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EXCLUSIVE: Kym Whitley Talks Adoption and 'Raising Whitley'

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Kym Whitley attends the BET Celebration of Gospel 2013 at Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Kym Whitley attends the BET Celebration of Gospel 2013 at Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Photo Credit: Maury Phillips/Getty Images

Motherhood proved to be a life-changing event for actress Kym Whitley. ESSENCE.com caught up with the star to talk about her new reality show on OWN, Raising Whitley.

"I became an instant mom," said Whitley. "It doesn't matter if a child comes to you or through you. That love is still the same. You are still a mother. Vanessa Bell Calloway, my very dear friend, told me, 'Relax. With every new baby, a new mother is born. Take your time, you're new too.'"

Whitley says through motherhood she learned she disrespected her parents as a child. "I did not know they loved me this much," said Whitley. "I didn't understand it. They kept me alive!"

Check out the entire interview above.