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I'm a Single Mom Who Can't Shake the Second Baby Fever

When my daughter was born, I swore to anyone who would listen that I would never have another on my own. She was the best thing to have ever happened to me, and adopting her was the best decision I have ever made. But being a single mother was a lot. I was the only one handling the late night feedings and the early mornings, the only one assessing rashes and making the big decisions. And as she grew older, I was the only one dealing with the tantrums and picking up the messes.

To be fair, I was also the only one getting the snuggles and basking in the love of this little girl—and more often than not, I felt like the luckiest mommy alive. But, we live in a two-bedroom condo on a single parent income. And kids need so much in terms of time, attention and love. We had a good thing, my girl and me, right from the very start. I just didn't think it would ever be responsible to add another kiddo into that mix.

At least, not so long as it was only just me at the helm.

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But then, my daughter turned 2. And that baby fever kicked in. Pretty fiercely, in fact.

I always wanted a big family. My dream was to have five children. I just never expected to be doing it on my own. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to fall in love, get married and then have kids. But Mr. Right never really came along. And then I got sick in my mid-20s, eventually losing my fertility as a result, and I realized that I feared never being a mother at all far more than I feared being a single mother. So when the opportunity to adopt my little girl came up, a chance encounter opening a door that so many others have to work and fight years for, I knew I couldn't say, "no."

I became a single mother just a few months shy of my 30th birthday.

Lately though, something has shifted. And I've got myself convinced that if the phone rings again, this time I'll say "yes."

I still held out hope, though, that Mr. Right would somehow magically appear by the time my daughter reached toddlerhood and we could discuss the next steps of family building together.

Yeah … I was a little naïve and didn't take into account how difficult dating with an infant would be. Needless to say, he still hasn't appeared. And I find myself less and less concerned with that fact every day.

But I'm no less hopeful for the big family I always dreamed of.

Since my daughter was born, I've received a handful of calls about other babies needing homes. Living in Alaska, there are a decent number of native babies that are placed privately, and having worked at a Native Corporation for years before my daughter was born, I have made connections that think of me when these placements come up. I am fully aware of just how lucky that makes me, and I feel blessed and humbled every time I get one of those calls.

So far though, I've always said, "no," convinced that I just couldn't take on another. I've talked to some of these women, served as a sounding board throughout their entire pregnancies and have even made connections to other families looking to adopt. But I've always remained firm on the fact that none of these babies was actually meant for me.

Lately though, something has shifted. And I've got myself convinced that if the phone rings again, this time I'll say "yes."

I'm not looking for it. I'm not doing anything to actively seek it out. But just as I opened my heart and leapt at the challenge when fate brought my little girl to me, I've reached a point where I think I am open to it if a similar opportunity is presented now.

So long as it is the right opportunity. The right fit. An open adoption that feels just as meant to be as my daughter's did.

I sometimes feel selfish for considering it. Why do I want, or even need, more?

I want my little girl to have a sibling. And I want to have another baby. I want them running around together and for us to be the big, cohesive family I always dreamed of. When she was a baby, I was so sure ever having another on my own would be insane. Babies need so much. I couldn't imagine having enough time, money, love and energy to support two kids at once. But now? I suddenly think I could handle it.

Not only that … I suddenly want it.

Part of that yearning may just be my daughter's age. Were I in a committed relationship, now would be exactly when I would be wanting to talk about number two. So maybe that natural inclination doesn't go away just because I'm on own. And perhaps this is just a passing phase I should try to ride out, without making any life-changing decisions for us.

Because I've also got to admit, I sometimes feel selfish for considering it. Why do I want, or even need, more? Isn't my little girl enough? Haven't I already been blessed beyond measure?

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The answer is, yes, of course she is enough. And absolutely, I know how lucky I am to have her—how many other families are never able to achieve the dream I currently have. If it is only ever the two of us, we will be just fine. In fact, I have our whole "Gilmore Girls" life pretty well planned out already. In my vision of our mother-daughter future, we travel a ton, talk all the time, and I'm able to afford sending her to camps and signing her up for whatever lessons she may want to take—a possibility that becomes far less realistic with another kiddo in the picture. Either way, we have a happy (albeit drastically different) life.

But still … I can't shake the feeling that there may be another addition in our future. And that suddenly, I feel ready to take that challenge on—no matter how crazy it may be to do so on my own.

Image via Leslie Meadow Photography

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