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Adventures in Being a Family

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Jenny was standing on a step ladder so she could be at the right height to properly hang the picture frame on the wall.

Being that both she and Lola were not particularly tall individuals, there was some kind of step ladder or stool on every floor of their house. They came in handy more than they'd like to admit.

Lola was in the laundry room sorting little socks and clothes that belonged to the new addition to their family and folding them.

The new addition was a nine month old baby girl.

Jenny had always wanted children, Lola warmed up to the idea over time, but by the time they got married both knew they wanted children. Since naturally having a child was out of the question, they were down to two options, one of which that included needles and wasn't always successful. Needles made Lola queasy and the statistics made Jenny uneasy.

So sometime near the start of the previous year, Lola and Jenny had registered with an adoption agency. After countless documents, a few home checks, long nights, stress, background checks, and signing about ten thousand different things, they had been matched with a then nearly three month old baby girl located a few cities south of them.

They received the girl's information in the mail: She was left presumably by her mother in a fire station, which was a place someone could legally and without fear abandon a child (police stations and hospitals also were places this could happen). The mother said nothing about the girl, only apologized to the child and the fireman who took her before leaving. Tucked inside of the baby's blanket was a piece of paper on which the child's name and birthday was written. Her name was Addy Reese.

Along with the information they received a photograph of little Addy. She was a pretty little thing with a little puff of dark auburn hair and bright, knowing blue eyes.

Jenny and Lola fell in love with Addy instantly. There was no hesitation in moving forward with the adoption. They wanted that little girl more than anything in the world. Unfortunately, all the want in the world could not guarantee that Addy would be theirs. The adoption could fall through, someone else could get her first. But they kept their fingers crossed as the double and triple checked all the paperwork.

Lola was the one who answered the phone when the adoption people called after they had finished their last few documents. She had called Jenny into the room and out the phone on speaker so they could hear the news together.

Both of their stomachs were churning with nerves. What if they lost Addy before they ever could call her theirs? What if they did something wrong? Maybe they should have fostered first. Maybe they should have picked a different agency. Maybe, maybe, maybe... 

Their hands were clasped tightly together, every second of waiting felt like an eternity.

But then the words they had been praying to hear came through the phone and they both dissolved into tears. Giddy, excited tears of pure joy.

The adoption had been approved. Addy was going to be theirs.

Luckily, since it was a local adoption, it wouldn't take an obscene amount of time for the rest of the process to happen. But it had already been months and they just wanted their daughter.

A court date was set, clothes were bought, a nursery was prepared. There was a car seat in the far and a stroller in the garage.

As adoptive parents, they were given the opportunity to change her name if they chose to. They couldn't bear the thought of changing the name given to her by her parents, but they did think Addy was better suited to a nickname. They made a list of every name they could think of that Addy could possibly be short for.

Jenny really liked Adelaide. Lola liked Addilyn. Adrina was a bit too frilly. Audra was a bit of a stretch. It took some time but they eventually decided on Addison.

Throughout the whole process, they were getting updated photos of their daughter who was growing so much. They had sent things to her too- a stuffed toy and a blanket and a picture of them.

Finally the big day arrived. Dressed nicely and with packets of tissues in their purses, Lola and Jenny headed down to the courthouse to meet their daughter and make it official.

A woman was holding Addy and the mothers to be melted instantly at the sight of her. When they got it together, Jenny took Addy from the woman. Addy snuggled against her immediately. Lola stroked Addy's hair. It was so surreal. Both women were still crying over this new previous little life thy were holding.

Addy was moments away from being theirs forever.

Still cradling Addy, Jenny headed for the courtroom. Lola was right beside her.

A few signatures later and a a bang of a gavel, Addison Louise Parker-Perez was legally and officially Lola and Jenny's daughter.

They couldn't be more pleased.

Just outside he courthouse, someone who worked there returning from lunch had offered to take their picture. Jenny and Lola for grateful for that. It was heir first family picture.

After being told by at least a dozen people from courthouse to car that they made a beautiful family, they were headed home, a very docile and sweet Addison in tow.

After hours of playing and snuggling, Addy was given a bath and put to bed. Lola had started to do the laundry and Jenny decided to print out that picture and hang it up. Being the photographers that they were, they always had an extra frame or two laying around.

She had just climbed down from the stepladder to admire the picture when she felt arms hug her from behind.

"That looks nice there," Lola told her, resting her head on top of Jenny's.

"Doesn't it?" Jenny replied. "I hope you don't mind I took your picture of the city skyline down and replaced it with this one."

"Of course not. This a perfect place for our first family picture."

Jenny smiled and just enjoyed the moment for a little before speaking softly. "Lola... we have a family. We have a gorgeous little girl... I can't believe it."

"I know, Jen. Neither can I." Lola hugged Jenny a little tighter. Her eyes were twinkling with tears.

"How did I get so lucky?" Jenny wondered aloud. "I have you and now we have Addy... What did I do to deserve this?"

"You're Jenny. The most amazing person I know, that's how." Lola murmured before pressing a kiss to Jenny's hair.

Jenny blushed a little.

They both admired the photograph on the wall for a little while longer. Even Addy looked happy.

"It's getting sort of late..." Jenny observed, glancing at clock. "We should get to bed. We have a baby who might wake us up now, after all." 

"Yeah," Lola smiled. "We do." 

Lola let Jenny out of the hug, but Jenny caught Lola's left hand in her right and they headed down the hallway together towards their room.

It had been an incredible journey just to make it this far, but it was far from over. Ad they couldn't be more excited.