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Happier

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“Now, what are we looking for to know if we’ve succeeded in this transplant?” Addison asked the residents as she looked up from her tablet.

The residents thought hard for a minute, looking around to see if any others had the answers right away.

“Come on people,” Richard said. “Part of the process is knowing the answers to the questions Dr. Montgomery’s asking,”

“We’ll need to monitor her drain output and her doppler studies,” Jake chimes in, with his head poking out from the door. He’d convinced Amelia and Henry to stand back so that he could surprise Addison first. Seeing Jake unexpectedly made her smile like a giddy teenager. Richard, however, who had only ever heard of Addison’s husband, was confused, to say the least. As were the rest of the residents.

“That is correct, Dr. Reilly. But the real test of success will be when we’re able to get her pregnant,” she says back, smiling. Richard still didn’t know who he was, just that Addison was married and that his name was Jake.

“How long will that take?” Henry poked in behind Jake with Amelia revealing herself standing beside them. Addison’s smile got even bigger, which she didn’t think was possible.

“Can anyone else answer this young man’s question?” Addison looked towards the residents.

“We still have to wait to make sure she doesn’t reject the uterus but after that, we’ll be able to start the fertility process,” Dr. Ortiz said back.

“That’s right, doctor…” Addison didn’t know everyone’s name yet so she didn’t catch this young resident’s name.

“Ortiz,” she said back.

“Right, Dr. Ortiz,” Addison said. “Alright, that’s enough for now everyone so you’re all dismissed for now,” she added.

As the residents started dispersing, Henry ran in to hug his mom. Addison immediately knelt down and squeezed him hard, picking him up just slightly. He might already be eight years old, but he was still her little boy. And he always would be. Richard looked on and started piecing together who they were.

As Addison stood up, Jake walked up to her and smiled. Addison smiled back and walked closer to him until Jake wrapped his arm around her waist to bring her in for a kiss as she put her hands on his cheeks.

“Hi,” she said, smiling, touching her nose against his.

“Hi,” he said back smiling. Henry still stood between them looking up at them. Most kids were disgusted by seeing their parents show a little PDA, but not Henry. He looked up at them, smiling.

Addison told him that Jake and her didn’t get together until after she adopted him. But by the time she legally adopted him, she and Jake were already engaged. But Henry doesn’t really remember that because Jake has always been his dad. And even though Judy (his birth mom) told him a little about his birth father, he’d never met him. But with Jake around, he never felt like he needed to. He had more family than he could ask for, not just with his parents but also with everyone in the practice. He knew they weren’t technically related, but like his mom always said, “Blood doesn’t make a family, love does”.

After their sweet embrace, Addison put her hands on Henry’s cheeks and kissed the top of his scruffy hair that was starting to get too long. Then, she turned around to face Richard, who was just standing watching their sweet family moment.

“Richard, this is my husband, Jake,” she said, gesturing over to him as he reached his hand out for a handshake.

“And this little guy is Henry,” Addison put her hands back on Henry’s shoulders. “Henry, this is Richard.”

“Well hello there little man,” Richard leaned forward slightly and was pleasantly surprised to see Henry extend his hand out for a handshake, just like Jake did.

“It looks you two are raising a fine young gentleman,” Richard said, chuckling.

“We like to think so,” Addison said, looking back at Jake. Jake looked back to match her gaze and gave her a quick peck on the lips.

Amelia, who’d also stayed back for the time being, finally walked closer to the couple.

“Apparently, Henry came looking for me,” she said, looking at Henry, who moved his eyes in the opposite direction feeling a little guilty for wandering off.

“Yeah, when I said to wait for me outside, I meant outside the bathroom doors. Not your Aunt Amelia’s office,” Jake said, trying to lightly scold the boy. But he couldn’t help but chuckle a little knowing that Henry didn’t mean to wander off.

“Did you wander off?” Addison questioned Henry as he turned his gaze to the floor.

“No…” Henry started. “I waited but then the other doctors asked what I was there for so I told him I was there to see Dr. Shepherd. It’s not my fault they took me away,” he said, swaying back and forth innocently.

“Other doctors?” Addison asked, looking up at the other adults in the room.

“Teddy and Owen brought him to my office,” Amelia clarified.

“Ah, I see,” Addison said and saw Jake nod as he finally got the details of how Henry ended up in Amelia’s office.

Addison checked her watch and realized she had to get back to the residents. She gave Richard a look and he too realized it was time to get back to work.

“Well, I’ve gotta get back to work but are you two gonna be okay until dinner?” Addison looked at Jake.

“What do you say, little man?” Jake looked at Henry. Even though Jake was the grown-up, he always liked making sure Henry felt included. Henry nodded in response and they all started walking out of Tovah’s room, who’d been watching the entire exchange.

“I will check back on you later, Tovah,” Addison added as she looked back at her, smiling. Tovah had just had a uterine transplant and was exhausted but seeing Dr. Montgomery with her family made her smile. It made her that much more hopeful that she could have her baby someday too. Especially after Dr. Montgomery told her about her fertility journey, and how she ultimately went with adoption after not being able to get pregnant.