Chapter 56 Welcome Home

Lauren’s POV

We get out of the car and walk up to the house.  It’s strangely quiet.  Everyone knew we were coming home today.  Chad opens the door and we all walk in.  “Surprise!”  We hear many people yelling and clapping.  Mom and Dad have thrown us a welcome home party.  Everyone is here, Robin and Merri, Mason and Robby, and Manda and Macy.  Lance is a little nervous as he grasps my hand.  I talked to him all the way home about his big, crazy family.  He is familiar with everyone’s name, if not yet their faces.  Mom rushes over and bends down to hug Lance, “We have missed you so much!  I’m so glad you’re home!”, she says to him.  He smiles and hugs her back. He has adjusted really well for everything he has been through.

Mom then stands up and looks at Summer, “I can’t thank you enough, this is not only a welcome home party, but a thank you party as well.”, she hugs Summer and then says, “Welcome to our family!  If there is anything we can do for you, just let us know.” Summer is speechless and tears form in her eyes. I know she isn’t used to such a loving family. Manda and Macy come over to Lance and ask him to go play in the yard.  He looks up at me and I nod my head.  He smiles and takes off.  I can hear them giggling, Mason and Robby volunteer to go keep an eye on them, so they head outside to watch them play. They are good big brothers.

I look around the house and notice some changes.  “What did you do?”, I ask. Dad looks at me and says, “With Lance home and a new baby on the way, we added on some room to your little house. Come on, I’ll show you around.”, he pulls my arm to the new bedroom on the main floor. There is a nice sized master bedroom now on the first floor.

Upstairs, the spare bedroom has been expanded and changed to a nursery and my old bedroom has been made into a room just for Lance.

Dad looks proud of what he has accomplished, “Now you can stay here a little longer before you have to look for something bigger. I know it’s probably only a temporary fix, but we didn’t want you moving too far away.”, he says. I hug him and say, “Thanks! I love it.”

Finally everyone heads home and it’s just the five of us.  I take Lance upstairs and tuck him in his bed.

Summer puts Matthew in the nursery and says she will sleep in Lance’s room with him, since he now has a bunk bed. We will take Summer to the house she picked out online tomorrow and get her and the baby set up.

I nervously walk downstairs and double-check all the doors and windows. I know Moe is in jail in ST, but I still have moments of fear. Chad comes up behind me and gives me a great massage. I finally start to relax some, we  talk about the new baby. I haven’t even had time to think about this baby.  I have only focused on getting Lance home.  Now that he is home, I can try to enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy. Chad puts his hands on my belly and feels the baby moving.

I forget that this is his first biological child and hasn’t experienced how wonderful it is. He’s amazed at how much he can feel. He listens and talks to my belly, it’s so cute.

The next morning, we get up early and take Summer to her new home.  It’s fully furnished and we help her put away the few things she brought with her.  The baby’s nursery is really cute, she brought some stuff with her that she had used in Lance’s room. I think again how lucky again that Summer was there to take care of Lance. I feel like I owe her my life. We hang around and spend the day with her.  Chad runs to the grocery for Summer and picks up enough stuff to last the two of them for a month.  Summer makes us a nice dinner, we help her clean up and then head home.  I hug her before we leave and tell her to call me anytime. She is a member of the family now, like a sister to me.  She looks so happy as she sits on the porch as we leave.

On the way home, I start getting cramps and back pain.  I tell Chad, “I think it’s time.”  He just looks at me, “Time for what, babe?”.  I laugh, “Time for the baby!  I’m pretty sure I’m in labor.”  Chad turns white, “Oh, what do we do.  Should we call the doctor?”.  “How about just drop Lance off at Mom’s and then we can head to the hospital. We have plenty of time.”, I say calmly. I call mom and tell her we are going to the hospital and will need to drop Lance off. She’s really excited and waiting at the door when we pull up.  Lance looks a little nervous, but hugs me and says, “I’ll be fine, Mommy.  Go get my new baby sister or brother!”.  He runs in the house after seeing Manda and Macy peeking their heads out the door. Those three could be trouble one day, I think to myself.

Chad parks the car and helps me into the hospital.  Several hours later, we are surprised with twins!  Multiples definitely run in our family! Chassidy and Charlotte are born.  The both look just like their father and we couldn’t be happier. They keep us overnight, just for observation and we leave early the next morning.

Mom walks Lance home and he peeks in on one of the babies, sleeping in her crib.  “She’s so little.”, he says.  “Let’s go play outside while they sleep, ok?”, I say to him. I just want to spend every moment with him, I want to make up for everything I missed. As we walk down the steps, I see Chad sneaking into the nursery, “Don’t you dare wake them up!”, I tease. He tries to look innocent, “I won’t, I just want to look at them some more!”, he says as he tiptoes into the room. I look at Lance and we both laugh.   Lance jumps on the swing that Dad had installed while we were gone, he says, “Mommy,  will I see that other Daddy anymore?”.

I take a deep breath. I knew it was only a matter of time before he started asking questions. ” I don’t think so Lance, what he did was very wrong.  He shouldn’t have taken you without telling Mommy.”, I say.  “He wasn’t very nice to me, why did he take me away from you?”, he asks quietly.  “Well, I’m sure he knew what a terrific kid you are and he wanted to be with you, but it’s hard taking care of a baby. So, it was probably just too hard for him.  We are just lucky that Summer was there to help, right?”, I say. He looks like he is about to cry, so I stop pushing him and pull him into my arms. “I love you so much, Lance. I’m so glad that you are ok and back home with Mommy and Chad.”

“What do I call Chad now? Is he my Daddy now?”, he asks. “Chad loves you very much, when you were a baby, before you were taken,  you called him Daddy. You can call him whatever you feel comfortable calling him.  He wants to adopt you and make it legal that he is your daddy, would you like that too?”, I ask. “I want him to be my real Daddy, that other daddy wasn’t a very good one anyway.”, he says and smiles.  “Ok, that sounds good to me and I know Chad will love it!”, I say to him.  He doesn’t say anything else for a while, just gets back on the swing and I continue to push him.

Chad appears at the back door with one of the twins in his arms, “Um, babe!  She won’t stop crying! I’ve changed her diaper and tried to play with her and I don’t think she likes me. Help!”, he calls from the door.

Lance and I look at each other and laugh, “It really is hard to be a Daddy!”, Lance says. I laugh and we walk in the house to help Chad. I take the baby, “Did you feed her?”, I ask. “Oh, yea. That’s the one thing I didn’t try.”, he says. I shake my head at him, “Go fix a bottle and I bet that will help.” He rushes to the kitchen and heats up a bottle and hands it to me. I put it to her mouth and she greedily sucks it down.  “Baby’s aren’t that complicated.  Feed, change, sleep. That’s all they need”, I say.  Lance pipes in, “Nope, they need hugs and kisses too!”.  “Yes, that’s true! Lots of hugs and kisses!”, I say. Chad asks Lance if he wants to play a game on the xbox.  Of course Lance does, so they sit on the couch and yell at the tv and try to beat each other.  I sit and rock one of the twins and smile at my sweet, chaotic life.

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