A Beaumont Family Christmas (Beaumont 5.60) - Page 17

"What's his name?"

"He doesn't have one."

"Why not?" I ask, without taking my eyes from him.

"His mother abandoned him at the fire station a week ago. He's been here because the state is having trouble finding him a home so close to Christmas. They call him Baby John because they don't know who he is."

Instantly, my eyes go to Katelyn. She tries to smile, but there are tears in her eyes. "Why are we here, Katelyn?"

"Because I want us to foster him and eventually adopt him."

"Katelyn," I say her name as a warning.

She sets one hand on me and the other on the baby. "I get it, our kids are grown and hopefully starting families of their own soon, but this guy, he doesn't have a chance. He'll live in a foster home until he's adopted—if he gets adopted. He's small for his age. A full-term baby should weigh at least six pounds, he’s barely tipping the scale at five. He may or may not have health issues the older he gets and right now he needs oxygen to breath at night before he forgets to do it himself. We can take care of him and give him a good life. Give him a chance. We can make sure he has the best medical care."

I glance back at the baby and swear he smiles at me. I haven't thought about more kids since the twins were probably eight. It just didn't make sense. Not with the band touring all the time, and the kids pulling Katelyn in every direction possible. She's right though. We have something to offer a baby.

"We leave on Friday," I point out.

Katelyn nods. "Which means we need an emergency hearing giving us temporary custody of him and listing us as his foster parents until we can proceed with the adoption. I’ve already spent time with his caseworker. Ramona thinks we have an amazing chance of becoming his foster parents. If we can’t take him out of the state, I’ll stay home. All we can do is ask.”

"And what if his mother comes back?" I ask her. "We've been down this road with Alicia. It's not pretty."

"No, it's not, but if she does, we'll help her, because I can't imagine Elle or Peyton being so scared that they'd leave their baby at the fire station. I hate that his mom went through this alone. If she comes back, we'll be there for her."

I study my wife for a long time, looking for any signs of apprehension. I finally lean over and kiss her. "After I'm done holding him, I'll make the call to our lawyer."

"Are you sure?" she asks hesitantly.

"I am." Katelyn's eyes go wide and brim with unshed tears. Her hand covers her mouth as I nod, sending the message home. I'll do whatever I must to make her happy, and if that means bringing this little boy home, who desperately needs a family, then so be it. Starting over as parents isn't ideal, but I feel as if this is the right thing to do in my heart.

"I love you, Harrison. So much." She leans down and kisses me. Her long hair tickles against the bundle in my arms. He fusses, which sends a welcoming jab to my heart. We were meant to be in each other's lives.

"I love you more. We should probably think of a name for this guy. I'm not a fan of John."

"Oh, don't worry, I have a list," she says as she places her arm around my shoulder and leans in. I watch her for a moment, wondering if this was how she was with the twins, and can’t believe it’s taken us this long to expand our family.



Harrison and I stayed at the hospital until had to leave due to visiting hours being over. He wanted to change the bassinet’s placard to read “Baby boy James,” but the nurse wouldn’t let him. That didn’t stop Harrison from telling the baby that he would be back, and then he’d have a real name. The entire way home, I cried. Not because I was sad, but at the prospect of helping Baby John have a decent life, and also at the thought of two, three, and four in the morning feedings. I know I’m out of practice but eager to wake up and hold that baby boy and rock him back to sleep.

“Are you nervous?” Harrison asks. We are in the Child’s Protective Services office, waiting to speak with Ramona. Before she’s even willing to push our request through, she has to meet Harrison.

“I am.” I know getting the baby is a long shot, but it’s my hope since other foster placements have declined, that we’re seen as the only viable option for Baby John.

“We’re good people, Katelyn. We have a lot to offer a baby.”

“I know,” I say quietly. I glance quickly at the man sitting next to me. He’s dressed in a suit, with a blue button-down shirt. On the outside, he looks nothing like the man I’m madly in love with. Hidden are his tattoos, the real Harrison James. He rarely dresses like this, but I appreciate every aspect of the incredibly sexy man he is when he does. He catches me staring and winks.

When the door to the offices opens, I look over and smile when Ramona appears in the doorway. She waves us to her. “How are you?” she asks.

“Nervous,” I tell her. “Ramona, this is my husband, Harrison.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” he says, shaking her hand.

“You too.” She flips through a file as we follow her down an aisle way. On each side of us, gray cubicles make up tiny offices. Most of them have boxes stacked on top of each other, and piles of folders take up desk space. I have a feeling each one of those manila files is a child needing a home.

Tags: Heidi McLaughlin Beaumont Romance
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