Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Some Exciting News From Our Family!

Our family is growing!

Baby #2 will be making his or her appearance in mid-to-late November/early December.

We are thrilled that God is giving us this opportunity, and we wanted to share the news with you all.

Pregnancy after adoption (and before another adoption, in our case) is what could be colloquially called "a whole 'nother ball of wax"....

I have many many dear friends who are struggling with infertility or who have struggled with it in the past, especially those whom we have met during the course of our adoption.  I've heard so many times that people have been the recipient of well-intended judgemental comments like "Now that you've adopted, you'll get pregnant."

I wanted to address this head-on before anyone decides to use us as a prime example to their infertile friends.

We didn't become pregnant because we adopted.  In our case, we became pregnant because we went off of birth control and because God allowed it. 

Right now, I'm struggling to find the line between openness and unnecessary vulnerability.  Pregnancy after adoption and all of the conflicting emotions and situations it brings isn't something I've seen blogged about commonly, but I also hesitate to make myself into a spectacle.  Pregnancy in and of itself is fraught with controversial topics, so much so that I've ALREADY gotten myself into trouble by asking "the wrong" questions...

I'd hate to cause controversy over something so beautiful as the way in which God has allowed us to form our family.

 Now there are some typical questions that I've been asked in the last few weeks that our families and close friends have known about our pregnancy:

1. How am I feeling?  
I'm tired and nauseous, but the physical pregnancy symptoms are absolutely nothing (and I'm really emphatic when I say that!) compared to the endless spiritual, emotional, and physical depression during the time-frame when we repeatedly failed court in Ethiopia.
2. Do we know names for our baby? 
We do know both of our names for boy or girl but will not be sharing them until the baby is born.  They are atypical names, and if we shared them, we would likely hear others' negative opinions more than we want.  We will not be naming children after relatives or Bible characters.  We prefer names that are chosen for the significance of their meaning, just as we chose Kumelachew as one of Million's middle names, and just as we were so pleased when we learned the meaning of his birth name.
3. Have you chosen a birth plan? 
If everything goes according to plan, we will be choosing a natural non-medicated childbirth, with the assistance of a midwife.  One of our primary reasons for this choice is that I just want to be able to experience raw pain, just as Million's birth mom had to experience raw pain.  (However, I do realize that I will have access to many non-medicinal pain treatment alternatives that she didn't have access to.)
4. Will you breastfeed? 
We will also be choosing to breast-feed.  However, obviously Million was formula fed.  I will not become a "breast is best" vocalist, because breast is not best in many situations---like Million's.
5. Will you find out the gender?
Yes, and we will be sharing that information with whosoever wishes to know.
6. Will you have more birth children?  
We're not sure about that right now.  We do know that we plan to pursue adoption a few more times, but to be honest, adoption is where both of our hearts are drawn more frequently than to pregnancy.
7. Have you told Million yet?
Yes, and he's forgotten already and could care less.  :)

We're so grateful for this opportunity, but to be completely honest, it brings out a lot of complicated emotions that we didn't anticipate and need to sort through.  We obviously want people to be excited about Baby #2, but it hurts us when people seem more excited about a birth child than they seemed about Million's adoption.  This is just one of the many complicated emotions that we have the privilege to process  (and I'm not being sarcastic here, it truly is a privilege to be exposed to unique circumstances that not many people have the chance to go through.)

If you're a person of God, we'd appreciate prayer as we'll have many different feelings and circumstances than the average to go through (i.e. trying to explain my "obstetric history" to a non-adoption-minded medical professional.)   You can also pray for humility.  We admit wholeheartedly that being pregnant is a new thing for us.  Pray that if we have questions we ask them humbly and respectfully instead of forming opinions and judgments based on what we have heard from other pregnant women.

We trust that God has given us this opportunity as a means of growing us towards Him, and we're excited to see our family grow.  


  1. Oh, I am so happy for you, in many ways, and completely understand the conflicting emotions too, we experienced birth first and then adoption, and got those same questions. It will be beautiful, wonderful, awe inspiring and perfect, just as God intends it to be.
    You will love this child more, and less than M, in every way, and there will be so much room for others too, it is hard to imagine, but the room is there, the more love you give away, the more love you have ot give!
    congrats to you all, feel free to message me about post birth stress and depression, we went through that badly, and it will be a struggle, but you can do it, God will see to it. Hugs to you all

  2. I'm so so so excited for you! I hope you have friends around you everyday to stand up and be a voice to those inquisitive and judgy assumptions and questions. Peace and JOY JOY JOY to all of you!

  3. I just love you. I love your transparency. Can I tell you that we heard that sooo many times as we were adopting?? Many people knew that we had determined (with as much control as we have) that we were done having birth children, but when they found out we were adopting we heard over and over "as soon as you adopt you will get pregnant again." Let me tell you I have been terrified of their predictions coming true! lol And it made me feel as if our adoption was somehow less of a beautiful miracle in their eyes. Yada, yada, I still carry bitterness with a lot of adoption stuff....So anyway, CONGRATULATIONS!! I really wrote all that to say that I understand the mixed emotions, but I am SO excited (as I know you are) to watch God grow your family and LOVE the variety of ways He is using to do it. You all are beautiful!

  4. Congrats! I am excited for you just as I was for you both when adopting Million. You are both fun and energetic parents and it's so fun to see all the things you do with your little guy and to hear about how he's growing. He will be a wonderful big brother :).

    Your emotions do sound raw and a bit defensive which I am sure has proved necessary. Do remember that while people's comments might be hurtful that most people are trying to be encouraging and loving. We all stick our foot in our mouths. We all have trouble knowing what to say in sensitive situations at one time or another. Of course there are those out there who are truly judgemental but I believe you will find more people are for you than there are those who are against you.

    Often people don't realize the implications of what they are saying. Saying, "Now that you've adopted you'll likely conceive" is not meant to mean that conception is better than adoption but people often don't think things through. An example of this that I've encountered is that now that I have two children (neither are adopted), one girl and one boy, (and I hope the assumption to any readers isn't that I had a totally easy peasy process b/c I have my own "natural" children. I actually had a very difficult time connceiving the second child and with that difficulty learned that I have some health problems of life-long concern...that said, The comment I now hear is, "One of each! (referring to gender) Now your family is complete!" Of course they mean know harm but it's a ridiculous statement. If I had had two girls or two boys my family wouldn't be incomplete. My family wasn't incomplete when we had only our first at home. And the other side of that of course is that we would like more children (natural or adopted would be fine, just more). Would having more children throw off the completeness of our family? When I was pregnant with my second I nannied a family of 3 and took my daughter along. You can imagine the stares I got with 4 small children while obviously pregnant. So much assumption about our "family" (b/c people had no clue 3 of the children weren't mine) and often people actually approached me to ask about my family and few were supportive of big families. So would those who think one of each gender makes for a "complete" family oppose us having a third, fourth, or fifth child? None of our children will be mistakes and we would like to have a "big" family in today's standards. I had to walk away knowing that most of those people weren't against me. Some were rude but most were just not thinking before they made the comment.

    Hang in there! I know you'll get annoying and pressing comments. It is the curse of being pregnant and exaggerated b/c of adopting first. However you are a strong and extremely intelligent woman. YOU will certainly come up with witty responses to all those questions!

    Congrats again to your growing family!
    Blessings :D

  5. Congratulations on baby #2! Your post reminded me so much of a friend of mine from high school, with all the emotions they went through when they chose pregnancy after two adoptions. If you want to read some her thoughts on their choices, etc, a link to a blog section is
    They adopted from Kazakhstan and Ethiopia, and their 3rd baby is due June 1st. I loved her pregnancy announcement, which she crafted ever so carefully to avoid some of the very comments you've heard. At the very top, she had a picture of each of her kids, a pic of her pregnant belly, and the words "Three of our VERY OWN." I think it cut down significantly the number of ridiculous comments she received! Praying for you all!

  6. Heather, you know that I am HAPPY for you and will be praying for you throughout this process the way I prayed for you and your family throughout Million's adoption! I'm sooooo privileged to have you for a sister-in-law!

  7. A big congrats to you and your whole family, Heather! I'm sure that you and Michael are excited yet again to add to your family, and I bet that Million will be an excellent big brother! It's amazing what God can do through all sorts of families, and I'm glad that you have yet again shown transparency to those of us who keep up in your everyday expositions.

  8. Congratulations! Wishing you a happy and healthy 9 months.

  9. Congratulations, Heather! I have so appreciated your honesty and openness and enjoy reading your blog. I understand the complexity of family building with adoption thrown into the picture - not only of what other people say/think/assume, but your own navigation of all the issues you might face down the road. Parents who are family building strictly biologically have it simple in comparison. I think we can fall into a lot of guilt as adoptive parents (What will my adopted child think? What will his issues be in 18 years and what am I doing to complicate them right now? In having a biological baby, am I just taking "the easy way out"? These are things I struggle with, anyway). I am sure that is not how the Lord would have us to view his gifts of adoption and having children, but it is hard to have wisdom. All that to say, I relate, and would love to hear your thoughts on making these decisions.

  10. Congratulations! That is exciting news! I can understand all of the feelings you may be going through though.

    It's too bad you don't live in our neck of the woods. We have an amazing women's birthing center that only does natural births.

  11. I KNEW IT!!! You've been so quiet here, I've been thinking 'I bet she's expecting' and you ARE! Congratulations to your family of three, about to be four - it's going to be so lovely to see you and Michael as parents to two and Million as a big brother. I'm sure all three of you are goin gto rock at your new roles!

  12. We don't know each other, so it sounds a bit strange to say, but I'm very happy for all of you! You sound very compassionate about those of us who have experienced infertility, which just touches me so deeply.

    I heard the same thing when we adopted from Rwanda (now you will get pregnant) and I was 48 at the time! (Literally, I'd be considered a 'geriatic pregnancy'...=)

    So, yes, your friend is right...people just don't think it through. Others may say ill-considered things out of their own pain and bitterness, this is more about them than about you or your choices. Very difficult to remember, though, especially during the high-emotion times of pregnancy and parenting.

    Best wishes and many prayers sent your way!