Note from SweetPoyzin: Long and picture heavy.
“You should have told me you were going to run those tests. I should have been there with you.”
“I know. But it was something that I needed to do on my own. I’m sorry.”
Lucian sighed. “So what now?”
I didn’t know how to answer but in my gut I knew what to say. “Well, I don’t think we should have children.”
“I don’t see why not? There are procedures they can do. We can do IVF. They’ll be able to do DNA testing, rule out the embryos with the defects.”
“I can’t, Lucian. I can’t pick which embryos are good enough for our family!”
I could tell Lucian was getting more and more frustrated with me. “Then what was the point of the testing, Danielle? There are options. We have options.”
“I don’t want to do IVF.”
“Ok. You know what. You’re taking my heritage from me. You’re taking my clinic from me. You’re taking my home from me. I am uprooting for you, Danielle. And now you want to take children from me. Something has to give, Dani.”
I thought about my family. I thought about Uncle Adam. “What about adoption?”
“What about it?” Lucian picked at a cuticle.
“Would you be open to adoption? I’m open to more children, Lucian, just not biological children.”
For the first time, Lucian looked up at me. “Let’s ask Violet. We’ll let her decide.”
Well, it wasn’t a no.
We took Violet out to KidZone to chat with her. The place is full of video games and rides and my kid wants to play dominoes. Nerd.
Lucian began our conversation. “Violet, we know you want a brother or sister –”
“OMG! Is mom pregnant?!”
“No!” I was maybe a little more adamant than I meant to be.
“Language. There are some issues and your mom and I thought maybe we might adopt and we wanted to know what you think about it?”
“Do I have to share my room?”
“No, we’re thinking about adopting a toddler so we already have the nursery all set up.”
“Alright. I’m game.”
“It’s settled then,” Lucian looked at me. “Adoption it is.”
Mom was still in town so Lucian and I took advantage of another kid-free night. We were getting married in two weeks and our relationship was still a hot mess.
Despite needing to chat about our relationship, I had one thing on my mind.
“Who’s going to walk me down the aisle?”
“My Dad is…not well. Who’s going to do it?”
“Owen? Aiden? Adam? Vi? Relax, Dani. We’ll work it out. I think your mom is working on it with your brothers.”
I’d like to say we had a good heart-to-heart after that but we really just had a wicked makeout session. It’s connecting. Just not in the way we needed to.
Once we decided to adopt, we moved quickly. We researched all weekend and decided to adopt locally from Forever Families. It was a small orphanage that primary took in toddlers. We scheduled a meeting with Ms. Cormand immediately.
“I was reading your application and I do think you’ll be approved. There is, of course, the background checks and I still have to contact your employers. I don’t think I’ll need to do a home visit since you are local.” She smiled sweetly as I twisted my hands in my lap. “There are still a lot of steps but I think I have a sweet child that you will love to meet.”
“Really!?” I was like a kid on Christmas.
“I’ll leave you two here to chat. I’ll go get Hadley and meet you in the playroom to your left.”
“Are you sure this is what you want, Lucian?”
He pulled me to him. “Danielle, I want you. I want a family with you. However we get there, it’s what I want. You are frustrating as hell but I love you even when I don’t know what to do with you.”
“I love you, too. I’m sorry I’ve been a pill recently.”
“It doesn’t matter now. Let’s go meet our baby.”
We walked into the playroom and we were greeted by the most adorable little redhead.
“Hiya!” She waved at us, “I’s Hadwey.”
My heart melted. She was our child.
“Hi, Hadley. Can I hold you?”
I scooped her up and tickled her. She giggled and it sounded like magic.
Lucian came over to introduce himself. Hadley was shy around him but he was a little overexcited. Hadley was meant to be our daughter. I felt it deep in my heart. I prayed to every god I’d ever heard of to let the state agree and grant us the adoption.
We went back out to talk to Ms. Cormand about our decision.
“We’d love to put in a formal request to adopt Hadley, Ms. Cormand.”
“BEE! BEE!” Hadley started reaching towards something but I didn’t see anything.
Ms. Cormand sighed. “Well, there is an issue.”
My heart stopped. There could be no issues.
“Hadley has a sister. When we took the girls in we promised not to split them up. However, Alice is…different.”
I put my hand on Lucian’s shoulder and immediately knew we were on the same page.
“If she’s disabled or something, that’s not a deal-breaker, Ms. Cormand.” Lucian smiled gently at her.
“Oh, I think you’d be surprised. This is not the first time someone has wanted to adopt little Hadley.”
“We’d love to meet Alice.” Lucian said more firmly this time.
“Well, if you insist. I’ll tell her to meet you in the playroom. Hadley and I will chat about things while you get to know Alice. I’ll let you know when we’re ready.”
After a few more minutes, Ms. Cormand sent us into the playroom.
There was nobody in there.
“Are you ready for two more children,” I asked uncertainly.
“We can handle it. How bad can it be?”
We continued to wait but nobody showed up.
“Do you hear something? Like…laughter?”
Suddenly, the toy train started to move.
Just as suddenly as it started, it stopped and a tiny light popped up off the train and blossomed into a whole girl. She gave us a disinterested glance before plopping on the floor to draw in the dust.
Lucian took the lead and sat down on the floor next to Alice and I followed.
“Hi Alice. I’m Lucian.”
“Hi. Call me Bee. Cuz my fairy wings.”
“Hello, Bee. I’m Dani. How are you?”
“Good I guess. So you want to adopt Hadley, huh?”
“Very much so,” Lucian leaned in and looked in Alice’s eyes. “How old are you, sweetie?”
Alice looked back, judging his question. “Ms. Cormand says I gotta say I’m 10.”
“You’re not though, are you?” I smiled.
“No.” Again, Alice looked back, judging her words carefully. “I’m 236.”
“Whew! I thought for a moment my daughter was going to be older than me.” Lucian smiled a smile that few get to see.
“You’re a vampire!” Alice exclaimed. “How old are you!?”
“Over 600. And Dani’s great-grandmother? She’s a fairy.”
I conjured an apple just for kicks.
“And you’re a witch! Can I meet your great-grandma? I’ve never met another fairy before!” She paused, suddenly hesitant. “You know, if you adopt me that is.”
“Alice, please tell Ms. Cormand to bring Hadley back. We’d like to talk to you both.”
Alice hopped up on the coffee table of the playroom pulled Hadley onto her lap.
“Hiya!” Hadley waved at us again.
“Hi, kiddo.” I smiled at her.
Lucian looked at both girls and took my hand. “How would you girls like to be our daughters?”
“Um. Yes.” Hadley again.
Alice was more restrained. She had been down this road too many times before. She nodded and set Hadley down on the floor. “Go play, sissy. I’ll be over in a minute.”
“Will you come play with us?” She asked me.
“Sure, honey.” As soon as I stood up, Alice grabbed me and hugged like she was never going to let go.
“Nevermind. I just wanted you to stand up so I could hug you.”
“So, we’re going to need a bigger house.” Lucian smiled.
“Yeah. Can we afford one?” Two kids was one thing. Three was another.
“Well, I was thinking if we sold the house and the clinic and moved somewhere with cheaper property values –”
“You know I love you right?”
“Yeah. I know. We’re gonna be ok. You know that, right?”
“Yeah. I know. We better go fill out the paperwork if we want to get these girls out of here.”
We hugged the girls goodbye. I thought I might have to leave Lucian behind. I could not detach them from their daddy.
Now all we have to do is wait. Wait and pray.
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