Mariska Hargitay

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For Mariska Hargitay, the adoption road was a bumpy one.

The Law & Order: SVU actress reveals that prior to her and husband Peter Hermann successfully bringing home daughter Amaya and son Andrew, the couple had to deal with the heartbreak of an earlier birth mother changing her mind.

"It was nothing short of devastating," Hargitay says in the May issue of Good Housekeeping about having to give back a newborn after being at home with her for two days and even naming the child.

"But ... this is what I've come to understand about life: It was probably the greatest, happiest ending," she adds. "I mean, it was so painful for us, but it was deeply joyful and deeply right for her."

Things definitely took a turn for the better in April 2011when Hargitay and Hermann were on hand for the arrival of Amaya.

"Peter and I held her, and then the birth mother and I hugged for a long time," the actress recalls. "That was profound. That was one of the most meaningful moments I've ever had in my life."

Then, six months later, the couple heard about a boy that had been born prematurely and decided to adopt him as well.

"I don't really know what to say about it, other than it was a no-brainer," says the mother of three. "It was like...a miracle."

Hargitay and Hermann also have a biological son, 5-year-old August.

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