‹ Prequel: God Please
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Second Chance

Speaking Of Adoption

Brian’s fingers itched to run over his strings. To just close himself in his studio and wail on his favorite instrument until each digit was so stiff he couldn’t continue. He wasn’t angry, wasn’t sad, he felt no stress or other emotional pain at the moment, he just felt void. Nothing.

It wasn’t the first time he’d felt this way, but it had been quite a long time; and it wasn’t a good thing. When his emotions became too much for him to bear, he just seemed to shut down in this way. Kind of like having too many processes on a computer; eventually the system becomes unstable and is unable to function. That’s precisely how he felt. He wanted to feel something, which is why he needed to pick up a guitar, but that likely wouldn’t happen today.

“Sweetheart, are you ready?” his wife’s voice called from downstairs, and a sigh drug over his lips.


“Yes,” he pushed out, despite himself.

He’d said he was ready to start the process of looking into the legal aspect of possibly adopting James and Nicoletta’s baby, but was he really? He didn’t feel like it.

“Babe,” the blue-eyed woman said now that she was in the doorway. A knowing look was spread across her face. “It’s going to be fine.”

“It’s going to be fine for somebody,” he grumbled.

“It’s completely natural to feel this way.”

“What way? I don’t feel anything.” No use in hiding it, the woman was like a mind-reader with him most of the time.

Instead of an answer, she pushed herself off of the door frame and lightly padded across the room to her husband. Petite arms curled around his neck and pulled him against her.

“I love you,” her breath floated over him as she whispered the words into his ear gingerly. “It’s going to be okay. We’re just seeing what we’re up against. We don’t have to do anything today; or at all.”

He muttered something unintelligible against the skin of her shoulder before pressing a kiss to it. He wasn’t entirely sure he agreed with her words, but he moved to rest his forehead against hers in surrender.

“Do you want to reschedule?” getting a light shake of his head in response, she leaned in to press a kiss to his lips. “Want me to drive?”

He nodded and allowed her to take his hand to lead him downstairs. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to figure things out, but he was suddenly scared out of his mind. He had so many ‘what ifs’ running through his brain that he could barely breathe. Was everything going to be alright?


Three hours later, the Haners exited the office of the adoption attorney with a stack of paperwork, two books, and enough knowledge on the subject to write a book of their own, it seemed like. The process itself was fairly simple. Being that it was going to be an adoption between friends, it cut out more than three quarters of the steps and paperwork someone adopting another route would be required to deal with. That was the good news.

There wasn’t any bad news, per se, there was just a lot to think about. Emily definitely felt more at ease about the whole thing, but Brian wasn’t sure how he felt. It kind of all hit him at once. They were talking about taking a sweet little boy away from his family. Yes, he would be allowed to grow up knowing them, but was it right? He almost wished that James had come to him asking for money in the first place. It would have saved a lot of grief. Somehow, though, he felt like it was something they were supposed to take on; though he felt more ready to help produce the next nuclear weapon than adopt this baby.

“Talk to me, babe.” Getting a shake of his head in response, she let out a sigh. “Tell me what I can do?”

“Tell me why in the world we had to lose Grey in the first place? If we didn’t, we never would be faced with this now.”

“I can’t tell you that, Brian. If I could, it would have taken off a lot of the pain, stress, and burden I’ve carried since that day. But we’re here now,” she stopped walking and stepped in front of the guitarist to make him look at her. “For whatever reason, these people crossed our path. James and Nic are some of the sweetest people on the planet, and that little boy is in need of our help. Maybe I can’t save the planet, maybe you can’t take on everyone in need, and maybe we can’t fund every medical procedure every kid in the state needs; but we can help this one. We can love this one. God willing, if we can’t cure this one, we can give him the best life possible and begin rebuilding our family.”

The pain-tipped sincerity in her voice touched him deeply. Her words made sense. They were heartfelt and true, and though they did nothing to clear up what was going through his mind, it was a statement he needed to resolve himself to cling to. It wasn’t just about helping out a family, it was about rebuilding theirs. That was worth everything.

“You’re right, baby.”

With a small nod, she decided to drop the subject for now. “What do you want to do this evening?”

“Not sure. How about we start with a coffee run and see where the day leads us?”

“Best idea I’ve heard today.” Accepting the kiss he gave her, she ran a hand over his jaw and into his hairline briefly.

They were going to be okay. And for the first time in many months, they both knew it.


Four days later, Brian and Emily invited the Martinez family over for lunch. It was a rare day off for James, and he welcomed the idea over the errands he’d been planning to run. The women took to the kitchen for coffee and a little bit of girl time while they finished up the last of the cooking, while the guys took to the patio to enjoy the breeze. Baby Mateo fell asleep promptly, and his sisters’ laughter carried through the yard as they raced around playing a hearty game of tag. It was a refreshing sight.

There was such a peace and familiarity with the family, which was nice, especially with what was on the horizon before them. Though it was all any of them ever thought about, it wasn’t always in the forefront of their conversations. They each silently agreed that they wanted their friendship based on companionship and things they had in common versus the adoption topic. Each truly wanted to continue building their friendships to better both Mateo’s future, and their own.

When the meal was ready, James called his girls inside, and they all piled into the dining room to eat. Roast, potatoes, carrots, was on the menu, along with some mac and cheese for the girls, who were not potato fans, and fresh fruit rounded out the course. Everyone chitchatted and laughed through the leisurely meal, and the atmosphere was light.

“Girls, take care of your dishes and go outside to play,” Nicoletta instructed them, and she smiled as she watched their oldest help her youngest sister carry her plate into the kitchen.

“There’s something Brian and I wanted to talk to the both of you about,” the guitarist’s wife said quietly once the children were out of earshot.

“We have something to discuss with you, too,” James said with a nod, and took the napkin from his lap to wipe at the corners of his mouth.

“Well, if it’s related to what the lawyer said, it is probably what we were wanting to talk about.” The younger man said with a small nod. “Trial stay?”

“Yes,” the older woman said with a small breath. A small smile turned up the corners of her mouth, and a bittersweet expression settled over her features.

“This is really pretty awkward for us to talk about, but—”

“It doesn’t have to be,” James cut him off gently with a hand up. “I think we all thought the same thing before the lawyer made the remark. It’s okay. Just because it is emotional doesn’t mean it has to be awkward.”

“First of all, we want you to know that how this is done is up to the two of you. If you’d like to bring over his furniture and larger toys like a bouncy, swing, play pen or anything like that to make him feel more comfortable, you’re more than welcome to,” Emily stated.

“You can make a list of his feeding and sleeping schedules, and any other things you want us to know, and we will make sure we stick with that so he can transition easier,” Brian offered.

“We appreciate that. I’m sorry,” Nicoletta said with a brief pause to try to hold back the tears stinging her eyes. “This is very difficult for us.”

Emily slid out of her seat and moved to hug their friend tightly. “I can’t imagine.”

“We can’t imagine what the two of you have been through, either,” James said softly. “But we believe that you will be good parents to our little boy. We appreciate your willingness to put everything in writing about letting our family be as involved as we’d like in his life.”

“We wouldn’t have it any other way, James,” the lead told him.

After a few moments, the wives pulled back from one another and James’ bride busied herself by helping to clear the table. The foursome reconvened in the living room once the dishwasher was going. They carefully picked up their conversation and began working out the details of when to start this trial run of baby Mateo staying with them.

All of the little tips, tricks, and secrets of caring for him were divulged and Brian recorded it on his phone so they could go back later and type out what they needed to. His likes and dislikes and favorite soothing techniques were discussed, and a few tears were understandably shed around the room. It was painful, heart wrenching, but it felt good. It felt…..right.

“I guess that’s it then?” James asked. “Can you think of anything else, mi amor?”

“No. That’s all,” she sniffed. “We can bring everything but his bassinet and favorite bear over the night before to make things easier.”

“I believe I have a meeting that evening, but Emily will be here for sure.” Brian nodded.

Feeling that release in the atmosphere that everything each of them had wanted to say had been taken care of, a smile lifted Emily’s features.

“Would you like to stay and watch a movie, or play some games?”

“I think we can do that. Nic, is that okay with you?”

“Sure. Either is fine. Do I need to call the girls, or will it just be the four of us?”

“We can do either or. I’m going to go make some coffee,” the Haner wife said, and Brian smiled at her stepping back into the hostess role. She didn’t do it often, but he knew she enjoyed it, and that made him happy.

“Card game, board game, or something like Headbands/Charades?”
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Anyone still with me? I have had this chapter ready to go since I posted the last one. I have the next chapter ready as well.

[1/13/2020, I haven't really edited this much yet so if there are spelling or grammatical errors, forgive me. I will correct them in the next few days.]

I know it has taken me way too long to get this story up. I am going to make it my priority to have it completed soon. :) You guys are amazing for sticking with me.