A Story of Love
Adoptive Mother's StoryDella talks about being chosen to be Elizabeth's adoptive mother. Read More...
Birthmother's StoryShannon shares her struggles and joys as she came to her decision to give her baby a family. Read More...
Daughter's StoryElizabeth describes her life as an adopted daughter. Read More...
It took years. It almost broke her heart. Here, for the first time, Mariska Hargitay shares the tender story of how she adopted her two precious new kids
Mariska Hargitay is among America's favorite (not to mention highest-paid) TV actresses for one very good reason: her portrayal on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit of Olivia Benson, the grave, rarely smiling but deeply compassionate sex-crimes detective.
So it's happily jarring to enter Hargitay's sprawling but comfy New York City apartment and find...the trappings of a party. Dozens of helium balloons bounce against the ceilings of the living room and office; it was Hargitay's 48th birthday recently, and her husband, actor Peter Hermann (who recently starred in the Broadway play War Horse), surprised her with a hayride-themed party. While the bales of hay have thankfully been removed, those balloons remain a happy reminder of the soiree. A massive teddy bear is also a permanent fixture in the living room.
"This is the fun house!" Hargitay says, buoyant in a Manhattan mom's outfit of black jeans, riding boots, and layered tees that reveals her to be, refreshingly, as normal-size around the midriff as any top actress dares to be.
Her Family Plan
Hargitay gave birth to August at 42, an age after which subsequent pregnancies aren't always easy. After a few years of Hargitay and Hermann's enjoying new parenthood, "August wanted siblings, and Peter and I both envisioned this big family because we both come from that. Plus, we just had so much love to give," she explains. "I was really letting the chips fall as they might, because I do think so much is up to God. I always said, 'I don't know how this is going to end up. I don't know if I'm going to get pregnant and have twins. I don't know...,' " she says, throwing her hands up theatrically, " 'if somebody's going to leave a baby on my doorstep.' But I really did think that down the line, Peter and I would adopt a child. That was always part of the plan."
GH By Sheila Weller Read Full Story >>
Jessica Tatiana Long was born in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, missing most of the bones in her lower legs and feet. Her parents, Natalia and Oleg, were scared, impoverished, unmarried teenagers. The doctors who delivered Jessica told her young parents that they would not be able to care for such a severely disabled child back home in their village. So Natalia and Oleg reluctantly decided to place their baby girl in a Russian orphanage, though they felt certain that no one would want to adopt a crippled child.
Simply put, I am the son of a very brave woman. Anita, my birth mother, was just 16 when she discovered my existence. She knew there was nothing easy about being a pregnant unmarried teenager, but she never could have predicted all of the trials and obstacles she would have to conquer over the next nine months. When my birth father discovered that Anita was pregnant, he decided that he did not want to be a part of any of this. He chose to leave her to face these challenges alone.
The White family of Louisville, Kentucky knew what hardship was. The recession had hit the family hard and they had been forced to downsize from their large family home to a small rental. However, one of their four children, ten year old Ryan Elizabeth heard about kids with even less than they had. Reading about the orphans in Haiti, Ryan urged her parents to do something. Couldn't they adopt some of the orphans who had no one to take care of them?