Denise Richards is head over heels for Eloise Joni, the 5-week-old daughter she recently adopted (who joins big sisters Sam, 7, and Lola, 6, from the actress' previous marriage to Charlie Sheen).
"She's brought so much joy, and I love her to pieces," Richards, 40, tells the new issue of Us Weekly (out Wednesday). "She is a cuddle bug. She loves being hugged and held. She's such a beautiful little baby and little soul."
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Though she's "been with her since the day she was born," Richards admits that the adoption process was far from easy. "Some people think if a celebrity wants a baby, they get one the next day. The adoption took two years, and there were times I felt discouraged, times when I got close to adopting a baby and it fell through. But I knew the right baby would find us."
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Currently on good terms with her ex ("We talk every day"), Richards adds that Sheen, 45, has spent time with baby Eloise. "He knows how much I love, love kids, so he was very supportive," the actress — whose memoir, "The Real Girl Next Door," is out July 26 — tells Us. "Charlie is truly very happy for me. He knows I always wanted more kids."
For more on Richards' new bundle of joy — including how she broke the adoption news to Sam and Lola, plans for a baby shower, and much more — pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, out now!