future hubby the wrong impression (aka he thought they’d dated!).
“We met up at one of his concerts. Just friends! Just friends!” Katherine explained, E! News reports. “Josh and I were probably dating about a month, and it was unclear where the relationship was going; I like clarity. I didn’t know if he was as serious about me as I was about him.”
She continued, “I had run into John, who was in town making a record or something. We were just hanging out, having drinks, having dinners—as friends! Totally just friends! He wasn’t interested in me that way. He would talk to me about other […] girls and stuff; it was friends.”
4. SHE ENCOURAGES HER GIRLS TO EXPLORE THEIR HERITAGES
Katherine has spoken often about the lengths she’s going to in order her daughter feel connected to their heritage. According to Romper, the star gave her daughter Naleigh a book about adoption that she and her sister (who’s adopted) used to read as kids.
The actress has added that she has no problem with her girls exploring their birth families and is ready to support them when they want to.
“We’re there to support them as parents do. It’s all about open communication and helping them access whatever they need to feel absolutely 100 percent secure in who they are,” Katherine has said. “Whether that’s about their history, their heritage, their race, their memories … we’re there.”
3. SHE ISN’T A FAN OF TRAVELLING WITH HER KIDS
Any parent will tell you that traveling with children- no matter the age- can be a challenge. Given that Katherine has three kids of varying ages (including a toddler!), we can imagine that taking her kids on a plane must be a challenge. Yet, given how much she travels for work, we doubt she can get away without it.
“I just took her on a plane ride from LA to NYC. How do you change a baby on a plane?” She told Hollywood Life about traveling with her then-20-month old daughter Naleigh. “In an airplane they had this little table, I had to lay her across the toilet and kneel below her, which is so gross in an airplane toilet. In fact, it was brutal. I looked at my daughter’s poopy pants and said, ‘What did you eat?’”
2. HER BROTHER AFFECTS HER PARENTING
Katherine, unfortunately, lost her brother, Jason, many years ago, early on in her life. The star says that watching her family cope with such a large loss has shaped her approach to parenting.
“I have witnessed the worst thing that can happen to a parent happen to my parents,” she explained to Today. “And I think that it definitely affects how you feel and what you think and what your core beliefs are about life and parenting and love.”
“When I first became a mother, the idea of loving my children the way I did terrified me,” she added. “Because it could be all taken away. Many people have [gone] through something like that.”
1. SHE’S OPEN TO HAVING MORE KIDS
Even though there’s almost a decade age difference between her oldest and youngest children, it sounds like Katherine isn’t closing the door on having more children in the future.
“I’d get pregnant again, and I still am very inspired by adoption. I also have been thinking a lot about fostering. It’s all up in the air,” she told People a few years ago.
Given that Katherine has said she prefers adoption over pregnancy, it’s reasonable to assume that she may, indeed, adopt more children in the future. She’s clearly loving motherhood, and fans love watching her raise her family.