Disembarking from a private plane in the capital city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt assumed now-familiar Mom-and-Dad positions: Jolie holding 4-year-old Maddox’s hand; Pitt toting 12-month-old Zahara. But there was something distinctly different about this scene. Something big. Something round. Something Henri Dominique, an ambassador from the Yéle Haiti relief organization who greeted the glamorous family at the airport, couldn’t help but notice. Might Jolie be expecting, he gently inquired?
“Yes, I am pregnant,” replied a beaming Jolie, a clingy black tank top hugging what looked an awful lot like a second-trimester bump. “We’re due in the summer.”
To which Dominique politely offered his best wishes. And to which the rest of the world—fans, friends, paparazzi, bloggers, talk show hosts, economists; is there anyone who isn’t in Brangelina’s orbit?—will now let out a collective gasp. After endless pregnancy rumors—and just six months after Jolie adopted Zahara from Ethiopia—it’s official: Jolie, 30, and Pitt, 42, are having a baby, PEOPLE has learned. “They’re in love and want to create a life together,” says a friend. “It’s all the things you dream about, [and] they share the same dreams.”
The news—on the heels of last month’s announcement that Pitt had petitioned to adopt Maddox and Zahara was not so much a bombshell as a natural progression for a pair who have put nest building on the fast track. “It’s the idea that you love one another and you want to create a family together,” says the friend. “What’s beautiful is you can do it by birth [or] by adoption. There are many families who do this both ways, and the kids are all loved the same. It’s just a family.”
The baby news caps a life-changing whirlwind during which the couple went from costars (in last summer’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith) to supercouple to, finally, Mommy and Daddy. Whether celebrating Thanksgiving in Pakistan on a humanitarian mission or shopping for Super Soaker water guns with Maddox at an outdoor goods store in Oxnard, Calif., it’s apparent that Jolie and Pitt are focused on a future together. “You can’t love someone fully until you really feel they embrace your children,” says the source. “He loves the kids. When she wanted to adopt in Ethiopia, he was up for it. He’s up for the whole thing.”
Closer to home, at the Malibu Starbucks where the couple stopped by during the holidays, “they were so cute,” says a local who often sees them there. “Their passion is very pure and powerful—you can feel it.” Just as evident is their passion for Maddox, whom Jolie adopted from Cambodia in ’02, and Zahara, whom she adopted last July. In many ways they have quickly become a traditional family, living together in Pitt’s oceanside Malibu home—now crammed with Maddox and Zahara’s toys—and keeping busy with play dates in the park and preschool pickups. “We’re friends, and her kids are the most dear to her life,” says musician Wyclef Jean, founder of the nonprofit Yéle Haiti, which Jolie supports (see box). “The way she guards those kids, it’s with passion. She talks about them 24/7.”
Long before they were an item, both Pitt and Jolie made no secret of their respective desires to become parents. During his marriage to Jennifer Aniston, Pitt famously talked of wanting six or seven children, and Jolie has said she hopes to “adopt one [child] from every continent.” And though their family backgrounds couldn’t be more different—Pitt’s Midwestern parents have been together more than 40 years, while Jolie is the daughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, who split when she was a toddler—friends say marriage is only a matter of time.
Now, however, everyone awaits the arrival of what will surely be one gorgeous kid, though Maddox and Zahara are tough acts to follow. But the expectant parents are already looking ahead to the next addition to their growing brood: When Dominique asked a glowing Jolie, who is in the Dominican Republic to film the Robert De Niro-directed drama The Good Shepherd with Matt Damon, whether she planned to adopt again, she didn’t hesitate. “Of course!” she replied. “We are already discussing the next country.”