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Kym Whitley Wants Her Adopted Son to Know He Wasn't Abandoned

Above is a shot of Kim Whitley, son Noah, and a really good look.

Three years ago, actress and comedienne Kym Whitley had a big decision to make.

The girl she had been mentoring gave birth and left the baby with the hospital maternity ward—along with Whitley's phone number. Suddenly, Whitley had one hour to decide: Would she adopt this girl's newborn boy?

The actress said yes, named the baby Joshua and asked her friends (aka "The Village") for help—including on-again, off-again love Rodney, who is Joshua's adoptive father.

Whitley is chronicling her parenting adventures on her show Raising Whitley, which just kicked off its second season on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Whitley talked to mom.me about her adventures in motherhood and what she wants 3-year-old Joshua to always know.

What went through your mind when you got that first phone call?

"This is a joke." I'm like, "This can't be real." That was the first thing. And the second thing was fear. The third thing was, "What are you going to do?" That and "This is a gift. You don't want to miss out on an opportunity." All those thoughts were rushing through my mind.

What do you want Joshua to know about his birth mom?

Since I used to mentor her, of course I know her, and Joshua will meet her when the time is right, but I want him to know that he wasn't abandoned. That his mother loved him enough to make sure that he had a better life. That she gave him to someone that pretty much was raising her. That's what I want him to know—that he's loved.

What's been the biggest challenge for you as a mom—other than that first decision?

There are different challenges every day, but the biggest one is: Am I doing this right? How and when do you ask for help? Just learning. Life goes so fast. He has allergies, so making sure I'm feeding him right, all of those challenges.

How are you dealing with Joshua's allergies, and how are you teaching him to deal with those?

Now that he's getting a little older, he actually says the word "peanuts." So he'll say, "peanut allergies." He doesn't really understand, but I tell him, "No peanuts." What I did was create a shirt for him, because I didn't know how to protect him. It's a Don't Feed Me shirt, and I put his name on it. If I send him to a new school, I can check off what he's allergic to, and (he has) a little bag that I put an EpiPen and his Benadryl in.

MORE: Julie Bowen Talks Life-Threatening Allergies

Is there anything you've done as a mom that you said you'd never do?

Oh yeah. I said, "He's not going to be spoiled." He woke up last night, it was like midnight, and he was like, "Juice?" I was like, "Oh, I would never give him juice at night." I gave him a little juice and little water. He was like, "Can I watch TV?" I was like, "No." He goes, "Just a little bit?" "Oh, OK." I'm the worst!

Did you know from the beginning that you would have such a tight-knit circle—"The Village"—to help you raise your son?

No. It was shocking that they all agreed. But more importantly, they all came to me individually and, at one point or another, said, "Thank you." I had one come to me and say, "Thank you for letting me be part of Joshua's life. He's made me a better person. I want to buy a house now." So I was like, "Wow, this little baby has changed a few lives."

You're dating. Do you have any rules about that when it comes to your son?

In the recent episode, you will see that I have a guest come in town. And things happen. Later in the season, you'll see how in my momma's mind, I had to say, "Wait a minute. Things have to be different now because I have a son." So there are rules—when do you introduce the child to someone you're dating? Should you introduce them? So it's a whole lotta boundaries going on.

I don't want to fall in love with someone and then my son falls in love with them and now we break up and now you're breaking up with my son. That is awful. A child should not have to go through a breakup—many breakups—because they have plenty of time in life to have breakups.

Do you think you and Rodney will end up together?

It's going to get spicy! You've got to watch the show, and find out what happens.

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Photograph by OWN Network

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