posted on 3-Dec-2001 5:19:36 PM
Newest Additions

Author: Taffy
E-Mail: sstuller⊕inreach.com
Title: Newest Additions
Category: Evans Family
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, just borrowing them. Promise to return them only slightly used. All except Aunt Trudy, she’s mine, all mine!
Notes: This is a story I have always wanted to see told and I finally decided to tell it.
This is meant as a companion piece to Those Meddling Fates.


Chapter 1

Setting:
Taos, NM, March 1989, in the car almost to their destination

Philip: he is worried about his wife: Diane had been going through hell restarting the fertility treatments at the clinic in Albuquerque: deciding that they needed a break from everything, they took off for the weekend to visit his Aunt Trudy in Taos: looking over at his wife of seven years, he’s worried at seeing how pale she is, his concern increases…
“Honey, are you alright? You don’t look too good. These treatments took so much out of you last time and it’s only been a couple of months since the miscarriage. Are you sure you’re ready to start this all over again?”

Diane: she’s exhausted and in pain, both physical and emotional: after months and months of treatments, she had been overjoyed to finally conceive: the joy only lasted for a little less than five months: she finally got to experience the excitement of feeling their baby move only to have it end a short time later: she is anxious to recapture that experience again, but her husband is right, it’s taking an awful lot out of her…
“I’m fine Philip, just a bit tired. It’ll be good to see Aunt Trudy again. She’s such a dear. I hope she doesn’t try and wait on me hand-and-foot again. She’s starting to get up there in years and shouldn’t be doing too much herself.”

Philip: as he pulls into the driveway, he reaches for his wife’s hand and gives it a tender squeeze: as the car comes to a stop, he pulls her close to him for a comforting kiss…
“Don’t worry I won’t let her, besides that’s my job this weekend. I want you to do nothing but rest.”
Getting out of the car, he comes around to help her out of the car and with his arm around her, he escorts her to the front door: after ringing the bell, the door immediately opens…
“Hi Aunt Trudy, we finally made it.”

Aunt Trudy: she smiles warmly and gives her nephew a big hug: one look at her niece-in-law and her heart just breaks {it’s just so unfair, after all they’ve been through; poor dear, she’s hurting so much over this}….
“Come here dear.”
She takes her in her arms for a long loving embrace.

Philip: entering the house…
“I’ll just go put our bag in the guest bedroom.”

Aunt Trudy: walking Diane into the living room…
“Here, come sit down and rest. You look like you’ve been put through the mill. How are you doing?”

Diane: she’s glad to finally be able to relax: she has been really looking forward to having some quiet time with Aunt Trudy…
“I have to admit, I feel pretty much how I look. It’s just been so much harder this second time. I guess the miscarriage was harder on me than I thought. It’ll be worth it though when I get to hold our baby in my arms.”

Aunt Trudy: studying Diane closely, she already can feel that this ordeal will not come to fruition, but she can also see there is something else: deciding not to say anything yet…
“Diane, why don’t you go ahead and lie down for a bit? We can visit afterwards. If there’s anything that needs to be done, I’m sure Philip can help. Go on dear, go get some rest.”
With Diane in a deep exhausted sleep and Philip out running errands, Aunt Trudy has some time to think over what she saw in Diane earlier {I wish there was some way to get her to stop these treatments. I know she has her heart set on a little baby, but things aren’t going to work out that way for her. I do see children for her and Philip. It’s going to be soon, real soon. I see more than one, at least two, but there’s going to be more later on. There’s just something off though. I just can’t put my finger on it.}: looking up from her cup of tea as she hears the front door open and close…
“Oh Philip, did you get everything?”

Philip: putting the bag of groceries down on the counter…
“I think so. Had a little trouble figuring out what humus was, but I found it.”

Aunt Trudy: smiling but with troubled eyes…
“Philip, sit down for moment. I want to talk to you. “

Philip: taking a seat at the kitchen table, slightly alarmed…
“What is it? Is it Diane? Did something happen?”
Getting up to go check on his wife.

Aunt Trudy: taking his hand to reassure him…
“No, nothing happened. I just want to talk to you. Now sit back down.”
He does as he’s asked…
“Philip, all this that Diane is going through. Is this the only option that you both would consider? I mean what if it doesn’t work? Would you consider maybe adopting?”

Philip: with a slightly sad smile…
“Actually we have checked into adoption. In fact we are on the waiting list, but there’s a two to three year wait for a healthy newborn.”

Aunt Trudy: “What about an older child? Would it have to be an infant?”

Philip: he’s not quite sure where this is coming from, a little perplexed by it…
“Aunt Trudy what are you getting at? Did Diane say anything to you?”

Aunt Trudy: “No, no she didn’t. I don’t mean to meddle, but I’m concerned about her. All of this is taking so much out of her and I have to tell you, I don’t think it’s going to be successful. But at the same time I have a very strong feeling that there are going to be children in your future and soon.”

Philip: “Aunt Trudy, is this some more of your sixth sense stuff? You didn’t say anything to Diane did you?

Aunt Trudy: she’s indignant and she lets her tone reflect it…
“Of course I haven’t said anything to her. The poor thing is rather frail emotionally right now and I wouldn’t do anything to upset her. But yes, this is more of my sixth sense stuff. Would it make more believable if I called it woman’s intuition?”

Philip: feeling bad for unintentionally belittling her ‘gift’…
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything by my comment. I guess I’m still dealing with my own emotions about everything. I know you wouldn’t ever do or say anything to upset Diane.”
Sighing: not really believing anything he’s about to hear but wanting to humor his favorite aunt…
“So what exactly do you sense about us having children?”

Aunt Trudy: after looking at him intently for several minutes…
“Give me your hand.”
Taking several more minutes to scrutinize his palm, she’s still not entirely certain she can believe what she’s seeing…
“Philip, there are some things that seem strange but are so clear, I just don’t know how to explain it. I’m getting this from both you and Diane so it must be right, but maybe I’m not interpreting it correctly. Let’s see, let’s begin with the clearest: I do see children, I see two very clearly, a boy and a girl. They’re very young, but they’re not infants. These two are all alone in this world and need you very badly. They’re very special children, but…”

Philip: totally caught up in what she’s telling him…
“What? But what?”

Aunt Trudy: hesitating….
“Philip these children are waiting for you. Almost like they’re waiting to be born just for you to have, but they’re definitely are not infants, they’re older but not much. This feeling is so strong, but it just doesn’t make any sense. I’m sorry.”

Philip: feeling a little foolish at how caught up he is in this…
“That’s alright. Is there anything else?”

Aunt Trudy: “Well, I do see more children, but later on and older. They’re much fuzzier and I have no idea how or why they come into your lives. They might be some sort of extended family, maybe even future grandchildren. I’m just not sure.”
Looking at Philip’s expression…
“Now you think I’m an old eccentric fool, don’t you?”

Philip: smiling warmly…
“Aunt Trudy, I would never think that. You’re way too dear to me to ever think you’re foolish, eccentric yes, foolish never.”
Turning a bit serious…
“Aunt Trudy, please don’t tell Diane any of this. I’m just not sure how she would take it, OK?”

Aunt Trudy: patting his hand…
“Of course dear, not a word. Oh I almost forgot, these two special little ones, they’re going to be coming into your lives soon, very soon; so you better be prepared for their arrival.”

After spending the rest of the weekend having a wonderful time with Aunt Trudy, Philip and Diane head home late Sunday afternoon. For some unexplained reason, Philip decides to take a little used back road home.


Chapter 2

Setting
March 1989, back road heading home to Roswell

Philip: he’s not sure why he took this route, it adds an extra two hours to the trip and it’s very desolate, not a single other car for miles {not a good place to break down or have an accident. It sure is beautiful though; all the stars are out tonight. Boy you can really see them shining without the city lights to interfere.}: straining his eyes, trying to make out what is up ahead in the road: slowing down and without diverting his eyes, he reaches over and gently shakes Diane awake…
“Diane, Diane wake up. Tell me what you think that is up ahead?”

Little Boy: he’d been walking and walking and looking around, trying to figure out what all this is: he keeps looking up at the twinkling lights in the sky, he feels drawn to them: he instinctively knows that something is not right, but has no idea what that ‘right’ is supposed to be: he’s been looking for that other little boy: the one that he can feel close by: they had all started out together, but the other little boy quickly got ahead of them and disappeared, leaving just him and his sister: they spotted him once on a rock for a moment but lost sight of him right afterwards: at first, it was sunny and bright out, and he was able to avoid stepping on the sharp rocks that cut his feet, but as darkness grew, his feet were getting cut up pretty badly and so were his sister’s: he had been relieved when they found this smooth path that seemed to go on forever, not that he had any idea where he was supposed to go or anything: he grabs his bare tummy as it makes a rumbling sound: it happened earlier; he’s not sure why it’s doing it, but he doesn’t like it: he hears something coming up behind him and turns around to look: he sees lights coming directly towards him: his sister reaches for his hand: he looks at his sister to reassure her that everything will be OK: he briefly turns towards the desert, towards where he can feel the other little boy is and holds his hand out to him, but he won’t come to take it: he feels his sister getting more scared as the lights come upon them and stop just a little ways away.

Diane: she had been surprised when Philip had awoken her but like him, she can’t believe what she’s seeing either: there are two little kids just standing in the middle of the road stark naked: as the car comes to a stop right in front of them, she and Philip immediately get out and go to the children: forcing herself to remain calm so as not to frighten them, she approaches the little boy who is tightly gripping the little girl’s hand…
“Hi honey, are you OK? Where’s your Mommy and Daddy?”
She tentatively runs her hand up and down the little boy’s arm to comfort him: as the little boy silently continues to stare at her with wide eyes…
“Sweety, do you understand me? Are you hurt? It’s going to be alright. We’ll make sure you get some help, OK? You don’t have to be frightened.”
Looks over at Philip who is having a similar one-sided conversation with the little girl…
“Philip, let’s get these babies into the car. Can you get the blankets out of the trunk?”
Picking him up she gets into the backseat with him as Philip puts the little girl in next to her on the other side: she reaches into the small ice chest that is on the floorboard and pulls out a bottle of water: offering it to the little boy…
“Here honey, you must be thirsty.”
He takes it from her, but it soon becomes apparent that he has no idea what to do with it…
“Here honey, you just turn the top a little and it comes off. See that’s easy, here you go now have some. It’s just water, it’s OK.”
As he tentatively tilts the bottle, water comes pouring out, unfortunately very little makes it into his mouth…
“Oh honey, no… here let me help you. Now just sip it. Not too much at once or you’ll gag. There that’s better.”
After drinking most of the bottle she puts the cap back on and hands it to the little boy to hold…
“Here honey, why don’t you hold that in case you want a little more. I’ll get a fresh one for your sister.”
She goes through the same process with the little girl.

Philip: with blankets in hand he opens the door and gently wraps the little girl in a blanket and hands the other one to Diane who proceedes to do the same with the little boy…
“Diane, do they seem alright? Do they need a doctor?”

Diane: “They don’t seem to be hurt. I’ve been checking them over a little and so far all I’ve found are some nicks and cuts on both their feet and ankles. I think they’ve been walking for awhile. I think they might be in some sort of shock though. Neither has said a single word.”

Philip: “Well, as long as they seem to be OK, I want to take a few moments and look around. I’m thinking they might have been in some sort of accident and they were able to walk away, but there may be some other victims that need help. Why don’t you keep trying to see if you can get them to talk? I won’t be long.”
With flashlight in hand he begins to look for tire marks or debris, anything that would indicate an accident.

Diane: since she didn’t seem to have much luck getting the little boy to talk, she decides to see if she can do any better with the little girl: looking down at the sweet little angel sitting next to her…
“Hi sweetie, can you tell me you name? Hmmm, mine’s Diane, what’s yours?”
Again she’s met with only silence: trying again…
“Sweetie, where is your Mommy? Is she close by? What’s your Mommy’s name?”
Her heart freezes as she finally gets a response, but it’s out of the little boy and the one word that he says almost brings her to tears.

Little Boy: he had been listening very intently to all the sounds she keeps making and begins to wonder if he could do the same: he decides to find out…
“Mm…mmm…mmommmy”
He looks up at her and is surprised by the funny look she suddenly has: her eyes are watering up and it’s starting to spill down her cheek: he is intrigued by this and reaches up and touches the wetness: he brings his hand back to his face to see if it feels the same: as he touches his nose, cheek, lips, eyebrows, he becomes curious if hers feels the same: reaching back up to her face he delicately runs his hand along her nose and cheek: as he starts to run them along her lips, he is surprised when she brings her lips together and pushes them against his finger making a little noise: he doesn’t know what to think of it, but it felt kinda nice: he wants to do something nice for her and makes that sound again…
“Mmmommy”
He looks over at his sister and wonders if she can make the noise too.

Little Girl: she would have been very frightened if her brother wasn’t with her: like him she was very intrigued by this lady and all the sounds that she is making: she can feel that her brother wants her to try and make the same sound as him: scrunching up her face in concentration, she tries it…
“Mmm…mmmm… mmmmoma… mmmommmeeee”
She feels herself being lifted and pulled up onto the lady’s lap with a firm but gently arm holding tightly as the lady puts her lips together on her forehead and makes another one of those little funny noises like she did to her brothers finger: it feels very nice to be in the lady’s embrace: she wraps her arms around the lady and rests her head against the softness of the lady’s breast: she finally is starting to feel warm and safe here with the lady: all the earlier walking is catching up with her and she yawns and snuggles in and starts to fall into a sound sleep.

Little Boy: he watched his sister make the noise like he did and how the lady reacted to it: he still doesn’t know what to make of it, but it seemed to make his sister happy: as he sits there watching his sister sleep, his eyelids seem to grow heavier and heavier: he instinctively snuggles up close to the lady and is soon in a sound sleep as well.

Philip: the more he looked, the more convinced he is that there was no accident, which means only one thing, someone left those two babies out here all alone on purpose: walking back to the car, he is greeted by the sight of his wife sitting with the little girl on her lap and the little boy snuggled next to her and both are sound asleep: he very quietly gets into the front seat and whispers to Diane…
“I couldn’t find any signs of anything. Let’s get them home and call the authorities so they can do a more thorough search. How are they doing?”

Diane: she was having a hard time keeping her emotions in check: when the little boy said Mommy, she almost lost it: when the little girl did it, she did lose it: it’s as if they were telling her what her heart had been saying since she laid eyes on them {these are supposed to be my babies. I can feel it, and I think they can too. Why else would they look at me and say Mommy? Oh God, how can this be? How do I explain this to Philip?}: she hates to admit it, but she’s glad that Philip didn’t find anything: she doesn’t want to think about what will happen when they notify the authorities, it’s not like they just found a couple of lost little puppies and they want to keep them: she worked enough with social services during their adoption application process to know that they’ll wind up in Children’s Protective Services at least for a little while, maybe Philip would be able to do something about it though: looking at her husband with unshed tears…
“They’re fine, tired, but fine. The only word I got them to say was Mommy. Philip, when we get home we’re going to need to talk about this.”

Philip: the look on Diane’s face says it all {she wants to keep them. But there’s got to be relatives somewhere that are going to want them. What’s it going to do to Diane if we keep them, fall in love with them, only to lose them when their family is found? It’ll destroy her and me as well.}: looking back at his wife with the two sleeping angels in her arms, he knows it’s already too late {she’s already in love with them. They are awfully adorable. I guess we’ll have to see how this plays out. Maybe these are the two that Aunt Trudy was talking about? Hmmm, now why did I think of that? I don’t believe in that sixth sense nonsense anyhow. It might not be a bad idea to give her a call in the morning just to let her know we got home alright.}: smiling tenderly at his wife…
“OK honey, we’ll talk when we get home.”
He starts the car and resets the trip odometer so he can tell the authorities exactly how far out in the desert they found these two: his mind runs a mile a minute over all the work, legal and otherwise, that he’ll need to go through to give his wife what she wants, those two sleeping babies back there.


Chapter 3

Setting:
Same night, in Evans’ car

Philip: he has a hard time concentrating on the road: he keeps looking back at the scene in the back seat: his heart is heavy with worry about the likely outcome of tonight: pulling into the driveway, he quietly addresses his wife…
“Diane, we’re here. We’re home.”

Diane: she had been gently resting her cheek on the top of the little girl’s head: both of the babies had been sound asleep on the drive home: she had been so lost in thought about them that she had no idea that they were already home until she heard her husband: preparing to get out…
“Philip, take the little boy, since I’ve already got her.”
She waits until the sleeping boy is safely in Philip’s arms before carefully getting out with her own precious bundle.
Upon entering their house, she goes directly to their bedroom, pulls back the bedspread and bedding and gently lays her down: Philip does the same with the little boy: she quietly tucks them in and kisses them both: she’s reluctant to leave them and takes a few more moments to hover over them, fussing with the blankets before finally letting them sleep in peace: she turns the bathroom light on and closes the door a little so they’ll be able to see if they wake up and hopefully won’t be too scared: she takes one more longing look at the sleeping angels before joining her husband who’s in the kitchen on the phone.

Philip: on the phone with the authorities…
“That’s right deputy, they were just by themselves out in the desert. Out on the old highway to Albuquerque….yes, I do. I reset my trip odometer, it was 54.3 miles from our house… no, they seem to be in good shape… not a thing, not a word… we couldn’t even get their names out of them… OK, we’ll see you in a few minutes.”
Turning to his wife…
“The police will be here soon. How are they?”

Diane: putting a pot of coffee on…
“They’re still out. Philip, you don’t think they were really in an accident, do you? I mean, there would have been bruises and abrasions, right?”

Philip: setting down at the kitchen table, he finally begins the conversation with his wife that is going to change their lives forever…
“No, I don’t and neither do you. I have a pretty strong feeling that those two were abandoned and there’s not going to be anyone coming for them.”
Looking at his wife as she joins him at the table…
“Diane, what are you thinking? What is it that you want to do?”

Diane: she takes a moment to really listen to what her heart is saying: her smile is full of hope….
“I want them Philip. It’s more than that; they need us. We need them. There is something special about them. Whatever they’ve gone through, I know that it’s us that they need to get though and overcome it.”
Hearing the coffee maker beep that it’s done, she gets up to get them both a cup.

Philip: thinking over what she said, his emotions and thoughts are all over the place {why does she feel this strongly about them? Why do I? What if we’re wrong? How can we bear to lose them? They’ve obviously been through an emotional trauma, why does she think we’re the ones that can help them? Are we ready to take this on? This will drastically change our lives, our marriage, are we strong enough to do this?}: he has one final thought {how did Aunt Trudy know?}: looking at his wife…
“Why, why do you feel so strongly about this? You do realize that this is not going to be easy. We would have to prove to the court’s satisfaction that they were abandoned, then the adoption process. This won’t be quick, either. Plus there are the costs. We’ll have to hire a good attorney that specializes in family law. The courts are going to examine our entire lives, background checks, our finances, and our marriage. Are you ready for all of that? Don’t forget, we would end up losing them if their family is found. Could you handle having to give them up?”
He’s distracted as he hears the doorbell ring…
“Diane, think about it. I’ll get the door.”

Little Boy: he heard a noise, kind of like a ‘ding dong’, it woke him up: he looks around at his new surroundings: he’s slightly alarmed because something is wrong, something is different: he looks over at his sister who is still sleeping and realizes what it is that he’s feeling, or rather what he’s not feeling; the other little boy, he can’t feel the other little boy: he frantically looks around at all the unfamiliar things and starts to get upset: he thinks back to that nice lady and how comforting she was: he suddenly knows that she’s near, he can smell her: he can smell her warmth and just her: he really wants her to be here by him, he’s getting scared: he does the only thing he can think of to get her there: testing out his lung capacity a little…
“Mmommmyyy, Mommy, Mommy!”
He’s relieved as he hears her coming.

Diane: she had been sipping her coffee thinking about all that Philip had said, when she heard the plaintive cry: quickly darting past the new sheriff that had just arrived, she slows her run and calmly walks into the bedroom: smiling warmly at the little boy, she sits down on the bed and picks him up and onto her lap…
“Shhh, it’s alright sweetie. I know it’s scary waking up in a strange place. But it’s alright, I’m here.”
She begins to gently rock him in her arms: looking over at the little girl who had been awakened by her brother’s cries, she reaches over and scoots her over close for comfort as well: after awhile they seem to calm down, when she hears a very distinct sound coming from the little boy: smiling, she rubs his tummy…
“Was that your tummy making that noise? Would you like something to eat? Hmm, do you have a favorite thing to eat?”
Looking over at the little girl…
“How about you? I bet you’re hungry too, aren’t you? Now what do you two like to eat? Well why don’t we go into the kitchen see what we’ve got, OK? Maybe we should slip something on, though. We can’t have you two walking around naked all the time now can we?”
Holding their hands, she walks the two t-shirt clothed little ones down the hall to the kitchen: spots her husband standing in kitchen talking this evenings events over with the sheriff…
“Look who woke up. They’re hungry, so I thought we’d see what we can find for them to eat.”
Looking though her cupboards and refrigerator, which are unusually bare since they had been out of town for the last week, she eyes the jelly: looking down at the little ones that have stayed close by her during her quick search…
“How about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? How does that sound?”
She gets the reply that she had been expecting, wide-eyed stares: she quickly assembles the ingredients and starts working on the sandwiches.

Sheriff Valenti: he watches as the kids cling to Diane Evans while she makes the sandwiches: abandonment case are hard for him since they hit close to home, he never thought his wife and the mother of his child would up and just leave, but she did: but this is worse, these two were left out in the middle of nowhere to fend for themselves: he had been shocked when Philip Evans had told him exactly where they had found them: that road is seldom traveled, hell even the sheriff’s department rarely patrols out that way: if it hadn’t been for the Evans, those kids would have been in a heap of trouble: no, whoever left them wanted them to simply disappear, that’s worse than simple abandonment: he definitely wants to find these people so he can throw the book at them: as the kids sit down to eat, his radio crackles to life…
“Benson come in.”

Deputy Benson: “Sheriff we’re out here, where they were found. But there’s nothing here. We’re going to wait for some bloodhounds to arrive. I’ve sent 2 cruisers in each direction up and down the road to see if they can see anything. There’s no telling how far two little kids could’ve walked. The sun will be up soon, so it’ll be easier to spot something.”

Sheriff Valenti: “Thank you Benson, keep me posted.”
His gut instinct tells him they’re not going to find any accident, there’s no accident to find: as Diane Evans is hovering over the kids, he taps Philip on the shoulder to get his attention: the two of them walk out into the living room…
“Are you sure the kids didn’t say anything, anything at all? Is there anything else that you can think of? Even the smallest detail might mean a great deal.”

Philip: sadly shaking his head…
“No, believe me, I wish I did have something else to tell you. I have to say that I have a strong feeling that there was no accident. I can’t tell you how furious I am over that thought. Those two are awfully sweet little kids. It’s going to be hard to separate Diane from them. How long before Children’s Protective Services get here?”

Sheriff Valenti: “They should be here anytime now. Your wife does seem to have gotten awfully attached to those two. Don’t worry though, we’ll find good homes for them until their family is found. Even if their parents might be deadbeats, they’ve got to have grandparents or someone who’ll want them.”

Philip: looking back into the kitchen, watching Diane dote on them…
“Sheriff, we’d be willing to take them.”

Sheriff Valenti: watching the same scene playing out in the kitchen…
“I bet you would. I know a few people that might be able to help speed a few things along. But this morning the kids are going to have to go into protective custody. We got to make sure they’re alright and well… you said they were found with no clothes on. There are a lot of very sick bastards out there. We need to make sure they weren’t hurt.”

Philip: he had already thought about what the sheriff was implying, but somehow he didn’t think that was the case: hearing the doorbell again, he knows this is going to be a very difficult scene for everyone: dreading it, he slowly walks to the door…
“Hello, I’m Philip Evans. Come in.”

Social Worker: “Hello, I’m Keesha Thomas. I understand you found a couple of little kids last night. Where are they?”

Philip: his throat is suddenly very dry, it’s almost painful to get the words out…
“They’re in here, in the kitchen with my wife.”
Escorting her in, he tries to clear his parched throat…
“Ahem, Diane this is Keesha Thomas from Children’s Protective Services. She’s…she’s… here for the children.”
He immediately goes over and hugs his wife, who is now close to tears: he helps her sit down at the table with the children.

Little Girl: all these new people are starting to make her feel uneasy, and she wishes they all would go away, except for Mommy and the nice man from earlier, he can stay: that new lady’s arrival is upsetting Mommy: she doesn’t like that: she looks over at her brother: the new lady is making sounds at him and is trying take his hand, but he won’t give it to her: she can feel how upset her brother is getting: the lady reaches down and picks him up and she starts to cry as her brother squirms to get down and cries out “Mommy”.

Diane: she’s near panic, she’s not quite ready for this to happen yet: looking at her husband for help…
“Philip?”

Philip: he’s as upset as his wife, he quickly goes over and snatches the little boy out of her arms: he’s relieved that the boy stops struggling and calms down: his cries have now turned into hiccups…
“Shhh, it’s alright little guy. She’s not going to hurt you. Shhh, it’s alright, just calm down.”
Looking at Ms. Thomas…
“Could you give us a few moments? The kids have been through quite a lot and have come to trust my wife and I. Just let us get them calmed down some, OK?”
He looks over at his wife, who is currently holding the little girl in her arms rocking her back and forth…
“Diane, we have to remain calm. I know it’s hard but we’ve got to or it’ll only be harder for them.”

Diane: kissing the little girl on the top of her head….
“I know. I know. Just a few more moments, then I think I can do it.”

Philip: taking a seat, he puts the little boy on his lap: as the little boy looks up at him with tear stained cheeks and red eyes…
“OK, little guy, we need to talk. I know you’re scared, but I need you to be a big boy for a little while longer and take care of your sister. Can you do that? You see, this nice lady here wants to make sure you and your sister are OK, so she’s going to go get you both checked out. It’s nothing to be frightened of. I know you can do it, you’ve done such a good job of taking care her so far, and it’s just for a few more days. Then you’ll get to go to a nice place where there are lots of toys to play with and maybe other kids to play with too. Won’t that be fun? Then in a few days Diane and I will come and see you. And if everything works out alright, maybe you and your sister can come back here and stay with us for awhile. Would you like that?”
Looking into that sweet little face so full of trust, he knows that he is committed to doing anything and everything to keep his word to him: he takes him and gives him a big hug and kiss, for which he is rewarded: his heart melts as the little boy puts his arms around him and gives him a big hug back.

Keesha Thomas: she hates to interrupt their goodbyes, obviously these people care a great deal about these children, but she wants to get them on their way…
“Mr. Evans, do you know what their names are?”

Philip: still sitting with the little boy on his lap…
“No, they’ve never said. In fact the only word we’ve gotten them to say is Mommy.”

Keesha Thomas: “I see. Well we have to call them something, I hate to list them as John and Jane Doe, minors.”

Diane: sounding wishful…
“Would it be possible for them to be called Max and Isabel. We… we’ve always liked those names and somehow they seem appropriate. I mean until we find out what their real names are?’

Keesha Thomas: “I don’t see what the harm would be and it does sound better that John and Jane doesn’t it? Um… I know this is difficult, but we need to get these kids checked out, I did a quick check and there’s actually an opening in the doctor’s schedule this morning, so the sooner I can get that out of the way the sooner I can get them settled in somewhere.”

Sheriff Valenti: he had been quietly observing the whole time and wishes to hell those kids could stay with the Evans: he makes himself a note to call those friends he has to see how quickly he can get the situation remedied.

Diane: she remains stoic through the whole process of putting them in the car: but just as she gets done fastening the seatbelt around the little girl who is now called Isabel, she feels her little arms go around her neck for one last hug and “Mommy” is whispered in her ear: refusing to cry yet, she gives her a kiss and manages to tell her…
“Now be good and take care of your brother Max, OK? We’ll see you real soon honey.”
So closes the car door and she and Philip wave to them as they pull out and onto the street.

Philip: he takes his wife in his arms and makes her a promise…
“We’ll get them back real soon. I’m going to call Mark Hoffman and make an appointment. He’s the best family practice lawyer in town. It’ll only be a few days I promise. But you have a big project to work on.”

Diane: confused…
“What? What project?”

Philip: smiling…
“We’ve got to get things ready for them. Furniture, clothes, toys, all kinds of stuff, plus all the legal paperwork and we don’t have too much time to do it either.”

Diane: smiling through her tears…
“Oh Philip, I love you. Thank you.”

Setting: Children’s Center, 5 days later, late afternoon

Diane: her life had been absolute chaos this last week, not to mention one wild ride emotionally: giving the children up in the early hours Monday morning had been the lowest point, but her hopes soon started to rise that afternoon after their meeting with their lawyer: Tuesday was a mixture of highs and lows, the children appeared healthy but the medical tests were unexplainably off somehow and no one could figure out how: Wednesday was pretty much like Tuesday with the children being retested, but ended on a high note when the doctors declared them fine, the tests were still off, but they couldn’t find anything wrong exactly: Thursday was absolute mayhem, the speech therapist thought they should go to someone who had experience in dealing with incommunicative children, but eventually admitted that they did seem to be learning how to speak awfully quickly and would probably do just as well in a ‘normal’ home: Today, Friday, had been the most frantic and the highest of the highs, they got a call early this morning from Mark Hoffman saying that temporary custody should be going through and to be ready to pick them up this afternoon: here she and Philip are, picking up their babies: they walk out into the play yard and immediately spot them: they are making designs in the sandbox: for the first time she has the pleasure and joy of calling her son and daughter to her…
“Max, Isabel, come here honey.”
Both kids look up when they hear their names and with big grins and open arms go running towards her shouting….”MOMMY”



Chapter 4

Setting:
Evans house, 3 weeks later

Diane: her neat and tidy living room is long gone, it has been replaced by one that is filled with little jackets, shoes and toys, lots of toys: the culprits of this change are currently sitting smack dab in the middle of it all, working very hard on their newest Lego project: she was amused to discover Philip harbored a secret desire to play or as he put it ‘build’ with Legos: as a result he is usually the instigator in getting the kids involved in a new building project: she watches as four little hands and two larger ones are busily working on a castle, last week it had been a pyramid complete with palm trees: the children are highly intelligent, they learn things amazingly fast, but it surprised her that there were so many basic things that they needed to be taught, speech being the obvious one, but also how to brush their teeth, proper hygiene, how to dress, how to work a zipper, turn on a lamp, the list was endless: but they are quick learners and usually have to be shown only once or twice: for the most part they are incredibly well behaved, she has yet to see them actually fight, but there is a problem with them leaving their stuff all over the place, hence the current living room situation: loudly clearing her throat to get all three’s attention….
“OK guys, we need to take a break. I just checked with the bus station and Aunt Trudy’s bus is on time, which means we have 30 minutes to get this room cleaned up.”
This was met by the standard chorus of “aww Mommy.”
Looking at all three, then leveling her gaze at the instigator…
“Ahem, Philip?”

Philip: looking around the living room at the mess: a bit sheepishly…
“Uh, your mommy’s right. Let’s help get this all cleaned up so it looks nice for Aunt Trudy’s arrival. “
He had learned two important lessons from the pyramid project last week: always put a board or something underneath it so it can be easily moved because it will be, and never start it on the formal dining room table: it took him 3 hours to buff the scratches out: picking up the partially done castle…
“Max, do you have a spot in your room for this?’

Max: thinking it over…
“Nuh uh, but I can make one.”
He heads down the hall to his room, followed by his dad carrying the castle.

Philip: upon entering Max’s room: {where the heck did all this stuff come from? We couldn’t have bought him this much, could we? How’d it get such a mess?}: as he puts the castle down on the now cleared desk…
“Ah Max, you weren’t kidding were you?”
Shaking his head in wonder, he takes Max’s hand and the two of them go back to help the ladies finish up.
With everyone pitching in, the living room is cleaned in short order and Philip leaves to pick up Aunt Trudy at the bus station.

Diane: she’s in the kid’s bathroom pulling Isabel’s hair back into a ponytail, while keeping an eye on Max to make sure he gets all the dirt off of his face: as she looks around the bathroom, it dawns on her that there’s not one room in the house that hasn’t felt the impact of these two: out are her potpourri, candles and expensive breakable bath accessories; in are the Winnie the Pooh bath mat and shower curtain along with matching plastic accessories: {at least we talked Max out of the Batman motif. That reminds me…}
“Max, don’t forget to wash behind your ears too.”
She finally gets the ponytail just right so it’ll meet with Isabel’s very particular approval: hearing the car pulling up…
“They’re here, Isabel why don’t you go get the door, while I check on your brother’s progress.”
Turning to inspect the job her son’s done {only missed a couple of spots.}: she makes quick work of finishing up the wash job, slips a clean shirt on him, brushes his hair out of his eyes, and finally he’s presentable: taking his hand, they head down the hall.

Aunt Trudy: coming in the door, she is greeted by a beautiful little girl with a big grin who is swinging her ponytail back and forth: smiling warmly at her newest and youngest niece, she takes a moment to study her {what a deep green aura she has. It’s so rich, almost emerald green. This little lady is going to be of some importance someday.}: as she switches from looking at her aura to actually looking at her…
“My aren’t you a pretty little thing. I think I must be your Aunt Trudy since you must be the beautiful little girl that your dad was describing to me as my niece Isabel. Do you think I could get a hello hug?”
She scoops Isabel up for a warm loving hug and kiss: looking up she sees Diane coming down the hall with a little dark hair boy tagging behind: {I’ve never seen Diane look happier or more tired. Keeping up with these two must be a job and a half.}: as the little boy comes into view better, she’s almost blinded by how brightly his amber aura is shining: {I’ve never seen an aura that strong, children’s are sometimes a little brighter at first because they’re untainted by life yet, but this, this is almost pulsing}: she has to blink several times to clear her vision: as it clears she sees a adorable little boy shyly hanging back a little behind Diane.

Isabel: her brother sometimes frustrates her because all he wants to do is watch: they’d never meet anyone new if she left it up to him: coming up behind him, she decides to give him a little push in the right direction, literally…
“Max, go meet Aunt Trudy. She’s nice.”

Aunt Trudy: she takes a seat in a nearby chair: she smiles and opens her arms for him to come: she waits to see what he’ll do: he looks at her in earnest for a little bit, then back at Philip: looking back at her, he finally comes to a decision: he practically leaps into her arms: she engulfs him in a tight hug: she then sits him on her lap to get a really good look at him {my, his eyes are almost the same color as his aura. I guess they really are the windows to his soul}: smiling warmly…
“Well, that was certainly a wonderful welcome, and here I heard you were the shy one. I guess it just takes the right lady to get you to open up.”

Max: at first he was his usual reserved self, but there was something special about Aunt Trudy: it was just something he felt; he instinctively knew he could trust her: sitting on her lap, looking up at Aunt Trudy with big eyes and smiling…
“Hi Aunt Trudy, I’m glad you came to visit. Do you want to see the castle we are working on with Daddy?”
When she says she’d love to, he promptly gets up, takes her hand and escorts her to his room: thus begins a long and loving relationship between the oldest and youngest in the Evans family, one that will span many years.

Setting: Early the next morning, Evans kitchen

Max: he heard some noise coming from the kitchen and gets up to investigate: he finds Aunt Trudy busily looking through the cupboards…
“Good morning Aunt Trudy, watcha doin’ ?”

Aunt Trudy: smiling back at him…
“Well, I’m trying to find where your mommy keeps the flour. I’ve found everything else that I need to make my chocolate chip blintzes. Do you know where it is?”
Max walks over and points it out to her…
“Oh, thank you dear. Now, what got you up so early? I hope my banging around in here didn’t wake you.”
After he gets done vigorously shaking his head “no”….
“Well, if you give me a hand, you can be the first to try some. How about that?”
15 minutes later, she’s amazed at how quickly such a little guy can put that many away…
“Max, is it safe for me to assume that you like my blintzes?”

Max: tackling his fifth blintz: in between bites…
“Oh ya, I’ve never had these before, they’re great and you really put chocolate chips in them. How come I can have these for breakfast but Mommy won’t let me have chocolate chip cookies for breakfast?”

Aunt Trudy: smiling at the very astute question…
“Well, we’ll just say it’s a special occasion because I’m here and I wanted to make them.”
Greeting her other nephew and fellow chocolate lover as he comes in…
“Good morning Philip. Think you can put away more blintzes than your son here? He’s already on his fifth.”

Philip: “So that’s what I smelled when I woke up. Max put away five already, huh, looks like I’ve got some catching up to do.”
Not too much later, the ladies join them for breakfast.

Aunt Trudy: helping Diane finish up the breakfast dishes, while Philip is getting the kids dressed: taking advantage of some rare quiet time to talk…
“Diane, how are you? I’ve never seen you happier, but you seem a bit tired.”

Diane: pouring her and Aunt Trudy some coffee, they sit at the table for a quick chat…
“I am happy, ecstatic actually, but it is a challenge keeping up with the both of them. They’re so curious. I think their favorite word is ‘why’. They seem to have so much energy. Sometimes I get tired out just watching them. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Aunt Trudy: “Diane, you and Philip are leaving time for yourselves aren’t you? I mean it’s important for you two to have some Mommy and Daddy time.”

Diane: “I know, but we’ve only had them for three weeks and I’m not ready to trust a stranger to baby-sit with them, yet. But it would be nice to go out to dinner and the movies, though.”

Aunt Trudy: “Then that’s exactly what you’re going to do. It’s Saturday and you and Philip are going out to dinner and the movies tonight and I’ll watch them. Don’t worry, I promise to leave my hearing aide in and besides I may not have had any of my own, but I got lots of experience spoiling, er, I mean babysitting all my niece and nephews, that includes that husband of yours many more years ago than I care to admit to. Here’s the paper, you decide what movie you want to see and I’ll go see how Philip’s doing with the little ones.”

Setting: Later that Saturday night

Diane: she’s standing in the doorway of her son’s room watching him sleep: she’s torn between wanting to go out and enjoy being alone with just Philip for a few hours and leaving Max: she’s afraid he’ll wake up crying about wanting to go home again: he started doing that not long after they brought him home: he says that he doesn’t remember anything about that home, but he just wants to go home: it breaks her heart every time it happens: she doesn’t know what he’ll do if he if he wakes up tonight and she’s not here to hold him: she feels a comforting hand touch her shoulder…
“Aunt Trudy, what if he wakes up crying tonight and I’m not here? He’s so little, and God knows what happened to him before. I mean I don’t want him to think that we abandoned him too.”

Aunt Trudy: “He’ll be fine. I’m here. I’ll keep a close eye on both of them. I have the number of the restaurant and Philip’s beeper number. We’re only talking a few hours here. You need this Diane. It’ll do you and Philip a lot of good and maybe Max and Isabel some good too. Now don’t fret so much. If they do happen to wake up, I’ll just let them do everything that they told me Mommy won’t let them do, so don’t you dare deny me the pleasure of spoiling them rotten. Now go, go and have a good time.”
A little later, she hears Max crying his eyes out: running to him, she takes him in her arms: holding and rocking him trying to get him to calm down…
“Shhh, It’s alright honey. There’s no need to cry. It’s alright. Can you tell me why you’re crying?”

Max: he’s alternating between sobbing and hiccupping…
“I wanna go home. I wanna go home.”

Aunt Trudy: turning a little to look at him carefully…
“But you’re not ready to go back home. You’re too little yet. You have to wait and grow up some and be big and strong. Then you’ll be ready to go back home. But for now this is where you belong, this is your new home. Don’t worry about the other one, it’ll be there for you when you’re ready, OK?”

Max: he’s not sure what to think: this is not what Mommy usually tells him: looking up at his Aunt Trudy, he follows what his heart tells him to…
“OK.”

Isabel: she tentatively enters her brother’s room, his crying had awakened her: she hates it when he cries: she quietly walks up to Aunt Trudy who’s sitting on Max’s bed holding him…
“Aunt Trudy is Max OK?”

Aunt Trudy: looking over at her little niece, smiling…
“Yes, he’s fine. I tell you what, since we’re all awake let’s get some hot chocolate then curl up in that big rocker in the living room and read a book. Hmm, how does that sound? Max, do you have a book we can all read?”
A few hours later, Philip and Diane come home to find Aunt Trudy sound asleep in the living room rocker, on her lap are their two sleeping babies along with Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.


Chapter 5

Setting:
Roswell Airport, following Saturday

Philip: he watches with a smile as his son is busy ‘flying’ his toy airplane around the arrival gate: this is the first time the kids have ever been to the airport or seen a plane up close: Max spotted the toy airplane in the overpriced airport gift shop and just had to have it: of course that meant Isabel had to have something too, but he’s not sure what her “Hello Kitty” stamp set has to do with airplanes: his son decides to bring the plane in for a landing, the landing strip just happens to be Aunt Trudy’s arm: he and Diane were surprised at how quickly the kids took to Aunt Trudy, especially Max: she made no excuses for shamelessly spoiling them rotten, and she isn’t even their grandparent: that’s why they’re here at the airport, to pick up his Mom and Dad: Diane is a little worried about how his parents will feel about adopted grandchildren, whether they will accept them or not: he has no doubts though, if Diane thinks Aunt Trudy is spoiling them, she hasn’t seen anything yet: nope, those two are the only grandchildren they’re going to have, and they waited a lifetime for them, even delayed moving from Roswell to their retirement house in Lake Tahoe, CA for two years because they wanted to be around when their grandchildren were born: spoiled isn’t about to describe it: he sees Aunt Trudy pointing a plane out to Max and Isabel, it’s taxing up to the gate, so it must be his parents’: he takes his fidgeting wife’s hand and kisses her sweetly…
“Diane, quit it, there’s nothing to worry about. They’ll love them, just like they love you.”
Sees his dad coming with Mom right behind them, smiling broadly he welcomes them…
“Dad, you look great. The retired life in Tahoe must really agree with you. Mom, how are you? You look wonderful.”
He shakes his dad’s hand and gives his Mom a hug and kiss: his parents then warmly greet Diane with hugs and kisses.

Aunt Trudy: coming up behind her brother in surprise…
“Well, gee, don’t even have a proper hello for your only sister.”

Grandpa George: upon hearing the voice, he turns around, gives her a hug then mischievously briefly picks her up and gives her a quick twirl: grinning like a fool…
“What a great surprise. What have you been up to?”

Aunt Trudy: “Why spoiling your grandchildren rotten, naturally.”

Grandpa George: looking behind her, he spies the two little ones that must be his grandchildren: he and Betty had been shocked as hell upon learning a month ago that Philip and Diane were taking in two abandoned children with plans to adopt them: they hadn’t even known that Philip and Diane were considering adoption: after the miscarriage they had thought they were going to try it again: seeing these two he can understand the reason, they are adorable: bending down to be more at their level, he tries to entice them over…
“Well now, you two must be Isabel and Max. I’m your Grandpa George. Any chance you could come over here for a hug?”

Isabel: she can already tell that these two people are nice, Daddy is very happy to see them: he had been telling her and Max all about their Grandpa George and Grandma Betty: looking over at Max, she can tell that he’s still not sure about them: deciding that her brother has hemmed and hawed around enough, she grabs his hand and pulls him over to meet their Grandma and Grandpa…
“Come on Max. Let’s go meet them.”

Grandma Betty: she’s near tears, she’s finally a grandmother: she wanted to come immediately after receiving the call from Philip a month ago, telling them about the children: during the phone conversation she could hear the little voices in the background: not too long after the call, photos and drawings made by little hands arrived with the letters in the mail: she had been dying to meet them, to actually see and hold them: they had agreed to wait a month before coming, giving everyone a chance to get settled in and to get use to everything: it had been the longest month in her life: but now there they are right in front of her and they are beautiful: she smiles as Isabel takes Max’s hand and practically drags him over to her and George: she bends down to greet them…
“Hello there sweethearts, my aren’t you two precious.”
Isabel goes right into her arms and is immediately picked up for a good hug and is covered with kisses: she looks over at her husband who has Max in his arms and who is currently having a staring contest with him.

Grandpa George: he is intrigued by this little boy who is giving him one hell of a good once over, like he’s taking stock on whether or not his old Grandpa is worthy or not: in an attempt to break the staring standoff, he starts tickling the little guy, who promptly begins squirming and begrudgingly starts to smile slightly: eventually he does get a hug from him, but he’s pretty sure the boy is still making up his mind about him: looking over at his granddaughter who’s still in his wife’s arms, she has none of her brother’s reservations and promptly reaches over and wraps her arms around his neck: after switching grandchildren with his wife, he gets a very sweet hello hug and kiss from his little angel granddaughter, who in a manner of minutes has her grandpa wrapped around her little finger and he couldn’t be happier about it: on the way out to the car he makes a quick stop at a candy vending machine: as they all pile into the sedan, it’s a tight fit, he finds himself in the passenger front seat with his grandson sitting in the middle between him and Philip who’s busy driving: the ladies are all squeezed into the back and are busily talking amongst themselves: he turns his attention to Max, who’s still staring up at him with big eyes: while listening to Philip update him on current Roswell events, he discreetly takes a bag of M&M’s out of his pocket: this action is not missed by the boy: after quickly checking to make sure Philip isn’t looking he quietly hands the bag over to the boy and brings his finger to his mouth…
“Shhhh.”
He winks at the now smiling boy, who is busy very quietly eating M&M’s.
After dropping off the luggage at the house and a quick tour of the kids’ bedrooms, where they appropriately oohhh-and-aahhh’ed over the now complete Lego castle: plans are discussed over what the next Lego project should be while on their way to the Italian restaurant.

Grandpa George: he made certain that Max was seated next to him: he thinks the boy is finally starting to warm up to him and wants to take every opportunity to further that: as he and Philip discuss the merits of starting his own law practice, he watches as Max’s interest is piqued when a relish tray is brought: leaning towards Max, he quietly inquires….
“Do you like olives?”
As Max shrugs in reply…
“Have you ever had them?”
He gets a head shake “no”: he snags a couple of olives when no one is looking: again quietly…
“Give me you hand Max. Now don’t let the lady folks see you, they don’t understand how to eat olives right, OK?”
Max looks at his hand with an olive at the end of each finger; he promptly pops one in his mouth and starts laughing as he wiggles his olive-tipped fingers.

Grandma Betty: sitting directly across from her husband, she did not miss the olive action going on over there: trying to sound stern but not able to completely hide her amusement…
“OK, you two. What are you up to over there?”

Max: he remembers his Grandpa’s words: smiling, he quickly pipes up…
“Nothin’.”
This earns him a suspicious look not only from Grandma but Mommy as well; he looks over at his Daddy and gets a slight smile along with a raised eyebrow.
Turning back to Grandpa, he whispers to him…
“Grandpa, you’re right. They don’t know how to eat olives right.”
Later that night, back home with the children sound asleep in bed the adults have a chance to relax and get caught up.

George: while sharing a brandy with his son in the living room…
“Philip, you know you’re taking a real chance with those two. I mean what if their parents or some other relative is found? You’d lose them.”

Philip: “I know, but once we saw them, there was just no way we couldn’t at least try. Besides Diane and I both think that things are going to work out fine.”
Hesitating slightly…
“Dad have you ever known any of Aunt Trudy’s …uh… predictions to come true?”

George: he had a feeling that Trudy had played a part in this, he’s still not sure if he likes it or not: choosing his words very carefully…
“I have seen Trudy’s predictions come true one way or the other, but not always the way you would think. Please tell me you’re not doing this based entirely on something she said.”

Philip: “No Dad, not entirely on what said to me. But she did tell me that two children would become part of our family, a little boy and girl, that they would be all alone and that they would be coming soon. That was two days before we found them. Dad, I never told Diane any of it, I didn’t want to upset her in case it didn’t happen, but when we did find them, it was like they were there just for us and Diane felt it; so did I. I really think that they are going to be ours for good. I know it’s not logical, but I have to go with what my heart is telling me. I hope you can understand that.”

George: thinking about what he said and how drawn even he had felt to those two little ones, he pushes aside his misgivings: smiling …
“OK, but only if you promise to come visit this summer. There’s a horse stable not far from our place, bet those two would love to go horseback riding. Maybe we can take them on a tour of the Ponderosa Ranch, that’s not far either. Oh and we get dibs on coming for Christmas. You do realize that we will be spoiling the absolute hell out of them then handing them back to you.”

Philip: chuckling…
“Yeah Dad, I do. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Setting: Evans kitchen, much later that night

Grandpa George: getting a glass down for some milk to go along with his cookies: he turns a little and spies two pairs of eyes looking back at him from around the doorway: he takes two more glasses down: he pours three glasses of milk and brings them to the kitchen table along with the bag of Oreos: sitting down at the table with his back towards them: he says to no one in particular…
“Hmmm, I seem to have poured a couple extra glasses of milk to go with my cookies, too bad my grandkids aren’t up or I’d let them have some.”
He grins as he hears two pairs of feet come running followed by a chorus of “we’re up Grandpa”: acting surprised…
“You are? Well what a surprise. Do you two think you could help me out here a little? I’ve got some Oreos to go along with that milk.”
As the kids sit next him and start to help themselves to the cookies, he pretends shock at how they’re eating them…
“Wait a minute. Hold on there. Don’t tell me that no one’s shown you how to eat Oreos yet?”
He gets two very serious head shakes “no”…
“Hmpf, well I’m just going to have to correct that oversight in your education. Now watch; see you have to twist the cookie apart; then use your front teeth to eat the middle. Then you dunk the cookie part in milk until it’s soggy, but not too soggy or else it’ll fall apart on you in the milk.”
After devouring half the bag of cookies, he explains the final part of the Oreo lesson…
“Now lastly, you have all this milk left that’s all nice and chocolaty from the cookies and that’s just too good to waste. So bottoms up.”
After all three down their milk, he’s rewarded with two very big chocolaty grins…
“Now we better get rid of all the evidence before we get in trouble, then get you two tucked back into bed.”
There will be many late night lessons in the future; and many visits where Grandma Betty and Grandpa George take every opportunity to lavish their only grandchildren with love and teach them the more important lessons in life, like how to eat properly and how to ride a horse.


Chapter 6

Setting:
Evans kitchen, 2 weeks later

Diane: as she waits for the washing machine to finish, she watches her children as they color at the kitchen table: they’re being little angels right now, after this morning’s ordeal they had better be: this morning they were anything but angels; they were actually fighting: it had been brewing for almost a week now, ever since they found out that for some reason that no one at Children’s Protective Services could explain, Isabel was officially listed as being older than Max: of course Isabel took it to mean that since Max was her baby brother, he had to do everything she said: Max went along with this idea only to a point and that point was reached this morning, when Isabel decided that she and Max were going to play dress up Barbie: Max wanted absolutely nothing to do with it: his idea of playing Barbie was to make them the targets when he played with his Tonka bulldozer: this did not go over very well with Isabel and she promptly clobbered him with one of the targeted Barbies: he of course retaliated by running his muddy bulldozer over her newest sets of doll clothes: they were in they middle of a shoving match when she finally got them separated: all this on top of getting everything ready for her family’s visit, and boy what a house full it’s going to be: her Mom and Dad, plus sister, Laurie, her husband, Rob, and their two kids: at least the kids are close in age to Max and Isabel, Robert just turned seven and little Amber is five, so they’ll all have someone to play with: as the washer stops, she puts the laundry in the dryer and starts yet another load: she then comes into the kitchen to prepare lunch.

Max: he is still upset from this morning, not only had he and Isabel fought, but Mommy yelled at them: she had never done that before and he never wants her to do that again: he finishes the picture he is making for Mommy and gets up to go over to give it to her: he quietly tugs on her blouse hem to get her attention: as she turns around to see what he wants, he hands the picture to her: looking up at her with big sorrowful eyes…
“Here Mommy, I made this for you.”

Mom: as she looks at the picture then down at him, all her earlier anger and frustration disappears: smiling at her now precious little boy…
“Honey, it’s beautiful. Is this me and Daddy and you and Isabel?”

Max: shaking his head yes, he points out the other details of the picture…
“Uh huh, and that’s our home, and see that’s a puppy.”

Mom: “A puppy, huh. Well, we’ll have to think about that one, but not until after we get back from visiting Grandma Betty and Grandpa George this summer OK?”
She sits down for lunch with her little darlings {they certainly loved spending time with Philip’s parents, not to mention Aunt Trudy. Boy did they ever get spoiled, between Betty taking them to the toy store and buying them anything they wanted, and George’s late night cookies and milk binges with them, they were thoroughly rotten by the time George and Betty left.}: hearing the door bell {here we go again}…
“They’re here, they made it. Now you two be on your best behavior and no more fighting, OK?”
After getting two “yes, Mommy” as replies, she goes to answer the door…
“Dad, Mom, I’m so happy you could come. Laurie you look great! Rob, good to see you. Oh my, this can’t be Amber? She was barely out of diapers last time I saw her. My Robert, you’ve grown so much.”

Grandma Colleen: “Diane honey, how are you? Where are those little grandbabies of mine?”
Her heart leaps to her throat as she sees a little golden haired girl and a dark haired boy come down the hall: crouching down to their level…
“Hello there. You two must be Isabel and Max. I’m your Grandma Colleen. Can I have a hug?”
After she gets a hug and kiss from both of them, there are lots more relatives to meet.

Grandpa Bill: he picks up his newest grandson to greet him…
“Hello young man, let’s get a look at you here. It’s very nice to meet you finally. Your Mommy’s told us so much about you.”
As the boy continues to look him over real carefully {Diane wasn’t kidding, this kid isn’t an easy one to win over.}….
“Well, what’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

Max: he blinks in surprise at the last question, he’s never heard that expression before: he starts to giggle a little at how silly the question was…
“No Grandpa Bill. We don’t have a cat. And see I still got my tongue.”
So Grandpa can be certain of it, he sticks his tongue out just to prove it: sticking his tongue back in, he smiles, wraps his arms around his Grandpa Bill’s neck, and whispers…
“Do you like Oreos?”

Grandpa Bill: that did it, he’s totally captivated: smiling back…
“You betcha.”

Max: after being passed around from grandparents to aunt to uncle, he finally gets introduced to his cousins: a bit shyly…
“Hi I’m Max Evans.”

Robert: he didn’t like being stuck in the car all day yesterday and all this morning: all to just meet some new cousins: they aren’t even real cousins either, they were adopted: he’s not sure what that really means, but he knows he doesn’t like them already: this whole trip is just because of them: he doesn’t like how that’s all his Mom and Dad and Grandparents talked about on the trip here, and he’s sick of it: besides this Max kid is a little shrimp: definitely doesn’t like them…
“So what kind of toys ya got?”

Max: scowling a little at how Robert said that, he immediately puts his guard up: but he doesn’t want Mommy mad at him again, so he’s determined to be good…
“Um, they’re in my room. Come on I’ll show you.”
He leads his cousin down the hall to his room: as he goes past Izzy’s room he glances in and breathes a sigh if relief as Izzy and Amber are busy playing Barbies {maybe she’ll leave me alone now, stupid Barbie got me in trouble this morning.}: he and Robert head into his room and he shows him around…
“See over there is the Lego fort we built with my Dad and Grandpa George. And on the floor here is a puzzle we’re working on.”

Robert: he’s impressed by the Lego fort, but he’s not going to show it: the puzzle’s OK: trying to sound bored by it all…
“So what else you got?”

Max: he’s a little hurt, they had worked hard on the fort: trying to think of what else he has that Robert might be interested in, he opens his closet to get some stuff out…
“How about race cars? It’s not as much fun when you play it by yourself, and Izzy doesn’t like cars. You wanna play?”

Robert: shrugging his shoulders {WOW, that’s cool! I wanted that for my birthday!}….
“Yah, OK, whatever. I guess if that’s all you got, then I guess I can deal with it.”
As they play race cars, he takes great delight in annoying his cousin every chance he gets: he constantly refers to Max as Isabel’s “baby” brother, continually slams his race car into Max’s, and is constantly bumping and pushing Max: as he’s about to yet again run Max’s car off the race track, he decides to goad him just a little bit more…
“So what’s it like being the baby of the family?”

Max: he doesn’t like his new cousin: no one has ever treated him mean before, Izzy’s gotten mad at him a few times and been mean, but not like this, not for this long: he’s starting to get very tired of being nice….
“I am not the baby.”

Robert: tauntingly….
“Sure you are. You’re the youngest. Baby Max, barely out of diapers. Baby Max, Baby Max…”
He slams his race car into Max’s knocking it off the track…
“Not even old enough to play race cars. Maybe you should go play baby with the girls?”
He gives Max a push, just to prove that he’s bigger than Max.

Max: mad now, that’s it he’s had enough: he pushes Robert back and they begin to roll on the floor: at first just pushing and shoving, but that soon leads to them hitting each other: Robert hits Max, knocking him against the corner of his nightstand and splitting his lip: really mad, Max bunches up his fist and slams it into Robert’s face, catching him right below his left eye.

Amber: she was having a blast playing with her new cousin when she heard shouting and banging around: she and Izzy go to investigate and are shocked to see Robert and Max fighting: she runs down the hall shouting….
“Mommmmmyyyyy! Robert and Max are fighting!”

Philip: he had just gotten home to a house full of in-laws when he sees a little girl running down the hall, shouting something about Max fighting: running to his son’s room he can’t believe what he sees: Max and his cousin are rolling on the floor only pausing long enough to hit each other, Isabel shouting for them to stop, and someone was bleeding: he immediately grabs Max and lifts him up and away from the other boy: the other boy takes the opportunity to try and hit Max one more time, only to have it land on Philip: while holding Max with one hand he grabs Robert’s arm with the other one: totally pissed, looking at Robert…
“What do you think you’re doing? We do NOT hit each other in this house, EVER!”
As everyone comes in to see what is going on, he release his grip on Robert as Rob takes over dealing with his son: he turns his attention to his own, Max: he sees a little boy with big sad, worried eyes and a bruised and bloody lip: he gives his son a very stern look, his tone reflects his displeasure at this situation….
“Max, that goes for you too. We do not hit each other. Do you understand that?”
He gets a very meek head shake in reply, which is not good enough…
“Max, I want to hear you to say it.”

Max: he is trying very, very hard not to cry: he’s extremely upset and besides, his lip hurt: trying not to sound like a crybaby, but he can’t keep his voice from quivering a little….
“We don’t hit each other, ever. I’m sorry Daddy. I’m sorry.”

Diane: she’s had enough of this, her son is hurt and bleeding: she takes him out of Philip’s arms and heads down the hall…
“Philip, discipline him later. I want to see why he’s bleeding.”

Philip: he looks around his son’s room at the damage before following Diane to the their bathroom: by the time he gets there, Diane has already stripped Max’s torn and bloody shirt off, has Max holding a cold washcloth against his lip while she checks him for other injuries: in addition to the lip, his left shoulder has a nasty looking bruise: Philip takes a few breaths to help bleed off some of his anger, so he can address his son in a reasonable tone…
“Max, why where you and Robert fighting?’

Max: in the privacy of the bathroom with just his parents, the tears start…
“He’s mean. He started it. He kept pushing me and he doesn’t play right and…and, he kept calling me Baby Max. I’m not a baby, I’m not!”

Philip: he and Diane share a look, they had hoped that Robert had grown out of that bully stage that he seemed to be in last time they saw him: apparently he hadn’t: Philip knows that Diane is not going to take too kindly to him punishing Max when he was obviously just sticking up for himself: in all honesty he really didn’t want to either, in fact he thought Max had a pretty good right hook {I wonder if I should enroll him in some boxing lessons? He’s not a very big guy and so shy and quiet, he might need to learn how to defend himself.}: looking at Diane in her totally over-protective Mom role {I’m not sure how Diane would feel about it. Max may not consider himself a baby, but he’ll never convince his Mom of that. Maybe I can make it into some sort of Father-Son Saturday afternoon thing?}: turning his thoughts back to the present situation: he can’t help but soften his tone regarding his son’s plight…
“OK Max, I want you to understand that fighting and hitting is not acceptable, but well, you don’t have to put up with being bullied either. It’s OK to stand up for yourself. I think later on, you and I are going to have a few talks about this OK?”
He hears a relieved voice reply with a “yes, sir.”
Tousling Max’s hair…
“So how’s the lip? It looks like he gave you a pretty good fat lip.”

Max: proudly…
“He didn’t do this, he pushed me and I fell against the table by my bed.”

Diane: “Does it matter how he got it? Max, keep that washcloth against it till it stops bleeding.”

Philip: smiling…
“Considering that Max gave Robert a pretty good shiner and Max’s fat lip was caused because he was pushed, it matters Diane, it matters.”
This gets him a smile from his son and a disgusted look from his wife.

It took some doing on his part but for the duration of the visit, Max controlled his desire to give Robert another shiner: of course, Robert curbed his teasing some once he realized that Max may not be a big guy, but he was by no means a pip-squeak either: Max and Isabel enjoyed getting to know their other Grandma and Grandpa, who took great delight in taking them to the park in the afternoons, via the ice cream shop: Diane and Laurie were able to get in some sister-bonding time and compare child rearing notes, while Rob and Philip discuss with pride their sons’ accomplishments and how special each of their little princess’s are: soon it is time for the relatives to be on their way home allowing the Evans’s to settle into a more normal routine until the next time.

Setting: County Court House, Roswell, approximately 18 months later

Philip: he watches as the judge signs the adoption papers, making those two little babies that he and Diane found out in the desert that night almost two years ago officially Max and Isabel Evans, son and daughter to Philip and Diane Evans: he looks over at his wife who is smiling broadly through a flood of tears: Isabel is sitting next to her in her new “good” dress, fussing with the ruffle at the hem: next to her is Max, looking like a little gentleman in his new dress suit, he smiles patiently as Diane brushes his bangs out of his eyes: {he’s really my son now and no one can take him or Isabel away from us any more, but I wonder if we’ll ever find out where they came from?}: addressing his family…
“Well, it’s official, we’re all a family now. I say we go celebrate somewhere, anyone have any suggestions?”

Diane: “Well, the Parkers just reopened their restaurant, it’s completely redone. They even renamed it the Crashdown and it’s all alien themed. It looks cute. I think the kids would like it. But before we do, I want us to go to the mall and get a family picture, our first as the Evans family."

the end.












[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Dec-2001 5:20:49 PM ]
posted on 24-Jan-2002 4:32:38 PM
Here is the link information for the other related stories to this one:


Prequel to Those Meddling Fates –
May All Your Dreamer Fantasies Come True (Repost Board):

viewthread?forum=repost-fan-fiction&id=174&sr1=#post17094


Those Meddling Fates - Chapters 1-100 (Repost Board):

viewthread?forum=repost-fan-fiction&id=286&sr1=#post17092

Those Meddling Fates (Current):

viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=302









[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-May-2002 7:02:09 PM ]