By peoplestaff225
Updated January 19, 2010 06:00 PM
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Toys and photographs litter the hallway just beyond the entrance of the New York City residence shared by Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann, evidence of their 3 ½-year-old son August Miklos Friedrich.

He is almost exactly the same age as Mariska was when her mom — screen siren Jayne Mansfield — died in an automobile accident in 1967. A passenger in the backseat, Mariska escaped the crash relatively unharmed, save for a small laceration on her forehead.

“I love it when people say, ‘She had such a great laugh, and so do you,'” Mariska confesses. “When I find similarities, it gives me so much peace.” Motherhood, marriage and philanthropy have given a sense of purpose.

“Children, when they lose their mother, have a different antenna,” Mariska notes. “[They wonder] ‘When will I be safe? When will I be home?’ I lost my home too early.” She adds,

What’s more, at 46, Mariska says she hasn’t given up hope of making August a big brother. “It’s in God’s hands,” she says. “But we’re always open to it.”

Source: MORE, February issue