Baby #2

Newborn Olivia

[Trigger warning: In this blog post, I discuss our successful second adoption match and the first few weeks with our second child. If you’re in a sensitive place due to infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy loss, etc., please proceed with caution.]

“I should have known this was bigger than me from the start.” -Confession (I Should Have Known), Common Deer

One of the very last things that happened right before my son Tommy was born is that we saw the band Common Deer open for Third Eye Blind at Summerfest. I have an entire post about the couple of weeks leading up to Tommy’s birth. Listening to Common Deer always brings me straight back to that summer.

I feel like it’s all come full circle with our second adoption. Early into our struggles with growing our family, I just wanted to know a little bit more about what was in store for us. It seemed like it wouldn’t be so tough if we knew how long we’d be waiting, whether or not we’d be able to adopt, etc. In reality, if I’d known exactly what we would be involved in our journey to adopt a second child, I’m not sure that I would have gone through with it. People laugh when I describe the last couple of years of growing our family as our craziest venture yet. It’s not something that I say lightly. Let me be clear: I’m not saying that it’s not worth it. Obviously, it is 100%. But I’m still not sure that I would have gone through with it if I knew ahead of time what it would involve.

There are so many people who have played critical roles in our journey to adopt our second child. There are just a few that deserve a special call-out in this post. First, to everyone who has been praying for us year after year this past decade as we’ve desired to grow our family. There are so many people who have had more faith and dedication to the notion that someday we would be able to grow our family than I ever have and have prayed for us day after day after day. I always felt like a broken record talking about how we wouldn’t be where we are today with Tommy if it weren’t for all of those prayers. Now it’s tenfold with our second child. Your support for our whole family through this entire process means more than I’ll ever be able to express fully in words.

Second, to my daughter’s birth mom. If you’ve adopted through domestic infant adoption, you know how humbling it is to be chosen by a birth mom or birth parents to raise their child. I will never feel truly worthy of the honor of being chosen by a birth mom not once but twice. No one loves a child more than the person who makes the decision to have someone else raise their own flesh and blood, so that the child is able to have a life that they themselves are unable to provide. It means so much to me than my daughter’s birth mom values my son growing up with a sibling as well as our high priority on open adoption both with her and my daughter’s half-siblings.

To my parents, who have been visiting us at least every two weeks since things opened up more this summer and have been more involved in this process than I ever imagined. From being there to really listen to all of the stresses along the way to taking care of our house and cats for the better part of three weeks while we were gone for the adoption, they have gone above and beyond to help out. I’m so grateful that my kids are growing up with such close relationships with their grandparents.

To my son’s birth family, who have provided unceasing love and support for not just my son but for my entire family these past few years. Even having been on the other side of adoption, they’ve still been nothing but excited for us as we’ve been able to adopt again. They’re thrilled that Tommy will be growing up with a sibling, and I know that they’ll treat his sister as much a part of their family as they do with Tommy.

To my adoptive mom friends, who have been providing the most awesome network of support ever since Tommy was born. Having people who “get it” and are there to listen to any and every aspect of adoption is invaluable. I feel so fortunate to have adoptive mom friends in the area as my own support network and for my kids, who will always grow up knowing other adoptive kids who are being raised in households that support and celebrate adoption.

To my daughter’s half-siblings’ adoptive moms, who have been with us on this journey since shortly after matching and who have provided more support than I ever would have imagined possible. Adoption is crazy and comes with a lot of unknowns that you would never able to predict. Getting to know the adoptive families of my kid’s half-siblings definitely falls into this category. I am in awe that adoption brought our families together and can’t wait to meet all of them in person.

Over and over again throughout months of waiting for the birth of our second child and traveling for said birth, people have always said, “Oh, that’s so exciting!” Of course, we are excited about this adoption. But adoption is so much more than that. Additionally, it’s taken us ten years to have two kids. They’re both adopted. There hasn’t been anything easy or quick for us about growing our family. More than anything, we’re experiencing an intense feeling of relief. We’re looking forward to spending time enjoying our kids and not stressing out about growing our family. We are open to having more kids, whether that happens naturally or through adoption. But we won’t be actively pursuing fertility treatments or adoption opportunities in the foreseeable future, possibly ever again. It is such a weight off of our shoulders to finally be in a position where that feels really good.

I’m planning to publish monthly updates for our daughter like I did for Tommy and look forward to publishing that first update in a couple of weeks. You can find all of my baby/toddler update posts and other family updates in the family section of the blog.

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