Credit: Gilles Bensimon

When Sheryl Crow split with cyclist Lance Armstrong after three years together in 2006, there was a major silver lining: it spurred her to adopt.

"I'd just been through a pretty painful breakup where there were kids involved, and I'd also been through breast cancer treatment," Crow, 48, tells Redbook magazine of adopting first son Wyatt in spring 2007.

"After that, I felt an acute sense of urgency about how I wanted my life to feel. Since I wasn't married, my idea of what the picture was supposed to look like no longer served any great purpose."

The Grammy winner explains how she "studied" to become a mom. "So I started doing an adoption 'home study,' which means you fill out the paperwork, get certified in infant CPR," she continues. "The idea was, if the opportunity came, I would be ready."

And when she announced the arrival of a second adopted son, Levi, this June, that marked the end of another long journey.

"It's been in the works for a while," she tells Redbook of Levi, now 2 months. "I was hoping to adopt a child when Wyatt was 2; a lot of the adoptions fell through."

Crow adds philosophically: "But things always work out perfectly. They just do. Generally, when you let go of your vision of how something is supposed to be, the universe hands you exactly what you need."