Journey to a Second Child

I always knew I wanted kids back to back. In fact, long ago I used to pin nurseries with two cribs on my pinterest boards, because I just knew I would have two crib-needing babies at one time. The urge to have a second child started even before Israel was home. I mentioned before how the spark for adoption was still very much alive when we came home with Israel, because we saw how his crib was already filled at the orphanage.

What I didn't expect was the complete roller coaster of emotions that I experienced this last year. Adopt or get pregnant? Those options seemed to battle within my heart and I had months where I wanted to fully commit to each option. Let me hash it out for you:

As soon as we had our referral last December, it was finally OK to get pregnant, because at the time our agency had a no-pregnancy rule until you were referred. So once we knew that little Biruk was ours, we could get pregnant and not worry about never having an Ethiopian babe first. But time wise, I didn't really want a newborn and a freshly one year old at the same time. The interesting thing was that until we got our referral, I had NO DESIRE to get pregnant. The entire time of our adoption, I had no interest in carrying a child and even pitied friends who would get pregnant because of the changes they would go through, the trials of pregnancy, and the experience of childbirth. I often feared that I would get pregnant during the adoption process, and that we would lose our opportunity to adopt first. Would I love our biological child if it meant the loss of our Ethiopian one?

So, when the opportunity to get pregnant finally arrived... the desire was suddenly there in a way that it had not been for our entire marriage. This was around December- February of last year. We didn't "try" but in the back of my head I wondered if that was next for us.

Then, we went to Ethiopia, and the following months we knew we HAD to adopt again. Leaving Ethiopia the second time was gut wrenching as we knew that we had to do something more. Bringing one child into a family wasn't enough.

But at the same time, when Israel was newly home, I desired so much to have had the physical connection with him that pregnancy and breastfeeding would have provided. I envied our birth mom and at the same time, I thought that maybe if I got pregnant I could somehow identify with her.

August- October 2012 I was full on adoption mode again. It was really fun to be older this time and have lots of options for international countries! It made me grateful for such an easy decision the first time. We contacted a lot of agencies about adopting HIV positive kids, their policies on birth order, how much time we needed to wait between adoptions, etc. We looked at a few countries pretty seriously and then decided we might stick with domestic this time, because it was where our heart was. We really liked this one company that works with several agencies at one time. So, we settled on waiting until January 2013 to start because Israel would be 15 months old and home 8 months at that time.

In November Will and I had a little retreat to talk about our future and we agreed that both biological and adoptive kids were in it. We wanted to be careful not to elevate adoption as an idol and look down on pregnancy as a lesser option. (Some of you may not understand that, but if you are deep in the adoption community you'll probably get that).

November also was a time where things with Israel's therapies and development seemed to get a bit more complicated. So we agreed to just WAIT for now. Until God makes it clear, we're staying put and not moving forward in any direction.

Then on December 13, I saw a message on our agency forum that a domestic adoption agency in Texas had a shortage of adoptive families per birth moms, and had a desperate need for adoptive parents. I went ahead and sent an inquiry with lots of questions, and then forwarded the email to Will.I sent an email to the adoption agency in Texas. I really didn't have that butterfly feeling or a sense of "this is it!" but just felt like it was something I needed to do because we wanted to adopt again, and there was a need. It was more out of obligation than desire. Will told me that he wasn't really sure that was for us. 

December 14, I woke up not feeling my best. That entire week, Israel had been having some pretty awful teething and neither of us had slept much. There had been a lot of crying on his part and I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I was talking to my sister about how we had been going back and forth about adopting or getting pregnant, when it suddenly hit me that I might be pregnant right then. I don't know why I thought that so clearly, but I decided to go get a few tests from the store just in case.

Lo and behold, there was a positive test. Then another. And a third just for good measure. What? Was this happening?

I was in shock. Just the day before I'd inquired about adoption. And now, we were pregnant. I couldn't wait to tell Will. He came home for lunch about an hour later and I basically attacked him with the news when he walked in. He was thrilled!

I, however, was just shocked. Excited? Yes, but more filled with fear, confusion, and disbelief. The entire first trimester was a roller coaster of emotions for me as I grieved our adoption timeline and also grew in excitement for our growing baby.

So, we're having a biological child next. I'll be honest that my mixed emotions have left me with some guilt. We still want to adopt. I still plan to start grad school this year. Israel still has special needs that require a lot of attention. But God is faithful and we are excited about this new adventure and trust in God's sovereignty as He opened my womb for the purpose of His glory.


  1. Congratulations....I am sooo happy for you all!
    God's timing is absolutely perfect!

  2. Congratulations! I didn't peek ahead so I wasn't sure how the story was going to end. Yay!

  3. Congrats! God knows what he is doing. Our family was spaced by him, not us, and we see more each day exactly why he did why he did. Blessings...and good luck on your pregnancy with toddler at home...that is not easy!!

  4. Congratulations on your second blessing!

  5. Congrats! We also are having a difficult time deciding what we want to do next. Pregnancy or adoption. I guess God will direct our path when the times right. He sure directed yours!

  6. Congratulations. Children are a heritage of the Lord. :)

  7. moCongratulations on your new little one! We were in the adoption process, about to do our homestudy when we found out we were expecting #5...quite a surprise. We were worried about what that meant for adoption in our future since we felt/still feel led that way. Our agency has been wonderful to let us place things on hold until our newest little guy is at least 9 months old. He's a joy and reminds me every day how God does have the best plans for us.

  8. Congratulations! I totally know that feeling, after bio-kids we had our hearts preparing for adoption... then in January we got another positive test. So now we have #4 on the way and even though we are excited about the pregnancy, my heart aches a bit bc I wonder if God has adoption in our futures at all. Either way we know God is in control.


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