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This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entire a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © 2015 by Steven Wells.
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Sam and Chris
"Let's start our tour from the back," Tom said as he led us to the back gate.
When Tom opened the back gate, every one yelled, "Congratulations!"
"You are devious, Sam," Chris said as he kissed me on the cheek.
"Your mother helped," I explained as she walked to where Chris was standing and pulled him into a hug.
"I am so, so proud of you, Chris," Chris's mother said wiping away the tears. "My little boy has grown up to be a fine young man. You will do good things, Christopher. I can feel it."
"Thanks, Mom," Chris said. He was a little teary eyed himself. "You gave me the inspiration and courage to do all of this. I will forever be grateful for your support."
Chris turned his attention to the guests, "Thank you for coming. I really didn't expect this many people to really care. But, I am grateful you do care. I want to thank my mother and my grandparents for giving me the opportunity to accomplish this goal. I also want to thank Sam's parents and other family members who have given both of us the love and support to move forward with our lives. And, as most of you know, I am not a church going dude for the most part, but I want to say, `Thank God I met Sam and that Donny came into our lives. I hope you also share our excitement about our adoption of twin boys in late-June or early-July. It all seems like a dream, but I am certain, when we have to newborns to care for, we will wake up to the reality of being fathers once again. Thank you to you all for everything you've done to help me—and Sam—with our lives so far."
Chapter 57: A Time to Remember
A few days after Chris's graduation party, we headed north to Chicago. Chris drove. I planned.
"Do we even have the slightest idea what newborn babies need during the first few months?" I asked.
"I have no clue," Chris replied with a smile. "We will just need to think in two's."
"Maybe we should have let our mothers plan a baby shower," I added. "At least if someone gave us something, we could figure out what it is for."
"Don't put anything past them," Chris suggested. "They are devious enough to throw a surprise baby shower."
"We could surprise them and not attend," I replied. "What if we break them?"
"Our mothers?" Chris asked.
"No, silly," I replied. "The babies. Donny was less fragile when he came into our lives."
"From what I understand, babies are pretty resilient," Chris replied.
"But, you can't drop them," I added. "And, they don't come with a handle."
"Or, a guarantee," Chris continued. "But, we won't be returning them, so they can't return us."
"I never thought of it in those terms," I replied. "They need a place to sleep."
"We can go to a baby store in the next few days and purchase what is needed," Chris suggested.
"Then there are clothes, diapers, and baby monitors," I continued.
"Car seats," Chris continued the list.
"Camera to take pictures," I said.
"We have two cameras exactly alike," Chris said.
"Twin cameras," I added.
"One camera for each twin," Chris said.
"Bottles, swimming lessons, dogs, ponies, bikes, cars," I was on a roll.
"College funds," Chris added to our list.
By the time we arrived at the condo in Chicago, we had enumerated close to $200 thousand in necessities for each twin.
"Do you think we will spoil them?" I asked.
"Of course," Chris said with a smile.
As Chris parked the car in our space, Donny began to slither out of his car seat. "The doggies need to go for a walk."
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Simon told me," Donny explained. "They need to go really badly."
We attached the dog's leashes and headed immediately to the dog walk. They found their spot almost immediately.
"Do you think there is something about Simon and Donny's communication abilities?" I asked.
"Roosevelt and I have had some really good conversations, so I suspect Donny and Simon also do," Chris suggested.
"I think you are certifiably nuts, Chris," I added. "Dogs and people don't really have conversations."
"Suit yourself, Sam," Chris said with a smile as we headed inside. "We can get our stuff from the car later."
"I'm hungry, daddy," Donny exclaimed as we unleashed the dogs once we were inside.
"What would you like to eat?" Chris asked.
"Ice cream," Donny suggested.
"How about fruit?" I asked.
"Ice cream," Donny said again.
"Fruit or nothing," Chris explained.
"Grapes," Donny decided. He wanted his seat on top of the kitchen island.
Chris's phone began to ring. He answered it on the third ring and turned on the speaker phone. "Hello, mom! To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"So, how was your trip to Chicago?" Gloria asked.
"Uneventful," Chris answered. "We made a list of things we need to do before the twins arrive on the scene."
"Just stay calm," Chris's mother suggested. "Everything will evolve naturally. Now, the reason for my call. Would the three of you like to come to my place for dinner tomorrow evening?"
"Sam?" Chris asked.
"We don't have plans, so sure," I agreed.
"What time?" Chris asked.
"How about 6:30?" Gloria asked.
"We'll see you at 6:30," Chris agreed. "What can we bring?"
"Just yourselves," Gloria said. "I haven't entertained for a long time. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things."
"I'm certain you will make the evening terrific, mom," Chris said.
"Have a good evening," Gloria said.
"Thanks. You, too!" Chris replied. "Love you."
"Love you, too," Gloria replied.
Chris, Donny, and I waited outside Chris's mother's condo after we rang the doorbell. Gloria opened the door and welcomed us inside.
"Something smells terrific," I said.
"I hope it's edible," Gloria replied. "I haven't done much cooking for a long time. Let's have a drink."
We followed Gloria into the living room.
"What have you done, mom?" Chris almost screamed as he surveyed the room full of people.
"We thought we should celebrate," Chris's mother replied.
The room seemed full. My parents, grandmother, and Aunt Cecelia stood beside one sofa. Chris's grandparents were standing beside two chairs in the window. Jeffery, Philip, and Trevor also joined the crowd. Chris's singing friends were huddled with our gym group.
"How are Daddy Chris and Daddy Sam holding up?" Luke asked.
"On our drive to Chicago yesterday," I began "we made a panic list of all the things we might need. It's amazing what two new born boys need to survive in this world."
"Hopefully we've taken care of a few things on your list," my mother announced.
"What do you mean?" I asked. "Wait! Before you answer my question, can we have a double vodka on the rocks?"
"I thought you might be parched," Chris's grandfather said as he handed Chris and me our drinks. He also had apple juice for Donny. "Let's toast the proud parents to be. Here's to Chris and Sam and their growing family."
Everyone raised their glasses.
"Thanks," Chris said. "We should have expected this, but we didn't. But, we are very appreciative of all your support."
"Now, mom, can you explain what you meant when you said, `Hopefully we've taken care of a few things on your list'?" I asked.
"Perhaps we should show you," Chris's mother suggested. We followed her into the television room.
"Holy..., cow," Chris excitedly said as we stood at the door of the family room.
"Sam, your father and I took care of half the furniture," my mother explained.
"I did the other half," Gloria announced. "We had such a good time picking all this out."
"Your grandmother, Sam, and I went clothes shopping today," Chris's grandmother explained. "We bought a few things the boys will outgrow in a few weeks. We have decided the twins will be the best dressed boys around."
"Grandma," Chris warned. "We don't want to overdo."
"We aren't overdoing," my grandmother responded. "We just bought a few necessities."
I looked at Chris's singing group and our gym group. They were smiling broadly.
"What?" I asked.
"We chipped in and bought a video recorder," Luke replied. "We will teach Donny to shoot some really candid shots of his daddies caring for the twins."
"We also procured two mobiles for their beds, several bedtime stories, a couple dozen stuffed animals, and two bottles of vodka for the fathers," David added.
"Okay," I said. "Enough. We don't need any more help. Vodka, maybe. Stuffed animals, probably not. However, who are we to say `no' to stuffed animals. We just want you around to enjoy Mathew and Joshua as much as we will."
"Once they are older and out of diapers," Sawyer add, "we might be willing to baby sit."
"Why out of diapers?" Chris asked.
"You two can enjoy the diaper phase," Sawyer explained. "I'm not certain Glen and I can handle changing them."
"Of course, you will all be invited to the Baptism," Chris said. "Would you do the honors, Jeffery?"
"I would be honored," Jeffery replied. "Where?"
"Sam?" Chris asked.
"Would you mind Olney, Chris?" I asked.
"Nope," Chris replied. "I believe it would be extremely appropriate to have it there."
"Let us know when you want to have the twins baptized, and I will take care of everything else," Jeffery replied.
The twin's room took shape over the course of the next few weeks. Donny recorded every instance of change with the video camera. We also prepared for the meeting with the Denver people to discuss Home Front.
"Are you ready to assume the leadership role of Home Front USA, Dad?" I asked as we entered the conference room at the Chicago location.
"I am trying to understand how I can run a nonprofit group," my father explained. "I can run a farm. I can run a community group. But, I am not certain if I can run a national nonprofit group."
"As you used to say to me, Dad," I began. "'Just do it!'"
"I don't always take my own advice," my father acknowledged.
"I know," I replied.
"We can play the meeting by ear," Chris suggested. "We listen to their plan for Denver. We offer suggestions. We come to an agreement to proceed on a provisional basis."
We greeted the representatives from Denver in the Lobby.
"Hello," my father began. "I'm Charles Williamson. This is my son and son-in-law Sam and Christopher Williamson."
"I am Gregory Lamont and this is Harriett Singleton," Mr. Lamont said. "We represent a private foundation in Denver interested in developing a local Home Front organization. The foundation has been following your progress for several months and is impressed with your business model. We are hoping to replicate it in Denver with your approval."
"We are excited our organization has been noticed," my father replied. "We believe joint ventures in other areas of the country can not only raise the profile of the homeless gay youth population, but also provide a much needed service to the community. We also believe community support is crucial for a program like Home Front to succeed."
"We also understand Sam and Chris are instrumental in organizing and procuring funding for the organization," Ms. Singleton explained. "How did two college students get involved in this program?"
"Sam?" my father asked.
"I saw an article in the Chicago Tribune about a homeless young gay guy who was murdered in Lincoln Park," I explained. "The rest is history."
"Sam is very persistent," Chris explained with a smile. "He doesn't know the meaning of `impossible.'"
"How would this cooperative effort be organized?" Mr. Lamont asked. "Do we pay Home Front USA a franchise fee? Annual membership fee? What requirements will you contractually demand from the local group?"
"Good questions, Mr. Lamont," my father began. "Home Front USA is merely a national body which provides guidance and support for local Home Front organizations. You pay no fees to the national organization. We won't make demands on the local Home Front organization. We may make suggestions, but we will not make demands."
"Who pays your salary, Mr. Williamson?" Ms. Singleton asked.
"At this point, no one," my father answered. "We have a grant from the same foundation who provides the funding for Home Front Chicago to cover expenses of the national group. However, I don't plan on accepting a salary. I am just happy to be of service."
"What's the next step?" Mr. Lamont asked.
"Provide us with your funding plan," my father continued. "Provide us with a time-table for starting services. Provide us with a plan for implementing the entire program in your area. Once we have your plan, I will help you through the process of startup. Do you have any questions?"
We continued to discuss Home Front Denver with Mr. Lamont and Ms. Singleton until it was time for them to head for the airport. Once we had them in a cab, we reassembled in the conference room at Home Front Chicago.
"The meeting went well," I said. "What do you think, dad?"
"I agree," my father added.
"But, we need to reach a consensus about Home Front USA," Chris began. "You will need to collect a salary, I believe, to make your position official. Would you accept $5,000 a month?"
"No," my father replied. "How about $50 a month? I don't need the money."
On July 3rd, Chris, Donny, and I were sitting at the kitchen island finishing our lunch. My phone began to ring. It was Edward Sager. I switched on speaker phone as I answered the call. "Hello, Edward."
"Hello, Sam," Edward began. "Is Chris with you?"
"Yes," Chris said. "I'm here."
"I brought Emilie to the hospital," Edward said rather excitedly. "It seems she is getting close to giving birth. You should get here as soon as possible."
"We're on our way," I said after Edward gave us directions.
I ended the call and turned to Chris, "What do we do with Donny?"
"My mother," Chris suggested.
"She will want to be there," I explained. "Sawyer and Glen?"
"Call them," Chris replied. "I'll call my mother who can notify your parents."
"I'm on it," I said as I dialed Sawyer's number. "Sawyer!"
"What's up, Sammie?" Sawyer asked.
"We are on our way to the hospital," I explained. "Emilie is about to give birth. Can you watch Donny?"
"Absolutely," Sawyer replied. "We'll be there in a few moments."
When I ended the call, I turned to Donny. "Donny," I began. "Uncle Sawyer and Uncle Glen are going to sit with you while your daddy and I take care of something. Promise me you will do exactly as Uncle Sawyer and Uncle Glen ask.
"I promise, Daddy," Donny replied. "Are you going to get my brothers?"
"We are going to meet them for the first time," I answered. "We won't bring them home for a few days. But, we will be back as soon as we can."
Sawyer and Glen slipped through the door. "Are you ready for this, Sam?"
"I don't know, Sawyer," I replied. "We have to be even if we are not."
"Do you have everything, Sam?" Chris asked me. "My mother is contacting your parents. Thanks, Glen, Sawyer."
"Our pleasure, guys," Glen replied. "Now go! Keep us posted, too!"
We dashed out of the condo and into an awaiting cab. We arrived at the birthing center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in record time. We found Edward in the waiting room.
"How is she?" I asked.
"A little nervous," Edward replied. "I'm supposed to help her through the process once she is settled. I will keep you posted. I am more nervous than Emilie."
"Mr. Sager?" a doctor asked.
"Yes, doctor," Edward said.
"I'm Dr. Evans," the doctor said. "I will be the attending physician during the birth process."
"Dr. Evans," Edward began to introduce Chris and me. "These are the adoptive parents, Sam and Chris Williamson."
"It is so nice to meet you," Dr. Evans said. "I will try to keep you abreast of the process. Meanwhile, have a seat, relax, and don't stress out. The babies are fine."
"Thank you, doctor," Chris replied. "We will try to stay calm."
"The calm will end once you have the twins in your arms," Dr. Evans said with a smile.
Edward and Dr. Evans left Chris and me in the waiting room.
"So, here we are, Sam," Chris began. "Donny is about to get two brothers."
"Are you nervous?" I asked.
"We can't be nervous," Chris added. "We won't break them. We won't lose them. We will keep busy, I am certain."
"How will we tell them apart?" I asked.
"We will figure out something," Chris said as broke into a smile.
We sat silently. We waited. We held hands.
My parents were the first to join us. "Sam, Chris!" my mother said as she rushed toward us. "Have you heard anything?"
"Nothing yet, mom," I said as we hugged. Chris and my father were hugging. Then, we switched. "Edward has been in with Emilie for about an hour."
Chris's mother also arrived to once again break the silence.
"Hello, mom," Chris said as he hugged his mother. Then, I hugged her. We sat.
Thirteen hours and several cups of coffee later, Edward appeared in the doorway of the waiting room. He paused before he walked to where we were sitting. Chris and I stood. Edward pulled us into a hug.
"They are cute as shit, guys," Edward said. "One is 5.4 pounds and the other is 5.6 pounds. Average weights, I am told, for twins. Congratulations! The nurse will be out shortly to get you ready to see them."
"Thank you, Edward," Chris said. "How's Emilie?"
"Resting at the moment," Edward said. "I should go back in and sit with her."
"Mr. and Mrs. Williamson?" a nurse said as she popped her head into the waiting room.
"We are Sam and Chris Williamson," Chris announced.
"Oh! I'm sorry," the nurse replied. "I need to get used to Mr. and Mr. Williamson, I guess. Congratulations! The boys are doing well. One is 5.4 pounds and 17 inches long. The other is 5.6 pounds and also 17 inches long. They both have a terrific set of lungs. Because they are twins, we have them in an isolation suite just as a precaution. I will help you get into a sterile gown, mask, and hat. You can show them to the proud grandparents through the viewing window. I'm Darleen, by the way."
"Darleen," Chris began. "These are Sam's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Williamson. And, this is my mother Gloria Washington."
"Gloria Washington?" Darleen exclaimed. "Francis Parker High School? I was Darleen Carmichael."
"Oh! My!" Chris's mother exclaimed. "We used to sing together in the school chorus!"
"Yes, indeed," Darleen replied. "We can catch up later, Gloria. Right now, I think we have two very excited fathers who want to see their boys!"
Darleen led us into an ante-room so we could put on gowns, masks, and hats. Once we were suited up, Darleen led us into the room where the boys were. They were both screaming.
"You are right about one thing," Chris said as he took one of the twins from Darleen. "They do have a good set of lungs."
The twin Chris was holding was immediately quiet. Darleen handed me the other boy. He was also silent the moment I had him in my arms.
"They are so tiny," I said in a whisper.
"You won't break them," Darleen explained. "They have found the two guys who are going to love them for the rest of their lives. Babies have an instinct."
"How do we tell them apart?" Chris asked.
"You will figure out which is which after a while," Darleen explained. "We will keep the bracelets on them until you take them home. The one you are holding, Chris, was the first to be born at 2:46 am. The one you are holding, Sam, was next at 3:04 am."
"So, Sam," Chris said. "Do I have Joshua Thomas?"
"Yup," I replied. "And I have Mathew Charles."
"Let's show their grandparents what beautiful boys they are," Darleen suggested as she pulled the blind open. "You can introduce them. There is a speaker system."
"Guys," Chris began. "I'd like you to meet the oldest of your new grandsons, Joshua Thomas Williamson."
"And, this is Mathew Charles Williamson," I said. "He came into this world about twenty minutes after his brother."
"They are both so adorable," my mother said as she wiped a tear from her eyes.
"How are you going to tell them apart?" my father asked.
"Hospital bracelets until we find out some other way," I replied as Mathew began to cry.
Three seconds later Joshua joined the fray.
"They both need to be fed," Darleen suggested. "Sit here."
Darleen motioned to two chairs. Chris took one, and I took the other. The volume of the crying increased.
Darleen finally returned with two bottles. Mathew and Joshua were immediately happy again.
"So far so good," Chris said.
"I said the same thing when you were first born, Chris," Chris's mother explained through the intercom. "The next phase will be exciting, I can assure you."
"When will they be ready to leave the hospital?" Chris asked as Dr. Evans entered the nursery.
"Probably one full night with us," Dr. Evans suggested. "If they have no complications, they will be free to go home with you."
"Donny will be so excited," Chris said.
"And, you're not?" Dr. Evans asked.
"Can I take a picture of them in here?" I asked.
"Of course," Darleen replied. "Here. Let me take the photo."
Chris and I scrunched together. He made certain Joshua could be seen. I made certain Mathew could be seen.
"Perfect!" Darleen replied. "I know you two must be exhausted waiting all night. So, why don't you go home, get some sleep, and come back later. Say, late morning. And, bring Donny. He can't go inside the room, but he can watch through the window."
"Thank you, Darleen," Chris said as we both return our respective twin. "Will you be here tomorrow morning?"
"No, but I will be here until 7 am," Darleen explained. "I will make certain the day nurse gives these little guys lots of attention until you return."
"Thank you," I said to Darleen. "We really appreciate your help in meeting our new sons."
"My pleasure," Darleen said as we left the room.
"Will we see you tomorrow morning?" Chris asked his mother and my parents.
"We will need to rest after this experience, but we will be here later in the day," my mother assured us.
"Same with me," Chris's mother added. "If you need help looking after Donny, please let me know."
"Thanks, mom," Chris said.
My father did the taxi bit. He dropped off Chris's mother first. Then, us.
"Thanks for being with us tonight," I said. "We both really appreciate the support. We might have killed each other if we were waiting 13 hours by ourselves."
"We will see you tomorrow," my father said as we went inside the building. It was light out already.
When we arrive in the condo, Sawyer and Glen were stretched out on both sofas in the living room. Sawyer stirred first.
"Congratulations, guys!" Sawyer said as he slipped off the sofa. "How are the boys?"
"Small," I explained. "They look so fragile, but, as the nurse pointed out, Mathew and Joshua have great lungs. And, they are not afraid of letting you know they want attention."
"Are you going to sleep or just back for a shower?" Glen asked.
"Probably just a shower," Chris replied. "We want to go see the Mathew and Joshua mid-morning. We're going to take Donny to meet them."
"He curled up between us around 10 last night," Sawyer explained. "He was zonked in about two seconds flat. We put him to bed and he didn't even stir. The dogs haven't come out either, so we are assuming all is fine."
All hell broke loose. First, three dogs scampered out of Donny's room. They wanted attention.
"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" Donny yelled as he joined us in the living room. "When am I going to see my brothers?"
"Later this morning," I replied as I picked Donny up. "Do you want to see a picture?"
"Yes, Daddy," Donny exclaimed.
I fished out my phone and found the photo of Mathew, Joshua, Chris, and me.
"They are little, Daddy," Donny replied. "Will they get bigger?"
"Yup," I replied. "Little by little. They will eventually be as big as you."
"Goodie," Donny continued. "Can we go see them now?"
"Not right now," Chris added. "We have three dogs to walk. Showers to take. Breakfast to eat. Then, we will go see your bothers."
"Do you want me to walk the dogs while you get us breakfast?" I asked.
"We can walk them," Sawyer offered. "Donny, do you want to show us where we walk the dogs like we did last night?"
"Sure," Donny replied. "Can I, daddy?"
"Sure," I replied.
"You can join us for breakfast once you finish dog duty," Chris offered.
"Terrific," Glen replied. "We like free food. Especially when you come up with it, Chris."
While Sawyer, Glen, and Donny took the dogs for a walk, Chris and I began to get breakfast as well as talk about our day.
"I hope we can get through today," I said. "We will be running on fumes by the time the day is over."
"We will get a burst of energy and make it through the day," Chris reassured me.
We continued to make breakfast until Sawyer, Glen, and Donny returned with the dogs.
"Something smells terrific," Glen enthused. "I would be lying if I said I was not hungry."
"Then, let's eat," Chris said as he put Donny on the island counter.
The five of us quickly consumed our food.
"Now that we have eaten you out of house and home," Sawyer began. "We will leave you alone so you can get on with your day."
"Thanks for watching Donny," I said.
"Anytime, dude," Sawyer said. "We enjoyed our time with him. And, we can't wait to meet Mathew and Joshua."
"See you soon, guys," I said as they left.
"So, Donny," I said. "Did you enjoy your time with Uncle Sawyer and Uncle Glen?"
"Yea," Donny replied. "They are fun."
Once we were cleaned up, we headed back to the hospital to see Mathew and Joshua and introduce Donny to them.
We stopped at the nursing station. "You must be Sam and Chris," one of the nurses exclaimed when she saw the three of us arrive.
"I'm Sam and this is Chris," I said to the nurse. "This is our other son, Donny."
"Darleen gave me specific instructions to make your visit a special one," the nurse explained. "I'm Connie. The boy's attending physician, Dr. Price, wants to see you before you visit your sons. Let me tell him you are here."
"Is something wrong?" Chris asked.
"On the contrary, Chris," Connie replied. "There is talk of your sons going home with you later today."
"Really?" I exclaimed. "This early?"
"Do you want us to keep them for a while longer?" Connie asked with a smile.
"No," Chris and I both said in unison.
"Let me fetch Dr. Price," Connie said as she turned and disappeared.
"Wow," Chris said to me. "We might take them home today."
We were both in shock.
"Yesterday was a long day," I said. "Today looks like it may be longer."
"I suspect every day from now on will be long ones until all three boys are in college," Chris replied with a smile.
A blond guy in a white jacket bounded into the waiting room, "Good morning. I'm Dr. Price. You must be Sam and Chris Williamson."
"Yes, doctor," I said. "This is our other son, Donny."
"Hello, Donny," Dr. Price said. "Are you ready to meet your brothers?"
"Yup," Donny replied. "I wanted Santa to bring me brothers for Christmas, but my daddies said Santa didn't bring brothers for little boys. So, they said I had to wait. I'm glad I don't have to wait anymore."
"Connie mentioned we might be able to take the boys home today," I said.
"Yup," Dr. Price replied. "I need to examine them again... probably after you have fed them. If we don't find anything out of the ordinary, we will release them this afternoon."
"And, they want to be fed," Connie replied. "You will never have any doubt when they are hungry."
"Normally, we would only allow the parents in to visit with the babies, but, in this case, I am willing to let Donny in to help feed his brothers if you are okay with having him in the room," Dr. Price suggested.
"Definitely," I said. "I don't believe Donny will have it any other way."
"I thought so," Dr. Price replied. "I will leave you in the competent hands of Connie. She will help you feed the boys while you visit with them."
"Thank you doctor," Chris said as the three of us followed Connie into the room so we could put on gowns and hats.
Once we were into the room with the boys, Connie handed Joshua to Chris and Mathew to me. They both stopped crying the moment we took them in our arms.
Chris and I sat in a chair.
"Donny, this is your brother Joshua," Chris explained. "Your daddy Sam has your brother Mathew. Guys, this is your older brother Donny."
"They are little," Donny said as he examined each brother. "They look alike, too! How do we tell them apart?"
"We will figure out which is which after a few days," Chris said. "In the meantime, we will just need to be careful not to mix them up."
After the boys were fed, we decided to let Donny hold each of the boys.
"Donny," I began. "Do you want to hold your brothers?"
"Yes, but I don't know how," Donny said in a worried tone.
"We will show you, Donny," Chris replied as he stood. "Here. Sit in the chair."
Donny took his place in the chair Chris had been sitting in. "You need to support his head because he is too young to do it by himself."
Chris carefully put Joshua into Donny's arms. Donny was beaming.
"You are going to like living with our daddies, Joshua," Donny began. "You can listen, too, Mathew. We have three doggies at home. One sleeps with me and the other two sleep with our daddies. We will find the doggies two more brothers who can be with you. We have too grandmas and one grandpa. We also have two great-grandmas and one great-grandpa. We have lots of uncles and aunts. Uncle Sawyer and Uncle Glen stayed with me yesterday while daddies were waiting to see you."
"Do you want to hold Mathew, Donny?" I asked.
"Yes," Donny replied.
Chris took Joshua from Donny. I put Mathew into Donny's arms.
"You and Joshua look alike," Donny said to his other brother. "We are moving into a big house near where our daddies go to school. You two will share a bathroom with me. We have a back yard to play in too. The place here in Chicago is high in the sky. Santa has already found me, so you won't have anything to worry about when he visits us again. Daddy, Mathew is smiling at me."
"He knows you love him, Donny," I said.
Donny smiled broadly. We gave the twins back to Connie so they could nap while we talked to the doctor and readied ourselves to take the twins home.
Chris, Donny, and I sat with Dr. Price in a conference room near the room where the twins were.
"We believe Joshua and Mathew may have escaped the HIV infection of the mother," Dr. Price explained. "We will need to monitor the boys for the next several years just to be certain. I understand your son Donny sees a pediatrician in Urbana as well as one at Northwesters who specializes in infectious diseases in children."
"Yes," I explained. "Donny sees Dr. Graham in Urbana and Dr. Rodríguez here at Northwestern."
"Dr. Rodriguez is an excellent doctor," Dr. Price explained. "I would like to see the boys one week from today. Then, I would like to see them at least one more time before you move to Urbana for the school year. Do you have any questions?"
"What if we panic?" Chris asked with a smile on his face.
"You will join the ranks of most parents of newborn babies," Dr. Price replied to Chris's offhand question. "I will have the papers drawn up for the twin's release pending a final examination. We should have you and your boys out of here by 3 pm."
"Thank you, Dr. Price," I said. "We may not know what we are doing, but we will have a wonderful time doing it."
We stepped out of the conference room and into the waiting room. We saw Edward walk through the door.
"How's it going, guys?" Edward asked.
"Terrific," Chris replied. "We think the boys will be released this afternoon."
"How's Emilie?" I asked.
"She is being watched," Edward replied. "There were some bleeding issues the doctors are concerned with, but are hopeful the issue can be resolved quickly."
"We hope everything works out for you and Emilie," Chris said. "If we can be of any help, please don't hesitate to contact us.
"Thanks, guys," Edward replied. "I appreciate you two giving these guys a good home. It was hard for Emilie and me to give them up, but neither one of us could manage to keep them."
"Thanks," I said. "We will do the best we can. And, I promise you they will be loved and cared for."
"I'll keep in touch if you don't mind," Edward said as he left.
"Okay, Chris," I said as I heard two boys crying. "It's 5 am."
"Why don't we go on a coffee diet," Chris said sarcastically. "Then, we wouldn't need to even try going to sleep."
This was the beginning of the third full day after we brought Mathew and Joshua home.
"They usually fall asleep after their 5 am bottle," I explained. "We can take a nap until about 8. Then, it's Donny time."
We trod into the nursery and we each grabbed a twin. We headed to the kitchen in a daze and prepared to feed our boys.
"Maybe we should just have them sleep in the kitchen until they are about 18 years old," Chris suggested. "We could save travel time from the nursery to the kitchen."
"It's good exercise, Chris," I said as I grabbed the warmed bottle for Mathew. "We probably won't see the inside of a gym for several months."
"Several years," Chris sighed.
"Would you change anything?" I asked.
"Nope," Chris said with a smile. "I may complain, but you, Donny, and these two are the best things to have ever happened to me."
"Ditto," I replied. "They seem to be eating faster. I know it's only been three days, but they are getting into a routine."
"And, the routine will change daily," Chris added. "We will cope."
We put the boys back to sleep after they finished eating and burping.
"Shall we take a nap or stay awake?" I asked.
"Nap," Chris suggested.
I followed Chris to the bedroom. I think I was asleep when I suddenly felt dog tongue on my face. Lincoln licked my face. Roosevelt licked Chris's.
"Okay, guys," Chris said to the dogs. "We get the picture. We are getting up. Go make yourselves useful."
"Why don't you go get washed up, Chris" I suggested. "I will go start the coffee."
"It's a deal," Chris said as he lumbered into the bathroom.
"What are you doing up, Donny?" I asked as I saw him on the floor playing with the dogs.
"Simon got up to look in on Mathew and Joshua," Donny explained. "I decided to join him. Then, we saw Lincoln and Roosevelt run out of your room. I thought you would probably be on your way to the kitchen."
"How were Mathew and Joshua?" I asked.
"They are getting bigger," Donny said.
"But they are only four days old," I said.
"I know, but they are getting bigger," Donny insisted.
"Who's getting bigger?" Chris asked as he poured coffee for the two of us.
"Mathew and Joshua," Donny explained.
"But, they are only four days old," Chris explained.
"They really are getting bigger, daddy," Donny replied. "Go see for yourself."
Chris and I took our coffee and headed to the nursery.
"He's right, you know," Chris finally said as he picked up a squirming Joshua. "They are getting bigger."
"Let's not let things get out of hand, Chris," I suggested. "I'm not ready for them to be visiting college campuses just yet."
Our morning went off without a hitch. Either we were finally getting things right or the twins were adapting to us.
Chris and I were relaxing at the kitchen island when his phone rang around 11 am. "Hello, this is Chris," he said as he put the phone on speaker.
"Chris, this is Edward. Is Sam with you?" Edward asked.
"Yes," Chris replied. "He's right next to me. The phone is on speaker. What can we do for you?"
"Emily was released from the hospital today," Edward said quietly. "I told her I would check on you to see how things are going."
"Where are you now, Edward?" Chris asked.
"I'm at home," Edward replied. "Emily is sleeping. I have a question for you."
"Ask away," Chris suggested.
"Do you mind if I stay in touch with you?" Edward asked. He was almost crying.
"We'd like you to," I said.
To be continued...
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I hope you liked the direction that `Sam and Chris' is taking. I've heard from many people and would like to hear from even more. I would enjoy hearing your comments about this story. You can write to me at MaWriterBoy@yahoo.com.
This is my 57th posting of my first story on Nifty.org.
I also have three other stories on Nifty:
John's Journey Forward in the `Beginnings' section
Jeffery Comes Home in the `Beginnings' section
Life With Tim in the authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)
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("Nice to meet you both," Ian responded. "My husband, Larry, and I have lived here for almost two years. He works as an attorney for Bank of America. I'm a struggling writer trying to get my first book published. And, that is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat!"
The three of us made our way to the building lobby. By this time, Lincoln and Roosevelt had done their duty. Apparently, Ruffles had done the same. The three of them got along famously.)