Attached

Sarah

Okay, so Harm and I knew that we had a pretty good chance of getting custody (full custody) of the kids, but that it all happened so soon… Now I'm the one who doesn't know what hit her. I'm completely shocked. This is absolutely not what I expected. One look at Harm tells me that he feels the same. He doesn't know what happened in there either. We look at each other and smile careful smiles. When we got here this morning, this is absolutely not what I thought was going to happen. Judge Elfman is a nice guy, Ellen already told us that, but this….


Judge Elfman takes his glasses of and looks at us. I'm nervous and reach for Harm's hand. Harm gives it a reassuring squeeze. "Mr. and Mrs. Rabb, I have to admit that I'm quite impressed."
Impressed? He's impressed? With what?
Judge Elfman leans back in his chair and shift some of the papers lying in front of him. "In all the time that I've been on this bench, and that's been some time, I've never seen this. Not so many praises, or letters of recommendation for just one couple." He reaches for the papers. "Ms. Harrison, Mr. Burnett, Admiral Chegwidden, Mrs. Rabb…"
Needless to say that Harm and I are surprised. Seriously? They all wrote letters of recommendation? Wow. I try to look unimpressed, but I'm afraid I'm doing a lousy job. Harm gives my hand another squeeze.
"Other than that one little thing of three weeks ago, your record is spotless. I was only worried about one thing: your marriage."
He's worried about our marriage? Why? Harm feels that I'm going into defense and he lets go of my hand and wraps his arm around me shoulder, telling me to relax.
Judge Elfman purses his lips. "Ms. Harrison told me that the two of you have been working partners and best friends for the past two years?"
Is that a problem? Most romances happen at work. "That is correct, Your Honor," Harm answers. He doesn't have a clue where Elfman is taking this, and neither do I.
"And you decided to get married this quickly, because…?"
"Because we realized that we loved each other, that we were in love with each other and that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together," I say.
Elfman starts to laugh. "Relax, Mrs. Rabb, that wasn't an attack. Just a question. I can see with one look at the two of you that you really love each other. I'm the last person on earth to question that."
Well, that's something. My defense rests. Harm shakes his head almost invisibly. I know, I know. My nerves are all over the place. Shireen starts to babble in her carrier and I give her my hand to play with, without taking my eyes of Judge Elfman. Shireen smiles and giggles, then settles down as she starts to play with my fingers.
"Seeing how the children have done in the past four months, seeing how the children have improved in just the first three months… Reading all the amazing letters of recommendation and hearing all the praises Ms. Harrison is singing you… I can't do anything else but handle in the children's best interest and grant you full custody of Gabriel, Noa and Shireen Moreno. You'll be able to petition for adoption in six months."
Harm and I sit there, completely shocked. Did he just say what I think he said? Did he grant us full custody? Seriously? Full custody? And we'll be able to petition for adoption in six months? God must've heard my prayers and think that we deserved a little more than what we asked for.
Judge Elfman smiles. "Full custody, Mr. and Mrs. Rabb. I suggest you take your children home." He talkes about some more technicalities, papers we have to sign and stuff, but I don't really hear it.
After that, he adjourns court.


Harm and I get the kids in the car, get in ourselves and sit there for a while, trying to understand what just happened. We got full custody of the kids. All three of them. And we'll be able to adopt them in just six months. Really… I just…. The tears start to well up in my eyes. Our little angels are really going to stay with us. And no one who will be able to take them away from us. Never again. Harm sees my tears and wipes them away with his thumb. "Happy tears, I hope?" he asks.
I nod. "Happy tears." This has to be one of the happiest moments of my life. "They're not going anywhere, Harm. They're going to stay with us."
"That they are."
"Daddy?" That's Gabe's voice.
Harm looks in his review mirror. "What is it, sport?"
"Are we going to get something to eat? I'm hungry."
We start to laugh. That's our son. Our soon-to-be son. Harm lets go of me and starts the engine. "If I didn't know any better, Ninja-girl, I'd say that he has your appetite."
I grin at that. "Maybe he does."
"Daddy?" Gabe's getting more persistent now.
"Yeah sport, we're going to get something to eat. We're going, we're going."
And with that, Harm takes our family home. Really home.


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